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COVID-19: Rose of Sharon foundation advocates for more economic empowerment for widows

.. highlight opportunities

To commemorate International Widows’ Day, the Rose of Sharon Foundation (ROSF) via a zoom platform highlighted opportunities that widows can take advantage of, in order to avert the social- economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual event which was themed “Global Change: Widowhood and COVID-19, the Challenges and Opportunities” took place on Tuesday June 23, 2020. It was hosted by Folorunso Alakija, the founder of ROSF. The special guest of honour at the event was none other than the Grand Matron, Her Excellency, The First Lady of Lagos State, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Also, the event well attended had notable speakers like Onari Duke, the Former First Lady of Cross Rivers State, who is also the Country Director of Empretec Nigeria Foundation and Conrad Adigwe, CEO of Sophia ERP Limited.

Speaking during the event, Alakija encouraged the widows to see the current COVID-19 socio-economic situation in Nigeria and the world as an opportunity to be explored.

“Though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold hardships and loss of revenue for individuals and businesses, some people as well as businesses are recording tremendous profits during this period,” She said.

She further stated that it is our joint responsibility to see that no widow or orphan experiences discrimination of any sort by virtue of the fact that they have lost their spouse or father.

In her goodwill message, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, advised the widows to see the opportunities presenting themselves during these times in agriculture, innovation and utilising their God given talents as the pandemic has in a new way of life.

She also encouraged the widows to be bold and stressed on the need for women to be self-independent, as this would help to place their families on a better social-economic pedestal.

Participants at the event were drawn from all the six geo-political zones of the country and comprised of the Foundations beneficiaries and the general public.

Daramola Ebun, a ROSF registered widow who spoke on behalf of the widows in the South-West Zone stated that some of the challenges experienced by widows during the COVID-19 lockdown has been the lack of food and shelter.

“In addition to that widows are also experiencing financial challenges as some widows who are employees have lost their jobs, while others who are entrepreneurs could not their wares as a result of the lockdown. She stated that the pandemic has adversely affected widows psychologically, emotionally, health wise and relationally,” Ebun further said.

Duke advised the widows to see the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic as opportunities in disguise. While speaking, she said “It looks like a gloomy situation but there are opportunities that exist. The person, who finds a solution, creates value and becomes a benefit to the society”.

Adigwe educated the widows on the need to leverage technology as the advent of COVID-19 has impacted the way business was done previously.

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