The Founder/President of Felix King Foundation, Ambassador Felix King has given widows across Nigerian another reason to smile as he launches a new initiative tagged Widows Economic Progress Meetings (WeProgress) with $500,000.
The WeProgress is wired to turn disadvantaged widows into small business owners.
The WeProgress project is a pan-Nigeria program and it is targeted at disadvantaged widows in communities where widows’ maltreatment is still prevalent
The project will directly empower over 5,400widows in its 2018/19 project calendar year in a 380 cooperative meeting groups’ format.
Having recorded massive successes in WEFARM project, Skill acquisition and empowerment programs, Educational program for children of widows, welfare initiative and healthcare program for widows in Edo, Lagos and Ogun States, Felix King Foundation has decided to collapse the aforementioned initiative into WeProgress project.
According to the founder of the foundation, today, over 90 percent of these women struggle to own small business and are denied access to capital.
“WeProgress will help disadvantaged widows and active poor rural women in Nigeria communities gain access to capital they need to build their small businesses,” he said adding that “So that they too can contribute to the prosperity of their families and that of their communities”.
In today’s Nigeria, women are made to face several responsibilities such as provision of shelter, foods, medical care, education and many more after the demise of their husbands. This sometimes results to their children dropping out of schools, high mortality rate among this class of Nigerians and in some cases resulting to a very bleak future.
The rural based program has encouraged participants to form a meeting group of 10 to 20 women, appoint their meeting group representatives, get a verification letter from the recognised Community Head and register their group at www.felixkingfoundation.com/weprogress.
And once the group is certified, the foundation will give a business rotational grant to themeeting group with the community Head acting as patron.
On how the grant will be disbursed, Ambassador King said, this project is a woman-help-woman scheme.
According to him “Beneficiaries are expected to contribute 40per cent of their initial capital grant received from the Foundation in a year to the purse of the meeting group for four new women, who initially did not make the meeting group and two women in 6 months.”
When queried on the contribution of the 20 percent by beneficiaries, Amb. King said “The 20per cent contribution from members will be extended to new members that will be nominated by the meeting group to benefit.”
For instance, he said, “If 10 people are in a meeting group and received ₦50,000 each, they are expected to contribute ₦10,000 each to the purse of the meeting group which will amount to ₦100,000 within 6 months period.
“This ₦100,000 will be given to 2 new members as nominated by the meeting group. And at the end of 12 months, a 10 membership group meeting will grow to 14 members,” he said.
Speaking on the endowment of the project, the President said the project is an initial $500,000 start-up study project; however we have committed $250,000 to this project for initial take off and hope to inject another $250,000 for expansion in the course of program.
To qualify for the program, one must be a disadvantaged widow or a very poor active rural woman in Nigeria with a single mother status, who will be identified by community heads and chiefs.
Today, Felix King Foundation has positioned it self at the fore front of advocating for the better living condition of widows across Nigeria and to end the maltreatment meted out to these women after the death of their husbands.
“Our disadvantaged widows today, do not need our pity nor our tears, what they need is support and help to enable them overcome the challenges widowhood has thrown at them and Weprogress will not only prosper our widows, but it will help prosper their communities”. He said.
In his words “Today, I am excited to announce that we are giving our disadvantaged widows yet another reason to smile with our widows economic progress initiative (WEPROGRESS)
“These women deserve to live with dignity and in prosperity. Because widowhood is not a crime and no woman deserves to suffer for the death of her husband, he stated.
Our disadvantaged widows need no pity nor are tears. All they need is support and help from us and no woman should be denied the opportunity to unlock her potentials”. He concluded.