A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Rock of Ages Empowerment Foundation has joined the whole world in celebration of International Widows Day. International Widows Day is a United Nations ratified day of action to address the “poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries”. The day takes place annually on 23 June.
International Widows Day was established by The Loomba Foundation to raise awareness of the issue of widowhood. The significance of 23 June is that it was on that day in 1954 that Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba – mother of the Foundation’s founder, Lord Loomba – herself became a widow. One of the Foundation’s key goals is to highlight what it describes as an invisible calamity.
Rock of Ages was established in the year 2010 by Evang. I. G. Newman Ezeigbo in Maiduguri, Bornu State of Nigeria. He said he was forced to form the foundation in fulfillment of a promise he made to God in the 1990s at a crusade ground in Maiduguri. According to him, the presiding Pastor at the event, Late Hayford Anayo Iloputaife told everybody that came out for alter call to put all money on them as offering and watch out for God’s abundant blessings. He said he reluctantly dropped the sales money (about eight thousand naira only) that he intended to stock his shop on Monday and to settle a widow that came for assistance from him. “I cried to God to provide for me so that I would not disappoint the widow”, he said. Behold! He said somebody he never expected would help him gave him the sum of three hundred thousand naira (300,000.00) to support his business a few days after. Another person gave him nine hundred and thirty thousand naira (930,000.00) worth of goods on credit. The rest is now history pertaining his humble beginning.
On the challenges he has been having in sustaining the foundation, he said the foundation is solely funded by him through the sales of his five books (because he is an author) and from his evangelical services.
Many widows that registered with the foundation came with what they produced from the handicraft they learnt from the foundation and they were bought up by the foundation and used as souvenir to guests at the occasion. Some of the items produced include liquid detergent etc.
The high point of the event was the cutting of celebration cake by leaders of the widows at different locations. After which every widow registered under the foundation was given a loaf of bread and a medium bag of rice.
Evang. Newman said that the foundation did not want the widows to use the money they were given to solve family problems, as the training of their children in schools have been taken over by the foundation. He said the foundation is planning to have presence in every state of the nation.