Written by Austine ELEMUE

Helpline fetes 250 vulnerable women in Abuja

Ahead of the Christmas celebrations, no fewer than 250 vulnerable women and children in Abuja have benefited from the end of year fiesta by Helpline Foundation for the Needy, a non- governmental organisation in the Federal Capital Territory. 

The event tagged: "Putting smiles on the faces of the needy" was aimed at bringing succour to women in the festive period. 

Organiser of the programme and president of the foundation, Mrs. Jummai Ahmadu, told journalists shortly after the programme that besides the annual distribution of gift items to these vulnerable groups, the foundation has embarked on skills acquisition programmes for the women as its part of empowerment scheme. 

She equally revealed that the foundation is in partnership with African Health Project to assist vulnerable women to meet up with their health challenges. 

According to her, "Instead of the annual ritual of distributing clothing and food items to these women, we thought it wise to come up with new programmes this year. If you take a look, you will see women engaged in skills acquisition programme of bead making. We are already in partnership with the Abuja Enterprise Agency to access loan to empower them after the skills programme. 

"In addition to skills acquisition, we also introduced free medical test this year. The reason for this is that most of the women here don't have the resources to check their health status. Our partner, African Health Project, is conducting free tests." 

She revealed that the foundation has perfected plans to carry out empowerment programme in subsequent reach-out programmes, pointing out that a consultant is working out the modalities and to ascertain the areas of need among the vulnerable women. 

Ahmadu, however, called on the women to use the knowledge acquired from the training to open up small scale businesses so that other women will benefit from the programme. 

Earlier in her remarks, mother of the day and president of Market Women Association, Mrs. Felicia Sani, tasked the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the skills programme, noting that most successful business enterprise started in a small scale. 

She called on government at all tiers to partner genuine organisations aimed at alleviating the suffering of the less privileged in society. 

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Aisha Sule, told our correspondent that the event will go a long way to encourage vulnerable women to be self-sustaining. 

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