Abuja - Sure Smiles Women and Children Advocacy Initiative (SSWCAI), an NGO, on Tuesday in Abuja distributed various relief items to over 400 widows from the six area councils of the FCT.
Chioma Uzoegbunam, the founder of the organisation, said the gesture, tagged "Touch a Life, make a difference", was designed to celebrate Easter with the widows.
"We felt that in the spirit of Easter, it was necessary to bring the celebration to the widows to put smiles on their faces and let them know that they are still part of the society.
"We want them to know that they are not forgotten; we want them to have fun and be happy because some widows believe that they have been cursed," she said.
Uzoegbunam said that the programme would be sustained and carried out often, to bring succour to widows, adding that the widows were being trained on entrepreneurship and how to stay healthy.
She urged the women to develop themselves, be proud and believe in themselves, to enable them tackle the challenges they face daily.
She said the items were donated by various sponsors such as PZ Cussons, Dufil’s Prima Foods, Red Cross Society, Society for Family Health and HelpLine Foundation, among others.
In his remark at the event, Dr Entonu Peter, the Manager of Cervical Cancer Screening and Prevention Therapy at the Society for Family Health, enlightened the women on causes and treatment of cervical cancer.
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Peter, who was represented by Victoria Ekanem, explained that giving birth to many children and having multiple sexual partners was a major cause of cervical cancer.
He said that the disease could be treated through surgery and chemotherapy.
He said that early detection and regular screening could curtail the spread of the disease.
The widows were also trained on First Aid treatment, Personal and Environmental Hygiene and Entrepreneurship skills.
Hajiya Baba Ringo, the President of the FCT International Widows Organisation, who spoke on behalf of the women, thanked Sure Smiles for remembering the widows.
She called on other organisations to assist in empowering widows, saying that the plight of widows in rural areas was enormous as some of them could not afford a meal a day.
"If you want to help a widow, teach them how to fish and do not give them the fish just as SSWCAI has done today.
"There are many widows who do not even have one naira in a day, so empowering them with business ideas and tools would alleviate their sufferings," Ringo said
The items distributed included sewing machines, grinding machines, food items, coolers and toiletries, among others.