By Maria Famakinwa
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu – Akeredolu has taken Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) outreach to Ode-Irele with other FOWOSO members where women and youths in Irele Local Government Area of the State were empowered.
The event which took place at Methodist Primary School, Ode-Irele enabled the participants who had been trained freely on different life changing skills such as shoe and bag making, bead making, make – over, household items among others to be given start up kits.
Other women who had undergone training in tailoring and hair dressing but could not start due to financial challenges went home with sewing machines and hair dryers while those without any skill were given grinding machines as a means of earning a living. Students were also given laptops to aid their learning as wheelchairs were equally given to the physically challenged.
Mrs Akeredolu who explained that FOWOSO is all about women empowerment charged women in the State to exploit the opportunity of the skill acquisition programme provided by the forum to improve their financial status as she explained that FOWOSO is initiated for women to become productive help mates to their husbands and added that the forum was formed to provide opportunities for the less privileged as part of effort to contribute to the social -economic development of the State.
Her words: “For this to be realised, women must be empowered which is what FOWOSO is all about. To improve the living standard of women and make them relevant in this present age.”
In her welcome address, the Chairperson of Irele Local Government, Mrs Mercy Odimayo thanked the First Lady for her efforts at improving the lives of women and children in the State as she observed that within the short period of introducing FOWOSO empowerment programme, many lives of women and children have been transformed positively as she urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the rare opportunity to improve their lives.
“I want to thank the mother of the State for her love especially for women and children, I want to thank her again for steps taken to better the lots of women across the State through FOWOSO programme. I pray that God will continue to strengthen her to do more. I will also want to appeal to the beneficiaries of the empowerment programme to utilize the opportunity to improve their lives to achieve the objective of the programme.”
In his speech, the Regent of Irele Kingdom (High Chief Gbogunro) HRH Oloruntusin Mesagan appreciated the First Lady for her visit to his palace and also thanked her for the training and empowerment programme given to the people of Irele as he appealed to the State Governor to help in rehabilitating Ode-Irele township roads.
The programme was also used to educate women on breast cancer and the need to check their breasts monthly for any unusual change and report such immediately to the hospital as early detection saves lives.