• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Foundation restates commitment to widows’ rights protection

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The Rose of Sharon Foundation (RoSF), a non-profit and faith-based organisation has reiterated its commitment towards alleviating the burdens faced by widows and orphans in Nigeria to commemorate its 15th anniversary.

Folorunso Alakija, founder, Rose of Sharon Foundation (RoSF), stated this while unveiling plans to commemorate its 15th anniversary of championing socio-legal protection and economic empowerment for widows, their children, and orphans in Nigeria, at a press conference on Friday in Lagos.

She described the journey as a worthwhile and rewarding experience, and emphasised the fulfilment derived from catering to the welfare and economic empowerment of disadvantaged widows and ensuring their children’s education.

Alakija also highlighted the foundation’s significant progress in advocacy, particularly in promoting the rights of widows, which supported the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in 2015.

As part of activities to mark the anniversary, the foundation has outlined a series of activities that include nationwide awareness and advocacy walk, which will take place in key locations across the country.

According to the foundation, the anniversary event aims to unite communities and raise awareness about the peculiar challenges faced by widows, while emphasising the importance of upholding their rights.

Ndudi Bowei, country manager, Rose of Sharon Foundation, said the foundation’s impactful contribution to advancing widows’ rights through legislation and other interventions are evident in its achievement over the years.

She further stressed the foundation’s commitment to championing the cause of widows through initiatives and programmes that support socio-legal protection, and guarantee financial independence and educational opportunities for widows, their dependents, and orphans.

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Bowei disclosed further that the nationwide advocacy walk is part of a week-long programme that aims to encourage individuals and organisations to lend support in promoting the rights of the vulnerable in the society.

Additionally, the foundation will present a compelling short documentary that chronicles the transformative policy journey towards socio-legal protection for widows and orphans since the publication of the founder’s book, ‘A Cry of Widows and Orphans’, and the enactment of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in 2015.

The foundation also disclosed that there is a need to further deepen advocacy for an amendment of Section 15 of the VAPP Act for more inclusivity, and a specific law that provides comprehensive protection coverage for the peculiar challenges and experiences of widows in Nigeria, with recourse to violation of widows’ rights.

Bowei said further that since the establishment of the Foundation in 2008, the Rose of Sharon Foundation has redefined empathy for the downtrodden by implementing targeted initiatives and interventions aimed at easing the burdens faced by widows and orphans.

These include programmes such as the RoSF Women Empowerment Programme (WEP), Widows Rights Programme (WRP), School Engagement Programme (SEP), RoSF Mentoring Programme, and Bridge of Hope Education Programme, all delivered through various dynamic initiatives. Over the years, the foundation has engaged in strategic partnerships across different sectors of the economy, contributing to improving the well-being of orphans and widows in the country.