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Foundation urges widows to acquire skills, remarry

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Foundation urges widows to acquire skills, remarry

Serendipity House Widows Foundation, an NGO, has advised widows to acquire skills that could help them to take care of their needs and that of their children.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Mrs Ayo Jaiyeola, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

She recommended starting up small businesses, including the sales of sachet water, bread and soaps, that would bring in daily income.

“Do little things. Start frying puff-puff in front of your house. Start selling soap; if people don’t wash clothes, they’ll take bathes,” she said.

Jaiyeola added that widows should not be begging on the streets, going from one church or mosque to another for help.

Jaiyeola further urged Nigerians, including individuals, institutions, corporate organisations and governments to support widows.

She also urged widows who wished to remarry, to do so, in order to avoid loneliness and enjoy companionship.

According to Jaiyeola, widows are humans who need companionship like other married women and should not be made to feel they are committing a taboo for wanting to remarry, adding that God was not against it.

“If a woman loses her husband at the age of 30 and God gives her 90 years, so she’s supposed to live alone for 60 years? I don’t believe in that,” she said.

Jaiyeola decried societal norms that imposed standards for widows, different from that of widowers.

“A man who loses his wife can get married three months after but a widow who wants to do that a year after will be the topic on social media,” she said.

She further decried children, friends and relations who discouraged and mocked women for remarrying or in-laws who punished them for doing so.

She said most times, children, family and acquaintances of widows moved on with their lives, leaving the widows lonely.

Jaiyeola, who started the foundation 27 years ago with her late husband, said she had dreams where he would tell her to remarry.

“Maybe it’s what I’m thinking but many times, he’s told me, ‘My dear go and remarry. Go and remarry.’ When I wake up, I ask myself where I’ll find a husband.

“My children tell me every time to remarry. They say, ‘We don’t have time, we are going on our ways. You shouldn’t be alone.

 

“Good children look for companions for their parents. Bad children scold their parents for going into relationships.” 

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