In Nigeria, women are worst hit when their spouses die, as they are not usually as economically empowered as their male counterparts. Worried by the plights of widows in the country, Helpline Foundation began a program to empower widows and expand it to include the teeming unemployed youths. Under this economic Empowerment Program, which is in its sixth year, Helpline Foundation has been able to train widows in its annual 4day training workshops.
The organization has gone further to initiate a Micro Credit Scheme aimed at providing revolving loans to the target beneficiaries (widows and Unemployed Youth). So far, more than 300 widows/youth have benefited from the training program which is designed to expose them to diverse skills and educate them on Income Generating Activities (IGAs). The skill acquisition training focused mainly on Soap production, Cosmetics and Confectionaries.
While 25 of them, have been given micro credits interest free revolving loan of N50, 000. Beneficiaries are expected to pay back within three months. A review of this scheme has shown relative success as most beneficiaries have complied with the payback guidelines of the scheme.
A follow-up process of this scheme also revealed that the beneficiaries are generating more income and relatively experiencing some form of financial independence. This has impacted positively in their family lives