With Helo Mama, Foundation empowers indigent Edo women
In another round of empowerment targeted at improving the daily life of indigent rural women and widows, Felix King Foundation has announced ‘Helo mama’ initiative that comes with mobile phones for widows and phone charging stations for women in rural communities.
The programme, a two-legged scheme, is designed to provide mobile phones for impoverished rural widows and phone charging stations powered by 2.5kva solar systems across these communities.
The initiative is scheduled to kick off in early June 2023 and it would be activated gradually across some communities in Edo State, particularly Esanland.
Founder and President of the Foundation, Dr. Felix King stated that the initiative was a support scheme that would help impoverished rural women and widows gain access to mobile telephony as well as ensure that they are able to stay connected by charging their mobile phones without stress.
According to him, the importance of mobile communication cannot be overemphasised, particularly in rural communities because it could assist farmers and small business owners increase productivity, access to customers, producing better quality products, and facilitating seamless passage of information from rural to urban.
“Mobile communication has gone beyond luxury or entertainment. It is crucial for surviving and succeeding in today’s world. Rural communities often lack adequate communication technology, which creates a digital divide and puts the lives and businesses there at a disadvantage,”King stated.
The Foundation, through ‘Helo mama’ initiative, would install phone-charging stations to help these rural women and others charge their mobile phones without worrying about lack of electricity to do so.
He said: “We are projecting to cover over 20 communities before the end of the year. This would go a long way in solving communication challenges associated with rural areas in Esanland. This is our little effort to make these needy women improve on endeavours as well as keeping them talking.”
In some of these communities, King revealed that these women travelled over 3 kilometers to some locations to charge their mobile phones and even get to pay for it. Some of these women pay at least N200 daily to be able to charge their mobile phones because of unavailability of public electricity and share distance to where public power is available.
“Apart from eradicating some of the challenges associated with dearth of available amenities for easy communication in the rural areas, this initiative can also be used as revenue generation tools for rural women. They could start a Point of Sales business with it.”
“With this new development, the average life of rural dwellers in Esan land has changed forever. The era of financial transaction deception to these women has ended because they will see life in real time situations. Their businesses would improve and that would impact on their daily activities,” one of the residents of the communities stated.
In 2016, King floated the Foundation to help women have a better life, to help women succeed as entrepreneurs, ensure they participate in the economic activities of their communities and ameliorate poverty while their dignity is preserved.
Since its inception, the Foundation has engaged in several programmes all geared towards ameliorating the severe hard economic realities facing these women in the rural communities across the nation.
It has inaugurated programmes such as Better Life For Rural African Widows, Widows’ Market Moni, help project, advocacy project, rural women cooperative schemes, and scholarship scheme for widows’ children.
With the Better Life For Rural African Widows programme, the Foundation has provided succour to rural widows by giving them farming implements to aid their subsistence farming.
Under the advocacy project, King has led a campaign on the abolition of widows’ maltreatment in Africa. The campaign also saw the foundation meeting the Edo State House of Assembly to propose a bill that would end the archaic tradition and culture.
Market Moni, a novel initiative, has empowered thousands of indigent rural women and the outcome is monumental. Till date, these women are in business providing and supporting their ward’s education through this initiative.
On the works of the Foundation, King said: “Across communities where we operate, we are driven by the commitment we owe to God despite the huge challenges. We are creating economic opportunity by providing business seed funding and training for female entrepreneurs in Africa – through The Startups Africa initiative; helping widows and rural women with trade grant and skill acquisition through The Market Moni initiative; providing educational enhancement scholarships for children of widows; increasing opportunities for Widows in Farming programme (WIFARM); providing medical support for children or championing the campaign in communities on the importance of respecting the dignity of women and their children due to cultural biases to enhance community growth.
“ We get our satisfaction by the successes we achieve through these efforts, making the world better for women and children.”