REAP AFRICA INITIATIVE AND HAUWA BUKAR FOUNDATION PRESENTS
(Economic Empowerment and livelihood for widows)
The phenomenon of widowhood is attributed to death of a husband which causes are varied. In contemporary societies like Nigeria, the first notable variety of death worth considering due to its profound and immediate impact on widowhood in terms of creating many widows at a given time is war or armed conflict. Since 1999, the Niger Delta crisis, electoral related violence and the Boko Haram menace have caused substantial deaths in Nigeria. There have also been unreported cases of violent conflicts between minority ethnic groups, farmers’/herders clashes, banditry and kidnappings that have resulted in many casualties. Without debate, majority of those who lost their lives in all these wars and crises and bombings are men many of whom were married. Those left behind include widows and children in a sizable proportion.
The plight of these widows is very pathetic. Many of them are uneducated while others lack the skills and capacity to be self reliant. Sufficient evidence suggests that widows are subjected to financial, psychological, sexual and social tortures rooted in cultural and traditional practices as well as the socialization processes that condition women to passitivity and dependence.
WHAT IS “PROJECT WIDOW’S REAP”?
Like the name implies, PROJECT WIDOW’S REAP is aimed at driving an economic empowerment and improved livelihood for widows living in poverty in Africa. It is a brain child of REAP AFRICA INITIATIVE aimed at empowering 1000 widows financially and economically annually. This will be achieved through a well structured blueprint designed to fund vulnerable widows with existing and startup small businesses such as trading, marketing of farm produce like vegetables, fish, meat, fruits, farm products etc, artisans with skills and other viable businesses. Participants will also be trained and mentored on small business management and entrepreneurial skills to give them a foundation for independence, increased household income generation and an improved standard of living.
Under this initiative, vulnerable widows with petty trade will be picked annually from different parts of the country in phases and empowered with training, skills and funds to improve their businesses.
PROJECT “WIDOWS REAP” EMPOWERMENT GROUPS
PROJECT Widows Mite will be broken into two special (2) groups.
GROUP A. PETTY TRADERS/MARKET WOMEN
This group of widows will be the pioneer group for the project widow’s mite. They will consist of much older widows who are already actively involved in petty trade and small businesses. Beneficiaries under this group will be made up of market women and petty traders of household commodities, consumables and farm produce selected from various markets in the focus state.
After the selection, they will be trained, empowered and grouped according to their market/associations and kind of business. Every cluster will be made up of 20 beneficiaries.
GROUP B. SKILLED/STARTUPS
This group will be made up of a younger category of widows with viable businesses or ideas and willing to learn new skills. In this category, more emphasis will be on skill acquisition and empowerment. Beneficiaries will be picked and trained on various skills such as fashion, hair dressing, make-up, liquid soap/sanitizer production, handbags/shoes production, catering and baking etc. After the 30-day intensive training, participants will be empowered with startup equipment, raw materials and small funds to encourage production.
RATIONALE BEHIND PROJECT WIDOW’S REAP.
Poverty is beyond income and includes wellbeing or good life in multidimensional sense that comprises both material and psychological components. Wellbeing therefore encompasses peace of mind, good health and safety, freedom of choice and action and being able to associate in a community. In a nut shell, wellbeing means a dependable livelihood and a steady source of income.
Nigerian widows like their counterpart elsewhere in especially Africa are a special social category that is scantly acknowledged in social policy but is potently vulnerable to psychological, socio- economic and health risks as a result of the widowhood practices prevalent in Nigeria. One of the major effects of widowhood is poverty. Many Nigerian widows are pauperized by widowhood practices. These practices drastically reduce the economic status of widows upon the death of a husband. With the lunch of PROJECT “WIDOWS MITE”, we will drive an economic empowerment and improved livelihood for widows in Africa.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PROJECT “WIDOWS REAP”.
- Disbursement of interest and collateral-free soft loans (N50,000 to N100,000) to improve their businesses.
- A well structured repayment plan spread over months which will encourage daily individual contributions that will serve as a means of savings for beneficiaries.
- A compulsory 2-day orientation class and time-to-time trainings/certification on small business management to improve their business capacity.
- Beneficiaries will be grouped into well coordinated clusters, associations and subsequently cooperatives.
- A well structured thrift/savings to help women save effectively while meeting their competing daily financial needs.
- A well structured networking platform that links farmers and traders to consumers and markets so they can expand their business, increase revenue and access efficiencies.
- Financial products that will enable widows to manage business purchases and savings.
- Data of registered participants to be collated and used to form cooperatives for source for funding opportunities such as grants, loans with single digit interest rates, inputs, seeds and Government patronage.
- All participants will also be drafted into a well-organized database for follow-up, mentoring and monitoring.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF PROJECT “WIDOW’S REAP”.
- To create a platform for financial and economic empowerment of widows.
- To improve the well being and livelihood of widows in the country.
- To create a solid foundation for the independence of vulnerable widows.
- To give widows a sense of belonging in the society they live in by empowering them.
- To reduce the plight of vulnerable widows in the society.
- To create jobs and wealth for widows and their household.
- To foster economic development, industrialization and foreign exchange in Nigeria.
- To boost household food security and income generation for beneficiaries.
- To drastically reduce poverty, vices and unemployment for beneficiary household.
- To encourage entrepreneurship and build sustainable skills amongst widows and their household.
PROJECT IMPACT/EXPECTED RESULTS
- A source of job creation for widows and their household.
- A drastic reduction in the poverty level of beneficiary household.
- An increased confidence in the soceity.
- Improved welfare for widows and their household.
- An opportunity to build skills and self employment amongst widow household.
- A catalyst for mindset reorientation and entrepreneurial thinking amongst soldiers and their household.
Project “WIDOWS MITE” will be lunched in Maiduguri, Borno State on the 12th of June, 2021 (Democracy Day) with targeted widows from different markets in the State as pioneer beneficiaries. This project will
BUDGET FOR PROJECT “ WIDOW’S REAP”
There is no doubt that project “WIDOWS REAP” will impact positively on the image of the Nigerian State and will also serve as a morale booster to serving and past military personnel. It will also compliment the efforts of the Nigerian Army in the fight against insurgency in various parts of the country. This project will inevitably bring a fresh breath for the new administration of the COAS and foster economic development amongst spouses and children of soldiers in Nigeria. It will project also create direct and indirect jobs, promote household food security and income generation and create a robust economy.
It is against this backdrop that we seek your partnership as a sponsor for project “HEROS LIVE FOREVER”. We believe your input will be key to the success of this project.
Reap Africa Initiative ZENITH BANK 1017280009