“This gesture came at the right time for me in particular. I have three undergraduates, for the past three days we struggled to eat a meal per day, I came yesterday thinking they will distribute the palliatives but was told they couldn’t complete it on time at Ifedore, and when I returned home my children were disappointed that I didn’t bring the expected foodstuffs. Today, when I was leaving for the venue, they told me I should ensure I bring something and I told them to pray I find favour; with what I was given today I am very very happy, and I plead with our First Lady to assist us economically because the little I’m selling in my shop have been consumed by the children, she should kindly assist our trade, may God help her so that she can continue to help we the widows”.
The above words are that of a young widow in Iju-Itaogbolu in Akure North Local Government, Mrs. Atuwo Olubukola, whose husband died in 2008. She was full of happiness as she received bags of foodstuffs distributed to widows across the 18 Local Government areas of Ondo State by the wife of the governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu under the Ondowidows’care initiative.
Also speaking with JATS Online News, Mrs. Caroline Ayeni, a mother of four who lost her husband about 15 years ago at the age of 30, gave kudos to the initiator of Ondowidows’care and prayed she won’t go hungry in life. She, however, appealed for help for their children.
Mrs Simon with six children whose husband died in 2017 said they had now assumed Mrs Akeredolu to be their husband by launching the initiative, and urged her to keep reaching out to them.
On her part, Mrs. Muraina Fati who lost her husband in 2010 and has been solely catering for four children, said widowhood experience was terrific which she said contributed to the lost of one of her children late last year due to her inability to solely provide the needed medical care.
Appreciating the gesture which she said would go a long way to reduce hunger in her family at this critical time, she said: ” Be that as it may, we thank God for this; it has not been easy to take care of the children alone, for the past 10 years I have faced a lot of challenges, to fend for them hasn’t been easy and things (palliative) like this has been assisting me.
“This is a very laudable initiative and first of its kind. I never believed something like this could happen, I reluctantly registered when the website was launched, I was surprised when I was called that I have palliatives from the office of the First Lady; and now I benefit without knowing anybody in the government”.
Muraina who commended the initiator for not making it political, advised that the initiative should be improved upon by including educational empowerment for at least one fatherless child in a family, noting that many of them are indebted with rent payments coupled with school fees.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Ruth Sunday, a farmer and widow of 15 years who lost her husband at the age of 30, with six children has this to say: “This palliatives really helped me because cows always destroy my small farm and presently we don’t have what to eat at home, I thank the wife of the governor; she should kindly keep helping us in whatever way because I always take LAPO to cater for the children’s school fees which has been a great burden for me”.
A 40 year old widow, Mrs. Olatunde Temidayo, mother of two, whose husband died four years ago, said it took the grace of God to cope as a young widow. Mrs. Olatunji who is a provision seller expressed happiness about the gesture, saying it would go a long way to sustain her family. “I appeal to the First Lady to keep up with the good heart she has for the widows”, she said.
At Akure North, no fewer than 300 widows benefited while 75 widows in Ondo East smile home with edible items.