By Nabeela Usman El-Nafaty
The 5th set of the beneficiaries of the Women Empowerment Program under the Zakah and Waqf Foundation, Gombe, have undergone a semi-final graduation ceremony on Sunday, March 13, 2022. The main graduation ceremony and inauguration of the new empowered (6th Set) is expected to hold after Ramadan.
The beneficiaries who were inaugurated on February 14, 2021, numbering 88, were each given N10000 start-up capital. Those who reached the finish line were about 40. The ceremony had the attendance of the Chairman of the Foundation, the Heads of Women Empowerment, Education and Training, and the Chairperson of Wadata Multipurpose Cooperative Society (WAMCOS), among others.
Malama Maryam Yaya, the Head of Women Empowerment, gave the welcome speech. She thanked the beneficiaries for their doggedness in completing a full year of biweekly meetings, savings and enlightenment, as they saved close to N1,200,000 since February 28, 2021.
The Chairman of the occasion, Vice-Chairperson of the Foundation, QS Ahmad M. Kabir, prayed for the Foundation and thanked its head for her tireless efforts to keep the program alive and functioning.
The VC’s speech was followed by the keynote address by the Chairman of the Foundation, Ameer Abdullahi Abubakar Lamido. He gave a detailed speech about the next level of their empowerment, including joining the WADATA Women Cooperative Society.
The Chairperson of WAMCOS, Malama Hanne Abdullahi, was the next on the podium where she welcomed the successful beneficiaries into WAMCOS. She emphasized the need to come to monthly meetings and make monthly savings regularly. She also introduced to them the idea for ‘special savings’, which is usually for long-term plans like the wedding of a daughter, registration fee of kids, hajj savings etc.
The event’s highlights were feedback from the beneficiaries about how the Empowerment Program benefitted them in ways beyond measure. One of the beneficiaries, Kulu Muhammad, from Tudun Wada of Gombe, said that the programme was “like a person on a standstill in total darkness, and then someone comes with torchlight and shows him the way out of the darkness.
Another highlight of the event was the presentation of gifts to the most outstanding beneficiaries in performance, determination, frequent attendance to meetings, and savings.
The beneficiaries were allowed to come and pick from items of their choice, including food flasks, clothes, kids’ wear, Hijabs, and shoes donated by some officials and volunteers of the Foundation. No one among the attendants of the graduation went home empty-handed. There were smiles everywhere and prayers to the Foundation for more success and greater heights.