The Nigeria Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) , 81 Division, on Monday donated food items to some of the widows and families of military personnel that had died while defending their fatherland in the past.
The NAOWA members said that it was done as part of activities to mark the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
The event is usually held on Jan. 15 annually.
The Chairperson of NAOWA, 81 Division, Mrs Oluyemi Irefin, presented the food items to the widows and families of the fallen heroes in Lagos.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the event took place at the 9Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment.
Some of the items distributed include: cartons of noodles, groundnut oil, tin tomatoes, rice, garri, beans, detergents, semolina, salt, maggi, and toilet rolls.
She urged them to be resilient, brave and engage in positive ventures that would create better living for them after the demise of their bread winners.
Irefin also advised the widows to strive hard to educate their children and wards.
She added that that would make them to be able to take care of their families and contribute positively to national development.
“You must strive to send your children to school, or enroll them in skill acquisition programmes as education is a sure key to success.
“It is the only investment you can give to your children and they will value when you are not there with them again.
“So, without white collar jobs, they will have some things to fall back to and move on in life.
“Remember, when the children are well educated, the chance of child abuse and teenage pregnancy will be reduced,’’ she said.
Some of the items donated to the widows
Irefin pleaded with the widows to accept the token, saying that the association was planning to come up with programmes that would benefit them more in future.
“This association wants to use the opportunity provided by the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration 2020 to entreat our sisters to please accept the token which we will present to you.
“And use them judiciously, as we hope to come up with programmes of mutual benefits, “Irefin said.
She applauded the widows for continuing to cater for their families after the demise of their husbands.
“Once upon a time, many of the widows we see today were living the lives that most of us have now; they were living happily with their spouses and children.
“They were not bothered then about the finances of their homes as their husbands were there to provide the needs of their families.
“In a jiffy, everything changed and they were left alone traumatised.
“Let us remember that these widows are often women in the prime; young women who are left as sole carriers for their children and also responsible for shelter, food, education and other well being,” she said.
Irefin said that the society needed to empower widows to ensure that they live a dignified life.
The chairperson said, “What we need in our society is to empower our widows, to ensure that they can live in dignity and become productive members of the society.
“We also have an obligation to be responsible for the social issues which prevail in our country and this includes the plights of the vulnerable members of our society.
“These women are our extended family members and neighbours and if we do this together, we will make a stronger and responsive community.”
She said that the association saw it necessary to reflect on the significant sacrifice that some officers and soldiers had made to contribute to the prosperity and unity of the country.
Irefin pleaded with the government to pay attention to the challenges and miseries being faced by widows and orphans.
Some of the widows, who spoke to NAN, said that they were grateful for the kind gestures.
The event was attended by some senior military officers, the executive and the members of NAOWA, 81 Division, Magajiyas and members of the Nigeria Army Soldiers’ Wives Association (NASWA).
Edited by: Olawunmi Ashafa/Peter Dada