- The DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre has expressed its commitment to supporting widows of Nigerian fallen heroes
- The centre which offers capacity development programmes, graduated 63 new beneficiaries on Thursday, February 10
- Over the years, DEPOWA has helped many widows to become self-reliant thereby reducing the rate of unemployment in Nigeria
FCT, Abuja - A total of sixty-three (63) Nigerians including youths and widows of fallen heroes Thursday, February 10 graduated from the skill acquisition centre of the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) in Abuja.
The beneficiaries who are the 11th batch of the DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre (DSAC) were trained in catering and hotel management, fashion designing, computer studies, production of cosmetics and detergent, make-up and gele tying and hairdressing.
The president of DEPOWA, Barrister Mrs Vickie Anuli Irabor, said that DEPOWA would continue to be a vessel that supports and uplifts the good work of their husbands in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
She said the nation had faced major challenges of insecurity and terrorism in the last decade where soldiers and officers have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend the land, adding that DEPOWA is committed to supporting the families they left behind.
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“We have lost gallant men, fathers, brothers who in the course of duty, have left families behind all over our barracks.
“DEPOWA has taken it up as a challenge to address the elephant in our community, by upgrading DSAC to empower widows with different skills and training, thereby giving them a trade to carry on the good work left behind by their breadwinners.
“Today we are graduating a diverse group of women who have experienced real pain and have come out stronger.
“The life of a loved one cut short in honourable service to the nation can never be erased from memory.
“These are women that have risen to the duty of training their children, fending for households and supporting extended families.
“They have jumped through hoops, bent backwards and gone the extra mile to be here and at this time, truly it has not been easy getting to this point.”
Mrs Irabor said the training was expected to be a source of financial liberation and opportunity for the widows to also contribute their quotas to the society with dignity of labour, while urging the beneficiaries to take advantage of their skills and begin to build, save and invest.
“Those who will excel are the ones that are ready to work hard, save money and re-invest in their businesses. You have been trained not only in skill but how to manage a business, do not let it go to waste.
“We have also given you the advantage by providing starter kits, one year rent and stipends all through the duration of your training. So you must work hard for that advantage to yield profit. I urge you to always look for positive opportunities to promote, market and build your business.”
On his part, the Guest of Honour at the event and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya pledged continuous support for DEPOWA.
He commended the efforts of the association in supporting the widows and orphans of the fallen personnel, adding that the effort was in line with the resolve of the Nigerian Army to prioritise personnel’s welfare.
He also announced a donation of N100,000 for each of the beneficiaries in addition to the starter packs and cash from DEPOWA.
Also speaking, the Mother of the Day and former Nigerian First Lady, Mrs Maryam Abacha, commended DEPOWA’s leadership for sustaining its objectives by supporting and empowering the needy within the military community.
Mrs Abacha urged the spouses of the military personnel to continue supporting one another by alleviating the suffering of the less-privileged among them.
A graduation lecture was also delivered by the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, who was represented by the agency's Deputy Director (Policy, Advocacy and Coordination), Ms Chibuzor Osuoha.
How DEPOWA donated truckload of items to a foundation in Kuje
In 2020, DEPOWA visited the Vine Heritage Home Foundation in the Kuje area of Abuja donating a lot of items.
The association donated a truckload of relief materials to the foundation in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
DEPOWA has remained consistent in its campaign and mission to assist the most vulnerable in society.