Mr Shola Mese, the Founder of Shola Mese Foundation, has appealed to government at all levels to introduce policies and programmes that will alleviate the sufferings of widows.
Mese made the plea on Wednesday when the foundation played host to over 200 widows in Effurun near Warri, Delta.
He said that women were important in tackling drugs addiction and other forms of criminal activities in the society in view of their closeness to their wards.
According to him, one of the ways to reduce crime rates in the society is to address the issue of drugs addiction, which he said, was prevalent among the youth.
He said that women were vital in the proper upbringing of children, hence the need to adequately care for them.
“But if you are handling only the addicts and living their mothers, most of whom are widows, it means you have not done anything.
“Most times, when we interview these criminals, they tell us that they are into crime because their mothers failed to advise them.
“So, we must look after these widows if we want to tackle crime. The women should not be neglected,” he said.
Mese said that the foundation decided to host the women to mark the “International Widows Day” celebrated on June 23 worldwide.
“We lectured them on their rights as widows when they are been oppressed by the families of their late husband.
“The widows that came here today are over 200 and we gave them gifts. We carried out medical checks like blood pressure and sugar level on them; those who are sick, we gave them free medical treatment and drugs.
“We decided to do this because we all know that most times widows are depressed. We felt the only way to make them happy is to do something like this for them,” he said.
Mese advised the widows to console themselves and move ahead with life, adding that the future was bright for them.
“They should think of how to take good care of the children left behind by their husband and move on with their life praying to God Almighty.
“Some of them were moody while some were really happy because they have put the past behind them and decided to move on,” he said.
Mrs Gloria Oghene, a widow, counselled other widows on behalf of the foundation, urging them to imbibe the culture of saving no matter how little and also train their children to succeed in life.
Oghene, who said she had been a widow for over 20 years, noted that the success of the children was the only thing that could bring back the joy they had lost as women.
“No matter what the situation is, they can still stand up on their feet. We do not really have to fight too hard because the responsibility of taking care of the children has fallen upon us,” she advised.
One of the beneficiaries and a physically challenged, Mrs Vivian Iziboron, thanked Mese for the humanitarian gesture and prayed God to continue to expand the foundation.
“Mese loved the widows, orphans and the physically challenged people in the society. They carried out different test, gave us drugs for malaria.
“They also gave us wrappers and mosquito nets. This is the second time he is taking care of us and we are very happy for this gesture.
“May God give him long life so that he can continue to do what he is doing for us,” she said.