The Samuel Amo Tobbin Foundation has celebrated the 2017 International Widows Day to alert the general public on the plight of widows and the need to give them the necessary attention and support.  The celebration was also to encourage young married couples to be self-reliant.

The celebration entailed a talk on the plight of widows and measures to curb them; living healthy lives as widows and aged, a feast, entertainment and awarding sessions.

The Foundation also partnered with health personnel from the Mallam Atta Government Clinic to screen the widows on health related conditions including HIV, blood pressure, sugar level, and malaria.

Mrs Millicent Akoto, Executive Director of the Foundation said it was estimated that there were over 245 million widows worldwide and nearly half of them and their children endured violence, poverty, homelessness, violence, and discrimination.

She said unfortunately, these human rights violations were often overlooked by authorities and many civil society organisations and therefore it was for the purpose of rectifying the situation that the united Nations instituted June 23 as an annual official day to raise awareness of the issue of widowhood throughout the world and to help address them.

“It is in light of this that the Foundation celebrated the day to raise awareness about the plight of widows such as suffering poverty and social injustice and also encouraged the widows to be able to cope and adjust their lives to suit the situations they found themselves in”, she said.

Mrs Akoto explained that the Foundation’s other ways of supporting the over 300 hundred widows that attended the programme was giving them monthly remittances from GH¢100.00 and GH¢1,500.00, paying the school fees of their wards and giving them soft loans to establish or enhance their businesses.

Mrs Mary Tobbin Osei, Board Chairperson of the Foundation urged the widows to re-organise themselves adding that widowhood was not by choice or a curse but a natural phenomenon ordained by God.

Speaking on the United Nations theme for the 2017 celebration, “Never Alone”, Mrs Tobbin Osei assured widows that they were not alone since the Foundation understood their plight and would continue to support them.

“We also want to alert young married women not to be totally dependent on your husbands but rather stand up and work because death is a natural occurrence which can occur in their families hence the need to be prepared for any eventuality”, she said.

Dr Akosua Agyeman, an Expert in Gerontology from the University of Ghana who orientated the widows on “living life as a widow”, a topic chosen by the Foundation to address the local concerns associated with the 2017 UN theme for the celebration urged the elderly among the widows to refrain from undertaking very difficult tasks and stressful conditions.

She advised them to eat well, undertake simple exercises that would enable proper blood circulation, and learn not to worry too much about less important issues.

The Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation that manages the corporate social responsibility interventions of all the Tobinco Group of Companies.

It supports vulnerable groups including; widows, orphans, the aged, persons living with disabilities, needy students, as well as persons with strange medical conditions and cannot bear the costs of their treatment.