SUSTAINABLE SUPPORT FOR NIGERIAN WIDOWS
Organized by: Franziska Anyiam
Widows and their children are one of the most vulnerable groups in Nigeria. Many women lose their husbands to HIV, which is highly prevalent, or in road accidents. The time after their husbands' death is a time of humilitation. There are different rites women have to go through, including shaving their heads, not being allowed to wash themselves for months, eating from dirty plates, being exposed naked, forced routine crying, sleeping with their brother in-law or a stranger, or even drinking the water that was used to wash their husbands' corpse. Eventually, the widows are left with nothing but their children because the paternal relatives take all their properties. To women in that situation, the most profitable source of income is prostitution, and introducing their young daughters into this business is done commonly. Almost all children have to help generate an income because the families struggle to make a living. Children that work cannot go to school but education would be the key to escape poverty. We founded the BUKATA RELIEF FOUNDATION in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria in 2014 with the aim to help concerned women in two ways. We help them acquire skills they can use to make money and/or give them a starting capital to put plans into practice. Besides this, we support them in paying school fees and medical bills for their children. As soon as a family is financially stable, they are released from the program and can support themselves. Even though this support is sustainable for the concerned families, we want to go one step further by making our NGO self-finanicing in the long run. We are raising money to buy land and build schools, which will be open to everybody. Children of financially stable families pay normal school fees, which can be invested into the NGO. Children of widows included in our program, can attend the schools for free. Join us and help us raise money to buy land and build a School. We can make a change in the lives of widows and their children in Nigeria.