Humanitarian Affairs ministry inaugurates group to cater for widows, orphans

The ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has inaugurated a national technical working group for widows and orphans/orphanages (NTWGWON) needs in Nigeria.

Speaking Tuesday in Abuja, during the inauguration of the group, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, who was represented by the Director of Human Resources Management department, Mr Tokunbo Rufai, said there is need for urgent social interventions for the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of widows, their children and orphans/ orphanages in Nigeria to guard against their being abused.

He said: “The group is today established to help us put in place the needed machineries and structures that will adequately function for social development and humanitarian national response to alleviate the plights of widows and their children, as well as addressing enormous gaps in inclusion and protection of orphans and orphanages in Nigeria.

“It is my earnest expectations that the NTWGWON team will leave no stone unturned in the areas of developing a road map that will engineer necessary actions and activities that will answer the questions of where are we? why are we here? how do we move forward and better? And where do we want to be from here? for the inclusion and protection of widows and orphans in Nigeria.

“At this juncture, it is important to emphasize that we should all be aware of the importance of this assignment. The problems faced by widows and their children and orphans in our society is alarming. ranging from inhuman cultural practices of widowhood, stigmatizations, denial of right of inheritance and poverty, as well as sexual abuse of orphans in their orphanage homes, neglect and streetism of orphans in Nigeria, these calls for prioritized and urgent social interventions for rescue, rehabilitations and reintegration of these widows and their children ando rphans/ orphanages in Nigeria.

“We have brought you all on board to bring your wealth of experience, expertize and empathy to this assignment and within the shortest time, we expect that you will come up with a workable template that will guide the Ministry in providing the social support and protections they need toh elp improve their wellbeing and their overall development. 

“Members of this NTWGWON were carefully selected and I have no doubt that you will carry out the task at hand efficiently. I trust that at the end of this inauguration, the team will immediately proceed to the technical session with the most needed energy and synergy to deliver timely results that will change the lives of widows and their children as well as orphans/orphanages in Nigeria. On this note, I therefore officially inaugurate the National Technical Working Group for Widows and Orphans in Nigeria.”

Also speaking, the Director of Social Development of the Ministry, Mr Taiwo Ademola Bashorun, said the continuous abuses of orphans and orphanage centers as well as the denial of widows rights may not be peculiar to Nigeria alone, but has become a global concern, hence “there is a need for NTWGWO members to brainstorm and come up with the most needed structures, work-plans, roadmap and implementable strategic plans that will direct government focus on its national response on widows and orphans in Nigeria.”