Insurgency: 1,000 women get empowerment from Victim Support Fund
The Victim Support Fund (VSF) has empowered over 1,000 women, particularly those widowed by Boko Haram, through its Women Economic Empowerment Prorgramme (WEE).
Prof. Sunday Ocheche, Executive Director, VSF, made the fact known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
He said the programme, one of VSF’s core agenda, was aimed at improving the livelihood of women, particularly those who lost their husbands and breadwinners through insurgency.
Ocheche said the programme was meant to address the priority needs of affected women by training them in various skills with cash support to set up small businesses.
“The selected women were trained in a savings and loans programme after which they were shared into various groups according to their various vocations and given a grant of N20,000 to start their own business.
“We have recorded a lot of success stories and the women are excited for being financially independent and engaged in different activities.
“The various groups meet periodically to monitor the progress being made, encourage, advise and give psychological support to each other,’’ Ocheche said.
He said WEE was a pilot project of VSF which would scale up and spread to reach more women in different states.
The executive director said the fund had recorded a great milestone within the year in the insurgency affected states of the Northeast in the education support project and health system strengthening.
He listed the agriculture economic empowerment, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the northeast as part of its huge successes.
According to him, as part of its core programmes, VSF has embarked on the rebuilding and renovation of public structures and social amenities that were destroyed by Boko Haram.
He said the reconstruction would facilitate the re-establishment of local governance and restoration of basic social amenities which would help create an enabling environment for the return and recovery of returning IDPs.
He said VSF donated N250 million for the rebuilding of over 40 structures and facilities in Dikwa, Borno, to facilitate the return of IDPs.
He noted that N35 million was also donated to hospitals for the free treatment of victims of insurgency and assisting over 20,000 school children to gain access to educational materials.
Ochehe said recently, VSF pledged its commitment toward the rebuilding of Buni Yadi, Yobe, during the visit of the state deputy governor to the organisation.
He said that the visit was timely because making meaningful progress in the reconstruction of the northeast required partnership, collaboration, technical and capacity support.