‘LAPO set up to address low-income earners’ material deprivation, poor health, social exclusion’

The management of Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) has said the organisation was designed to support low- income but economically active persons, particularly women to address the challenges of material deprivation, poor health and social exclusion.

Godwin Ehigiamusoe, the chief executive officer, made the remarks during the 8th LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award to mark the 2020 International Day of Rural Women in Benin City.

Ehigiamusoe, who was represented by Kenneth Okakwu, Director-General, LAPO Institute noted that the organisation has for over three decades implemented programmes and activities which resulted in social and economic empowerment of women.

He opined that marginalisation, wide range of culture and customs – induced inequity and injustices has constrained the capacity of women to realise their potentials.

While adding that a vast majority of women are relegated to the background, he also opined that their roles and contributions are not adequately acknowledged and rewarded.

“As a pro-women development organisation, Lift Above Poverty Organisation addresses the marginalisation of women and has for over three decade’s implemented programmes and activities which result in social and economic empowerment of women.

“For instance, in the first half of this year, LAPO reached 51,959 community members mostly women with health services, sensitized and screened 88,785 women for cancer under the LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control (LAPO -C4 ) project.

“The LAPO outstanding women leadership award is an initiative designed to acknowledge and reward women who are making outstanding contributions to the improvement of standard of living of our people,” he said.

He said since the inception of the award programme a total of 24 women have so far been recognized and honoured in the areas of business, farming and professional endeavours with sustainable social impact.

The LAPO boss congratulated rural women for the international day whose activities still form the bedrock of social and economic development.

“They account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households across our target rural communities. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and child nutrition,” he added.

In her remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Lilian Salami, Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin (UNIBEN), commended the management of LAPO for initiating the award programme geared towards honouring women who have distinguished themselves in their various careers.

Salami, said the award will no doubt, reinforce the positive image of women in Nigeria and help in reducing the influence of negative attitudes and practices that discriminate against women and exclude them from important national policy formulation as well as implementation processes.

The 2020 awardees are Nkechi Aham, professional category, Evelyn Akpomedaye, business category and Ugbo Magdalene, farming category.

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