KABOBO COMMUNITY: WOMEN HOOD FOUNDATION Responds to Clarion Call
…Sponsors 2 Girls on Scholarship
By Zainab Tanimu
Kaduna, North-West, NIGERIA
As a follow-up to a report by a team of Developmental journalists’ who visited Kabobo village, 27kilometers to Kaduna town in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna state, a Non- Governmental Organization under the auspices of WOMENHOOD FOUNDATION has shown its concern on the predicaments of a community that has existed for over 200years.
Worried by the non- presence of PHC services within and around the adjoining villages, it took a bold step by offering two of their girls scholarship to sturdy at ‘Women hood School of Health Sciences’ run by the foundation.
According to Hajiya Maryam Abubakar , Chairperson, WOMENHOOD FOUDATION of Nigeria and proprietress of the school, the two girls being the daughters of the community, would be in a better position to manage the situation in their community as the women would be willing to open up to their own.
In this brief interview with one of the developmental journalists, Zainab Tanimu, Hajiya Maryam throws more light on their visit to Kabobo village.
Ma, you were at Kabobo community after our report. How did you find the situation on ground and how does your foundation hope to put smiles on their faces?
There are a lot of people living there. Surprisingly, there is no single chemist there. The foundation has decided to offer them scholarship under the umbrella of Women hood School of Health Science. They are to bring two of their daughters to come and study in one of our health courses so that when they go back they can be of assistance to their community.
The advantage here is that, one, they are their daughters. They can easily open up to them whenever they have problems. They can easily accept them than a stranger coming there.
Have they responded?
Yes. They have responded they have sent two people, Rabi Sani and Aisha Lawal who are awaiting admission to start their school.
What actually are your activities? Could you give a brief on what you have been doing, achievements and challenges?
Women hood Foundation has been in existence for the past eleven years. Actually, is the foundation that gave birth to the school, ‘Women hood School of Health Sciences’. This school is accredited by some Boards from Lagos which includes Health Management Board of Nigeria. The foundation is the mother body.
Our activities mainly centers on assisting widows, divorcees, orphans and vulnerable children in the society. That is our main focus in Women hood foundation of Nigeria and we have been doing that since the inception of the foundation, eleven years back.
We have been going to rural arrears, places like Kabobo in Rigachukwu, places like Angwan Jatau where we went and what we saw on ground really touches my life because with the number of people in that area, no single chemists nor hospital for them.
Both Kabobo and Jatau have similar problems and all in Igabi Local Government area under Rigachukwu. There are other places like Hayin Kogi in Kaduna North under Kawo, Rafin Guza. A lot of places we have visited.
We also empower women. We assist in education and other entrepreneurship activities. We take care of some hospital bills of women as well as take care of abandon children in the society.
We also look at the health care delivery system because most of our women do not like going to the hospital. I don’t know whether is because they have to seek their husbands’ permission or the financial constrain. This is why we have come up with Women hood clinic and maternity home, mainly for women who are pregnant free of charge.
We do not charge a ‘dine’. They do not even buy card. Even the routine drugs, we give them free of charge. What they need is their transport from their homes to Women hood clinic and maternity home. Since its existence till date, services at the Women hood foundation clinic, anti-natal and maternity home has been free.
Women hood Foundation has been rendering free oral health services to a lot of organizations, Women organizations and some individuals.
If it is a woman patient that comes to Women hood Dental Clinic we treat her free of charge. If it is a man, we charge a token amount. These are some of what we have been doing.
With these free services to women by your foundation, has the turn out been encouraging?
It is encouraging. Alhamdullilah. We started with only six women but now, we have more than two hundred (200) women that are coming for anti-natal clinic from different locality within Kaduna north local government area. That does not mean that women cannot come from outside Kaduna North. The issue might be the distance. That is, the issue of transportation. It is open to all women. If one can make it, why not?
How about sensitization program? Do you engage in it?
Yes. We do it on the media. Usually live programme. Some days back l was on freedom radio to talk on the Health Workers strike. I did a lot of sensitization and even drew the attention of the women to the services at the Women hood Foundation Clinic and Maternity where services are for free while government takes necessary action in addressing the issue.
Something must have spurred you to going into this venture. Could you let us into part of it?
I would say passion. I have the passion. I have looked into the prevailing situation whereby a lot of women are dying. That is, maternal mortality rate.
The rate with which women are dying is alarming. This is why l said to ‘myself’, let me look at something that l can give back to my society. That was why l came up with such decision to look into the area of maternal mortality health being a health worker.
How about the satisfaction? Do you feel fulfilled in this venture of yours?
Alhamdul Lillahi. When l look at the faces of the women after the services have being rendered to them free of charge, you can see the joy written on their faces. Infact, wallahi, sometimes they would look at me and say, ‘Allah yasa ki gama lafiya’. (May Allah reward you abundantly). That word alone finishes me. It gives me fulfillment.
Do you have anyone supporting this course of yours with regards to funding?
I can stand tall and talk that l do not have a single person sponsoring me. I don’t have a single person sponsoring Women hood Foundation. This is something that l have been doing for passion. I have the passion for it and l am doing it.
The only assistance l have is my husband and myself and the members of Women hood Foundation of Nigeria. If you have the passion, we come together, task ourselves for whatever project we want to execute. It is voluntary. Someone can donate five thousand, ten thousand, and five hundred naira depending on one’s strength. That is how we do our thing.
What is your call as per sponsorship? I believe you have some challenges.
Yes. My challenges are, we have a lot of people that are trooping in. Before, it was within our capacity. The number of people that are coming now is getting out of hand and trying to supersede what we have.
We are calling on philanthropies and the government to please come and intervene. Come and assist. You can assist in a lot of arrears. In terms of manpower, in terms of drugs not necessarily cash.