Nigeria must change attitude towards widows and orphans


The Saturday Telegraph (14th January 2023), captures my thoughts on the need for Nigeria to develop a deliberate social policy that caters for the welfare of the vulnerable, especially widows and orphans.

This interview was granted during the relaunch of The Azemobor Gregory Foundation’s Scholarship Program

By Olaolu Oladipo
“From time immemorial, societies have permanently erected numerous safeguards to cater for the less privileged or those who are considered as vulnerable in terms of their poor economic status. The effort is to create stability and opportunities in a sustainable way to help bring such members up in the social strata.

These efforts are usually institutional, by public or private organisations who devote a percentage of the earnings to cater for the basic needs of these segments of society who could be considered unlucky due to several factors. Globally, governments have factored some safety nets in their economic agenda and processes in terms of social welfare to aid these groups who if neglected could constitute a social menace if left unattended to by society. Also, private organisations too as part of the corporate social responsibility efforts engage in such gestures back as a form of giving to the community where they operate.

Taking cognisance of this, the management of the Gregory Azemobor foundation recently staged an outreach to help widows cater for the educational needs of their wards who have been stripped of their breadwinners by the cold hands of death. The Foundation in its bold ambition of taking no fewer than 100,000 of such children away from the streets is offering annual N100,000 worth of scholarships to each beneficiary in a bid to make them become valuable citizens of the country. Simply put, the Azemobor Foundation who had in the past granted the mothers of the lucky beneficiaries grants for their businesses to be sufficiently able to fend for their wards now went a notch further to further take the financial burden of educating their kids away from them via the scholarship scheme.

The founder, Apostle Gregory Azemobor while addressing those present stated that the gesture was well crafted in a manner that would make it sustainable by making indigent yet brilliant school pupils the opportunity to be great professionals in future.

“I’m happy to welcome you all to this programme. You might think that what we do here is being done for doing sake, but no! we have become a family and one thing about family members is that they look out for one another. “We have been monitoring our widows and I am happy that they have been utilizing the grants that we have given to them in the past very judiciously.

This is why we have decided to take our support further by granting scholarships to brilliant pupils under their care,” the businessman-turned-pastor said. He added that the gesture was aimed at ensuring that the parents of the benefiting pupils don’t eat into the capital that has been granted to them in the process of educating their wards.

“We know the agony that you are going through in the process of sending your children to school from the little money they make from their trading activities,” he said. He however urged the benefiting pupils to utilize the opportunity provided by the gesture to come out tops in their classes, saying that would be the only gain that the foundation hopes to get from putting such in place, saying “My joy is to see many of you becoming celebrated professionals in various fields such as engineering, medicine in future.

One of the supporters of the Foundation, Apostle Andrew Ikheloa, in his address to those present urged other well-to-do Nigerians to imbibe the culture of assisting the less privileged in society through gestures such as this. “I want to thank and comment on the leadership and management of the Gregory Azemobor Foundation for this gesture which is very rare in this part of the world. I am particularly delighted to see that some people in Nigeria still find it pertinent to look out for the welfare of others,” he said. Ikheloa also canvassed the need for assistance for such organisations with verifiable track records of performance in the philanthropic community as a way of further pulling many people out of poverty in the country.
Together, we can create a world where no one lives in lack

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