Rev. Mrs Nyuieme Adiepena, immediate past National Women Programme Officer of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana has emphasized the need to empower widows through livelihood skills training to improve their standard of living.
She said widows went through lots of difficulties including trauma which affects their lives negatively, and make some of them to live in misery, especially if they had no resources to depend on.
Rev. Mrs Adiepena who was speaking at the launch of “ Dorcas widows project” at Awudome-Avenui, a farming community in Ho West District of the Volta region also called for respect of the dignity of widows.
The project, an initiative of Rev. Mrs Adiepena with support from All African Conference of Churches (AACC) aims to provide skills training for deprived widows in bread/ pastry, weanimix, liquid soap making in the community and its environs.
She said equipping widows, especially the disadvantaged with entrepreneurial skills was very necessary to help position them undertake income generating activities to earn decent living.
Mrs Adiepena said single mothers and unemployed youth would also benefit from the project to help transform their lives and become self-reliant to contribute to the development of the area.
She disclosed that the project started in October last year, and about 10 widows, some single mothers and youth had already received training in bread/ pastry, weanimix and liquid soap making and have begun producing the products to feed the local economy.
Rev. Mrs Adiepena said the rural communities were anxious to learn trade, looking at the zeal and enthusiasm, and interest the people showed when they were undergoing the training.
She appealed to government to channel some of the resources of One District, One Factory to support some of these community projects to bring positive change into the lives of the people.
She disclosed that the project is not meant to empower only widows in the E.P Church or Christian widows but all widows in the area including non-Chriatian widows, she said, urging all widows to take advantage of it.
She said the long distance women would have to travel to mill or roll the flour to produce the products, due to unavailability of those machines in the community was a challenge.
She said the journey was stressful and appealed to government, benevolent organisations, philanthropists, and cooperate bodies to support them with these equipment to ease the traveling burden on the women.
Rev. Mrs Adiepena urged the community to “nurture” the project, ensure its continuity and success to help alleviate the plight of the people.
Rev. Dr Mrs Vivian Balasu-Addo, Ho East Presbyterian Synod Moderator, who deputised for the Moderator of the General Assembly of the E. P Church, commended Rev. Mrs Adiepena and AACC for the initiative.
Taking good care of widows and orphans is a service that pleases God, she said, and expressed hope that the project would be replicated in other presbyteries and should also be used to propagate the gospel for the salvation of souls.
Togbe Adzesi Dzagah VI, Dufiagah of Awudome-Avenui, described the project as laudable, adding that it had come at the right time to address the many challenges confronting widows and other women in the community.
He appealed for support from government, benevolent organisations, philanthropists, cooperate institutions to sustain it and help reduce the sufferings of women in the area, saying “if you help a woman, you help a whole community.”
Faustina Addae, a widow of eight children told GNA it was difficult for her to provide the needs of her children as she was not getting enough money from her peasant farming.
She said the situation compelled her to give the children out to stay with people, unfortunately, some of the girls got pregnant and dropped out of school.
Madam Addae said the project “make me get money to take care of myself and the children who are with me” and appealed to government and benevolent organisations, philanthropists to support them with milling and rolling machines.