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World Widow's Day: Zakat Foundation empowers widows

By Olawale Adewale, The Nigerian Voice, Osogbo 

The Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, a faith-based charitable organisation has empowered selected widows with over N300,000 to mark the World Widows Day

About 30 widows, who were mainly petty traders were selected across Osun State for empowerment purpose.

Addressing the widows on Saturday in Osogbo, the state capital, the Osun Coordinator of the Foundation, Mr Iyiola Mikail-Oyedeji said the widows were chosen for living below poverty lines and that an amount of N10,000 each could lift them from poverty level, if properly managed.

"We know most of you are petty traders. We equally know that a token of N10,000 given, not as a loan, but as charity could perform wonders in your business and lift many of you out of poverty.

"We do not expect you to pay back the money. It is not a loan, it is pure charity, but the money should be invested well in your personal businesses. It should not be used to purchase clothes or personal articles. It is our wish in Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation that, if well managed, it can lift many of you out of poverty," he said.

The Female Coordinator, Mrs Monsurat Adewole said it was in realisation of the fact that widows are vulnerable that made the foundation to focus on their needs as a religious duty, encouraged by Islam.

She urged them to manage the resources well, so they could also move from the position of beneficiaries to benefactors.

"If you manage the resources very well, by this time next year, or before then, even if you could not pay Zakat, at least, you too would be able to give out Sadaqat (charity) to individuals or the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation itself. What is being given today are contributions from some people. You don't have to be very rich to give charity. A N100, N200 or N500 monthly to the ZSF as pay back will not be out of place.

"As women, we know you are good managers. We have witnessed this before when a woman - a sachet water seller came back the following year to come to show gratitude by also paying to the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation. She had managed the token so well that she was able to lift herself to become a benefactor," Adewole said

The Administrative Officer, Mallam Moshood Olaoye said the programme which was held simultaneously in many states across the country was to alleviate poverty and complement government’s poverty alleviation programmes.

He explained that Widows Support programme climaxed the events to mark the World Window's Day and called on the rich to support the ZSF to meaningfully touch more lives.

The beneficiaries from Osogbo, Ede, Ikirun, Ilesa, Ile-Ife and other areas, who relayed how many of them grown under the burden of loans and interests from cooperative societies and micro finance banks expressed profound appreciation to the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation for the kind gesture, urging them to sustain the good work.

"The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it".
By: A.C. Acquah