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Onitsha monarch calls for empowerment of widows, indigent people

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Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe has appealed to government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to adopt the training of widows and the indigent on skills acquisition and empowerment rather than sharing of money and gift items.

According to Igwe Achebe, skills acquisition would be a more enduring way to support them rather than merely giving out gifts.

Igwe Achebe made the call at Ime Obi Palace, Onitsha,when Lilyford Foundation stormed Onitsha with healthcare facilities and lots of gift items for widows, the elderly and the less privileged.

He urged government, NGOS and philanthropists to rather “teach a man how to fish rather than give him fish’.

The monarch also praised Lilyford Foundation for their generosity.

Founder of the foundation, Chief Mrs Uju Ifejika Ikpeze, OFR, in her speech,explained that the idea was conceived and started last year at Ogidi.

She said they decided to extend it to Onitsha and would reach more places in order to help the government  fill the gaps, where it could not reach.

She said that her foundation would give help to widows, indigent and displaced persons in holding centres in partnership with some pharmaceutical industries and foreign donor agencies,adding that they had helped no fewer than 5,000 people in Ogidi and Onitsha,last year.

She said they also had 50-man medical team on ground at the palace that attended to the sick and dispensed free drugs,as well as gave out free lens to those who needed them.

Mrs Ifejika said they would soon commence training of widows on different skills in partnership with `Mother of Benedetta School of Skills acquisition, Onitsha’.

A member of Liliyford foundation, Prof. Ogugua Ikpeze,of Faculty of Law, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,who also supported the idea of training widows,noted that giving out money was momentary but  training them on skills would go longer way to cater for their families and sustain them.

Rev. Cannon S.O.Okafor, Parish Priest of St. Paul Anglican Church, Ogidi, who accompanied them said that the foundation had brought encouragement and succour to the people of Ogidi and Onitsha.

He prayed God to sustain the foundation as they reach out to the society.

Sharing of gift items like rice, bags and clothing materials featured alongside the medical mission.

One of the beneficiaries of healthcare services, Mrs Ebele Ebo, expressed gratitude to Lilyford Foundation as she was happy for all the drugs given to her.

Another male beneficiary, Mr Eugene Okogba,from Delta State, was happy at the response and attention paid to him by the medical team.

He said their efforts were commendable and prayed God to bless and sustain their good works for the people.

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