Our founder, Sola Mathew, was invited to speak at Heart of Widows International, an NGO with a presence in 8 countries including the USA, Germany, Kenya, and Rwanda.
The event is a commemoration of the United Nations International Widows Day.
Here is what Sola Mathew spoke about:
I was privileged to speak today at Heart of Widows International, an NGO with a presence in 8 countries including the USA, Germany, Kenya, and Rwanda.
The event is a commemoration of the United Nations International Widows Day (IWD) which took place in Akure, Ondo state, Nigeria.
The theme of this year’s IWD is “Invisible Women, Invisible Problems”
I shared the stage with traditional and government officials. I was the youngest speaker on the high table.
Again, I had the privilege to share my story with the widows and the audience at large.
After standing on the existing protocols, I told the widows that I understand what it means to be a widow.
When I told them I understand what it means to be a widow, they all gave me a funny look — it sounded weird to them, I guess.
Well, it’s true.
In 1996, my mum became a widow.
Thank God she was a tailor and a trader. Those were the things she used to cater for our daily needs.
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But that was not enough…
After his death, one of the things that happen to most widows happened to her — her husband’s family neglected her.
Since all her children weren’t able to support her financially and psychologically, she decided to marry in 2003, 7 years after.
On the 10th of January, 2004, she gave up the ghost.
According to statistics, Nigeria has over 3.5million widows…
…but widows aren’t really supported. They’re more like an invisible set of women which in return is an invisible problem.
Our culture is another problem. Most widows in Nigeria lose what they have after the death of their husbands.
Thank God that my mum was a tailor and trader, I couldn’t imagine how terrible it would’ve been after her husband’s death.
That is why we must support NGOs like Heart for Widows International that work to make widows self-sufficient and self-reliant.
Finally, please reflect on this:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 (NIV)
God bless you.
Founder, Christiana Titilayo Foundation (CTF)
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