Bishop Tom Samson organised women empowerment programme for housewives. In an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, he told us how he came about the idea and more…
What is the inspiration behind the women empowerment programme?
Looking at the environment we find ourselves and the situation of things in the country, I believe that people that have been helped should extend helping hands to others. The community has a lot of women who are full time housewives. There was a day I decided to take a walk around and some women who stay in that community came to me, they told me to help them, that they don’t have a stable income. That was why I thought that there is a need for an empowerment programme. The programme gives them the opportunity to learn handiwork, something they can do in the comfort of their homes, they don’t need to rent a shop. For example, soap making, bead making, catering etc. These are things housewives can do and make money. We empowered over 150 women in Ilase community alone, we also gave them a token to start their trade. Although these are 150 women but indirectly we are affecting 150 families. From here we will move to Ijoko, Egbeda, Ikorodu and other places. I believe that by doing this, we are making the country a better place in our own little way.
What was the criteria for selecting these women?
There is no criteria. We made it known to everyone who wishes to participate, its free for all. We have muslim women among them and all other tribes.
Would you say this is part of the work given to you by God?
Yes, my mandate is setting captives free and teaching them to rein over circumstances. This is a way to deal with poverty. A lot of women feel that all the responsibilities should be carried upon the shoulders of their husbands. We have enlightened them and the token we gave them is enough to buy the necessary materials. We gave them the token because some people will just have the knowledge but lack finance to start the trade.
Can you quantify the resources placed together to achieve this empowerment programme?
A lot has been put in place to achieve this. The money we have given out so far is about a million naira.
Will this be a continuous practice?
Yes, we will go from community to community. It’s going to be a regular practice, we will do as much as God provides. I believe that one needs to impact his community, although we are dealing with communities where we have our churches and schools. Gradually, we will move to other communities. We can’t cover everywhere but we believe that as we have set an example, other organizations will join.
How would you know if the people you gave money will use it for the purpose?
We planned from the beginning, we have all the participants’ details. We are also going to get in touch with them and see how they are doing. So, we are sure that we are not wasting time, money and resources.
– NKECHINYERE IBEMERE