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Friday, 30 November 2012 00:00
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Women should be empowered for families to stand –– NGO

Mrs Osigwe Stella Chidinma is the founder of Destined Women and Child Foundation (DWCF), which was founded to promote, empower and explore the hidden potentials in an indigent woman, youth and child in their location. Recently, the Foundation trained over 150 women on fish and poultry farming in Abuja with the representative of the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT) present. In an interview with JOHNCHUKS ONUANYIM, the founder of the Foundation explains the essence of the training the expectations of DWCF.

When was this Foundation founded?
It was founded in 2010 and was registered with Corporate Affairs Commission in 2011

What exactly are you trying to achieve with this Foundation?
Our desire is to promote, empower and advocate for the well being of the indigent ones around us - especially the women, youths and the children.

This Foundation has trained women in fish and poultry farming in the last two days. What has been your experience on the training?
My experience cannot really be expressed because I am overwhelmed with joy, with their turnout. They embraced the invitation with all their hearts because it is something they had been looking forward to. Most of them had approached me on their own that they would want to know this or the other thing and I told them that a day will come that we would organize a programme to make them have what they wanted and as they came in contact with the invitation, they were happy and attended the training.

For the Foundation to train 150 women in fish and poultry farming, it must have cost some money. How much would put the cost?
This training has cost us close to N1.5 million.

 Then where did you get the funds from – government, International donor, or others?
So far so good we have not had any source of donation to our programmes but we are believing God that such will come. Destined Women and Child Foundation believe in starting somewhere.

Helping the people - as the Bible says iron sharpens iron - and it has been on our selfless sacrifice that we have come this far to organize the programme for the women because we believe that when a woman is being empowered with knowledge then the rest of the family is also empowered.

We are into child welfare and education and we also have homes built for the indigent youths around us. But this particular training is centered on women. We thank God for the vision of our President to encourage women to be up and doing. We are using this medium to tell women to expand their knowledge and not only depend on one way traffic that they have been used to.

When a woman has the idea of raising food for the family it takes care of the child wellbeing that we are talking about. We believe that Women should not wait for their husbands before food can actually be provided. The woman can use the little money she has to start something and that is what the training is all about.

What are your expectations from these women after this training?
My expectation is that they should start up their own farm business. I have told them about You WIN government programme and to key into President Goodluck Jonathan vision over empowering women in entrepreneurship.

For them to start up something that is where we have a little challenge now but we are believing God that we will get in contact with various donors and agencies that we have registered with. We have registered with Ministries of Women Affairs, Agriculture, Youths, etc.

We have also invited them to come and see what we are doing here because sometimes government get discourage when what they hear and see in the newspapers and radios are not on ground. But we don’t have to wait until government or donors come and that is why we have chosen to empower them with this training. When they have acquired this training and come in contact with opportunities they would explore them.

You set up the farm in 2010? Can you give an estimation of what it cost you to set up this farm?
This farm, which consist of the fish ponds, the poultry pens, etc cost us about N10.8 million.

Would they need such amount of money to set up their own farms?
No. It cost us that much because we wanted to accommodate training and employ people as we are transacting the business. If we had decided to do it in a smaller form, it wouldn’t have provided the opportunity of training people. But with N20,000 or less they can start up a backyard farming. It doesn’t require large land. It is for poultry farming that they need a little more money and space.

What is your staff strengthen in the farm?
For now we have eight staff for the farm and  four voluntaries that run errands for the NGO.

How do you think government or donors can come in here?
Well we really need government support because from beginning we believed that no matter where people are allocated that they deserve the right to live and live well and that was why we started this. If you take a critical look at that farm its dilapidated; it needs rehabilitation and to be expanded because there are cooperatives under us – groups of women in various fields of farming that are being coordinated by our NGO.

So we hope that when government comes in and look into this that there would be more hope and her vision towards agriculture would be actualized. We also want to appreciate the Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide who sent her representative at the opening of this training.

Also we appreciate the Ministry of Agriculture for sending representation at this training and others who sent their representatives to witness the training and see the farm. We wrote them because we believe in people seeing what we are doing. 

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