Running over 60 years of charity and empowerment for women and children in Nigeria. The International Women’s society will be hosting the SOUP KITCHEN, a community feeding and health check programme for women and children on September the 14th, 2019 at her International Women’s Skill Acquisition Centre in Lekki. The Soup kitchen event an initiative of its social services department headed by Mrs Nike Bakare is supported by Unilever, will have proper health evaluation, lunch, raw food items as well as clothing and toiletries for underprivileged women and children in the community.
The International Women’s Society, a non-governmental organisation was strategically set up in 1957 by Ambassador Aduke Alakija, Dr Abimbola Silva, Sir Adetokunbo Ademola and Lady Oyinkan Abayomi, a renowned women empowerment crusader to assist disenfranchised women and children with formal basic education and economic empowerment. The coming together of expatriate women to give back to their society and protect the rights of women which started out 62 years ago has grown exponentially from a small group of women meeting together to an internationally recognised organisation.
According to her current President Mrs Nkoli Ogbolu, the organisation has grown from a tea party to a gathering of women doing the serious business researching new ways of impacting the society on a large scale.
“The reality is that government cannot do everything, IWS is out to find ways to influence policies that affect the lives of women and children directly . Statistics show 10.5 million children are out of school and 30 million women are widows in Nigeria, not looking at internally displaced people (IDPs), that’s 40.5 million disenfranchised people recorded. Clearly we have a problem in our hands”
The 62nd President of the IWS, Nkoli Ogbolu highlighted a six pronged impact strategy that has kept the Women’s organisation in the front row of empowerment in the country for over six decades. First on the list is the Day Nursery School education programme which has been running for 56 years. The education programme is to assist deliver basic education to children of market women. The school is located in the Yaba axis and is mostly utilised by women trading in the Tejuosho and Yaba markets according to statistics. The IWS also runs the Lagos University Teaching Hospital – LUTH -Trolley Library Services for admitted patients. The service entails delivering books to different kinds of literature to various wards in the hospital every Wednesday since 1968.
Furthermore, the International Women’s Organisation runs a Vocational Skills Acquisition Centre to enjoin the indigent take up skills that would help get off the streets for good. The Skills Centre established in 1998 has a curriculum that covers to Adult literacy, Catering and events management , Sewing and Fashion design, Computer Literacy, hair dressing and salon services and Hospitality studies. The Centre is located in Lekki, Lagos. The other 3 charities run by IWS include the Widows Trust Fund – a strictly widows empowerment programme, Social services which includes an orphanage sited in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and a Scholarship programme which is in its 19th year established in year 2000.
- Day Nursery School Education for children of Market women in Yaba established in 1963.
- Lagos University Teaching Hospitals Library and Trolley established in 1968 which runs library services for admitted patients every Wednesday since 1968.
- Vocational Skills Acquisition Centre established in 1998. The Skills Centre covers areas such as Adult literacy, Catering and events management, Sewing and Fashion design, Computer Literacy, hair dressing and salon services and finally Hospitality studies.
- Widows Trust fund which has over 1000 widows in its empowerment scheme.
- Social Services. IWS runs an Orphanage in Ijebu-Ode which held orphans with the best education and also facilitate for adoption.
- Scholarships which has been running since year 2000 providing children with school fees and supplies.
With Mrs Ogbolu’s tenure as President of the international Women’s Society coming to an end in February, 2020, IWS has a full itinerary of landmark events for the next 5 months running through 2019 to January 2020. The IWS induction of new members celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child, Children’s concert, the Widows annual feast and International Women society fund raising luncheon.
Speaking to our Correspondent Femi Adefeso earlier today Ogbolu said: “We will be having our induction ceremony in October and we also have a special ceremony for the day of the girl child on October 11th. This year will we will be collaborating with Queens College Old Girls Association and Unity Schools Old Girls Association, our focus is to make a strong policy statement to reach the minister of education and the women affairs minister as to the state of education in the country and proffer a way forward”.
November is the month of our annual fund raising luncheon while December we will have a concert for children and some of our benefactors as we celebrate the end of the year and Christmas. In January our Widows feast and empowerment programme comes up and February. I will hand over the mantle of leadership to next person to take the society to another level She Concluded.
The International Women’s society requires interested individuals who want to join the society to attend at least three of her year round programmes and the doors are open for partners and sponsors of various kinds. Once again the “Soup Kitchen” comes up on September the 14th, 2019 at the International Women’s Skill Acquisition Centre in Lekki, Lagos.