On the day the world rallied together to celebrate the International Women in Engineering Day, one female engineer went extra-mile to commit her time to attend to “Invisible Women” as the world marked the International Widows Day. She Engr. (Mrs) Wuraola Atinuke Owolabi, an electrical engineer founder, Touch Of Love And Lifting Hands Foundation.
Inspired by the need to give happiness and sense of belonging to aged members of the society, the Foundation has in the past few years, been involved in series of humanitarian activities targeting this section of the society.
With an estimated 258 million widows around the world, and nearly one in ten live in extreme poverty, most of who bear their pain silently in a society that is increasingly isolating itself from the vulnerable members; the need to reach out to these “Invisible Women” become expedient.
The theme of this year International Widow’s Day “Invisible Women, Invisible Problems” was coined to reflect the biases, neglect and the unseen sufferings of widows globally. And the Touch of Love and Lifting Hands Foundation, led by Engr Atinuke Wuraola embarked various initiatives to carter for this section of the society.
The event which held at the Iju Ishaga Ifako Ijaye Lagos was organised to create awareness for the plight of widows and old women in the society and also to draw government’s attention to their need while providing support for their upkeep.
In her address, Engr Atinuke Wuraola-Owolabi, observed that the year so far has been “very challenging for the entire world because of the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the global economy and especially the vulnerable members of the society which includes widows and aged people globally.”
And these women, who are already struggling from impact of widowhood and social neglects are negatively affected. Thus compounding their challenges. Unfortunate, they are mostly unspoken about.
She highlighted the challenges widows face especially in Africa to include: devastating psychology of lost of partner, economic effects, social stigma among others.
To assists this segment of the society who are often forgotten, the United Nations observes 23 June as International Widows Day (resolution A/RES/65/189) since 2011, to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanize the unique support that they need.
She called on the Governments to take action to uphold their commitments to ensure the rights of widows as enshrined in International Law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Foundation distributed palliatives and also fete the widows under the full observant of covid 19 protocol.
Over the years, since it founding, Touch of Love have initiated humanitarian programmes that addressed the needs of the aged members of the society. The Foundation also provided shelter for them as part of the efforts at making them comfortable as well as attend to their health and basic need.
The founder, who is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, urged private individuals, federal and state governments to support the NGO towards caring for more senior citizens. She especially called for hastening of the implementation of Senior Citizens’ Act.
Engr. Mrs. Atinuke Wuraola Owolabi —Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer WURVICAT INTERNATIONAL LTD. Has about 15 years electrical engineering experience, Engr. Mrs. Owolabi is involved in the general management of Wurvicat International Limited and has earned a reputation as a truly accomplished and highly respected professional within the Nigerian Power and Energy Sector.
While she takes of the aged, Engr Owolabi did not limit to aged, she also is supporting the young through various empowerment programmes one of which is capacity building for NSYC which is sponsored as part of programmes by Wurvicat Solar Foundation, the CSR arm of her company.
To Owolabi, however, nothing should take backseat when it comes to aged and senior citizens who she care for with Touch of Love. Even as most of them have retired, she believes that they still have a lot to offer the younger generation in wisdom and experience.
It was Frank Lloyd Wright who once said: “The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.” and so. should everyone growing old should be. Old age is a destination everyone who desired a fulfilled live hope to attain. Let’s make the world of this seniors more beautiful as they age through love, kindness and companionship they richly desire. Aging should never be a burden but a blessing.
You can support the foundation and contribute to their work through volunteering time and resources. Contact.