17,000 widows to benefit from clegyman, Ashimolowo’s empowerment programme
About 17,000 widows in Isokan, Ikire, Apomu, Ikoyi, Osogbo and Odeomu communities of Osun State will benefit from the annual widows’ empowerment event and donations of food, cloth, and cash on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
The initiative is a pet project of the founder of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), Matthew Ashimolowo, and his wife Yemisi, which is already in its 12th year. The initiative is designed to celebrate the widows who are often castigated, segregated and subjected to inhuman conditions in the society instead of recognizing their potentials and helping them move on with life after the death of their spouse.
Speaking with The Guardian in Lagos yesterday to announce his plans for the annual charity, Ashimolowo alongside the National Superintendent of KICC Nigeria, Femi Faseru, and the church administrator, Lara Odebumi, said the 12th empowerment programme will be significant this year because of the number of beneficiaries.
“The charity started as a very simple desire. I have been in England for almost 34 years but I began to come to Nigeria more often 15 years ago and I became very burdened to do something in the town of my father’s birth. We founded Kings University there, but I felt I needed to be able to touch individual lives so, God laid it on my heart to do something for widows and this is based on the scripture which says that we should not neglect widows and the fatherless.
“I started initially with about 308 widows who responded the first time we put a call out, and I saw how successful it was and was encouraged to continue. It continued to grow until last year, which we thought was a record breaker when we had 10,000 widows. I thought we might have 2,000 this year, only for us to be approached by various widows’ groups that came with 16,800 names.”