How Princess Modupe Ogunbayo Foundation empowered widows, the less-privileged

By Valentine Amanze

Saturday, April 27, 2019, will ever be remembered by widows and the less-privileged in Lagos, who gathered at the SS Joachim & Anne Catholic Church, Ijegun-Ikotun, Lagos for the Princess Modupe Ogunbayo Foundation’s fifth year anniversary.
The celebration was very unique. The poor women and children, who converged had enough to eat and drink. They were also empowered by by the philantropist, whose love for the less-privileged has no bounds.
For the founder of the non-governmental organization, Princess Modupe Ogunbayo, it was a mission accomplished by bringing joy to the saddened Nigerian women irrespective of ethnic background.
Not very rich, Ogunbayo believes in reaching out to the needy via empowerment unlike many wealthy individuals in the society.
While marking the anniversary of the foundation, she empowered a large number of indigent women with sewing machines, grinding machines, popcorn machines, foodstuffs as well as cash among others.
Many also benefitted from different skill acquisitions with promises of establishing them at the end of the exercise.
She also called on government and well-meaning Nigerians to assist underprivileged persons in the country.
She disclosed that the foundation has been in existence since 1982 but was officially launched in 2014, with the mission to support and empower widows, orphans and the less-privileged to live a better life in the society.
Her words: “We help them establish small business through soft loans (no interest) to sustain themselves meaningfully, restoring their dignity and giving them a sense of belonging.
“I plead with our government at all levels to genuinely integrate the less-privileged among us, widows, orphans and other categories of our deprived citizens in their development agenda and give them care.
“I know that no society or nation has it all, but the ability for also the rich to assist others, especially the underprivileged, speaks volume for the society. I am of the opinion that one of the ways the Nigerian society will move forward is for the rich to help the poor”.
The retired nurse, who said that she had witnessed with sadness the miserable challenges of the widows, disclosed further that over the years her NGO had been giving educational scholarship to children of the widow, orphans and the less privileged, providing them foods and other relief materials including free medical and legal services.
She said: "In developed countries of the world the government maps out social policies aimed at providing and caring for the less-privileged in the society which is automatically your right as a citizen of that country. I want to let you know that the social injustice in our system has drastically affected these groups of people beyond what you can imagine.
“We can all join hands to make this world a better place if we desire to do so. So I call on all privileged members of the society that by assisting and donating for the widows, the orphans and the less-privileged welfare, by empowering them financially to set up their small businesses and sustain them, and through award of academic scholarship to such children improve their quality as well as add meaning to their lives”.
At the end,, the women, in their 100s, sang praises for the founder of the NGO for empowering them and bringing them together fortnightly.

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