In another round of empowerment targeted at improving the daily lives of the indigent rural women and widows, Felix King Foundation, has announced ‘Helo mama’ initiative that comes with mobile phones for widows and phone charging stations for women in the rural communities.
The ‘Helo mama’ programme, a two-legged scheme Is designed to provides mobile phones for the impoverished rural widows and at the same time phone charging stations powered by 2.5kva solar systems across these communities for the rural women to have unfettered access to power to charging their phones.
The initiative is scheduled to flag off in early June 2023 and it would be activated gradually across some communities in Edo State particularly Esanland.
The Founder and President of the Foundation, Dr. Felix King stated that the initiative is a support scheme that would help the impoverished rural women and widows in the area gain access to mobile telephony as well as ensuring that they are able to stay connected by charging their mobile phones without stress.
According to him, the importance of mobile communication cannot be overemphasized, particularly in the rural communities because it could assist farmers and small business owners increase productivity, access to customers, produce better quality products, and facilitate seamless passage of information from rural to urban.
‘Mobile communication has gone beyond luxury or entertainment, it is integral for surviving and succeeding in today’s world’, adding that ‘Rural communities often lack adequate communication technology, which creates a digital divide and puts the lives and businesses there at a disadvantage’, Dr. King stated.
The Foundation through ‘Helo mama’ initiative would install phone charging stations that would be powered with 2.5kva Solar system across the communities to help these rural women and others charge their mobile phones provided by the foundation and stay connected consistently without worrying about power outage or shortage.
He said, “We are projecting to cover over 20 communities before the end of the year. This would go a long way in solving communication challenges associated with rural areas in Esanland. This is our little effort to make these needy women improve on endeavors as well as keeping them talking.”
In some of these communities, Dr. King revealed that these women traveled over 3 kilometers to some locations to power their mobile phones and even get to pay for charging their mobile gadgets. Some of these women part with at least N200 daily to be able to charge their mobile phones because of unavailability of public power and share distance to where public power is available.
“Apart from eradicating some of the challenges associated with dearth of available amenities for easy communication in the rural areas, this initiative can also be used as revenue generation tools for the rural women. It would prove a tool for payment and they could start a Point of Sales business with it,” he added.
With this new development, the average life of rural dwellers in Esan land has changed forever. The era of financial transaction deception to these women has ended because they will see life in real time situations. Their business would improve and that would impact on their daily activities, stated one of the residents of the community.
In 2016, Dr. King floated the Foundation to help women have a better life, which is built to help women succeed as entrepreneurs, ensure they participate in the economy of their communities, ameliorate poverty, while their dignity is preserved.
Since inception, the Foundation has engaged in several programmes all geared towards ameliorating the severe hard economic realities facing these women in the rural communities across the nation.
The foundation has inaugurated programmes such as better life for rural African widows, widows’ market moni, help project, advocacy project, rural women cooperative schemes, and scholarship scheme for widows’ children among many others.
For the better life for rural African Widows programme, the Foundation has provided succour to rural widows in terms of giving them farming implements to aid their subsistence farming.
In the advocacy project, Felix King Foundation had led a campaign on the abolition of widows’ maltreatment in Africa. The campaign also saw the foundation meeting the Edo State House of Assembly to propose a bill that would end the archaic tradition and culture.
Market Moni, a novel initiative, empowered thousands of indigent rural women and the outcome is monumental. Till date, these women are in business providing and supporting their ward’s education through this initiative.
Emphasizing on the works of the Foundation, Dr. King said, “Across communities we operate, we are driven by the commitment we owe to God despite the huge challenges. Whether it’s creating economic opportunity by providing business seed funding and training for female entrepreneurs in Africa – through The Startups Africa initiative, helping widows and rural women with trade grant and skill acquisition through The Market Moni initiative, providing educational enhancement scholarships for children of widows, increasing opportunities for Widows in Farming program (WIFARM), Medical support for children or championing the campaign in communities on the importance to respect the dignity of women and their children due to cultural biases to enhance community growth, we get our satisfaction by the successes we achieve through these efforts: making the world better for women and the children.”