Orphans and Widows in Need – OWIN
“And I caused a widows heart to sing…” – Job 29:13
OWIN, Orphans and Widows in Need, assists women and children who comprise an ever-growing and vulnerable population on the continent of Africa. Their numbers have reached epidemic proportions and OWIN is devoted to fighting this international crisis.
For widows, young and old, throughout Africa on-going discrimination is the norm. Human rights violations and harmful societal practices threaten their wellbeing. They are prone to poverty, abuse and neglect with barely the means to care for themselves or their children. Widows in Africa remain a disenfranchised group as evidenced by the lack of statistics reporting the needs of this population.
42 million orphans currently reside on the continent of Africa with 12 sub-Saharan countries accounting for 70% of them. Nigeria, along with Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, has one of the largest orphan populations. According to UNICEF estimates, Nigeria has over 9 million orphans, with nearly 10% of them being orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
OWIN provides widows with skills they can use to better support their families, and provides orphans with educational resources vital to a successful future.
OWIN was founded in 2005, and began its mission to aid and empower orphans and widows in Africa in response to the declining — and often remote — societal and governmental assistance given to single mothers, widows and orphans. Compelled by this issue, Dr. Lilian Asomugha brought together a small group of educators, physicians, entrepreneurs and advisors to establish what has grown into a key part of the Asomugha Foundation.
OWIN focuses on three core areas to address the needs of orphans and widows:
In an effort to reduce poverty and build social capital, OWIN has committed to aiding individuals in developing vocational skills. Women are then empowered to use their skills to develop small businesses to support themselves and their children.
OWIN creates an environment for widows to cultivate and hone their business skills and foster entrepreneurial endeavors through direct financial support or loans.
OWIN works with local non-profits to support the health care needs of orphans and widows. Through screenings, education and health care management, orphans and widows are able to maintain their health.
Since OWIN began work in 2005, we have served over 15,000 orphans and widows in Nigeria and communities in South Africa. We have sponsored the primary education of orphans through our scholarship fund. Our work has led to the renovation of dilapidated school buildings in the region.
Our impact on widows is evident in the workshops we lead teaching vocational activities including farming, sewing and bead-making. Over the years our aid has taken many forms such as, community wide health screenings, food and clothing drives, and spiritual support.
Our goal to bring positive change to the lives of orphans and widows in Africa remains at the forefront of our effort. With your continued support, we can serve many more orphans and widows in need.