By Mary Nnah
The Felix King Foundation has reinforced its rural community engagement programmes for African women by setting aside a new $1million fund for the better life for rural African women. This scheme is to ensure that the most vulnerable women are not left behind in this recovery process.
This programme is the continuation of the ‘rural market moni’ scheme but now rechristened “Better Life for Rural African Women”, in line with the present objective of ensuring that women, mostly, in rural communities have a platform to reset their lives.
According to the Founder of the foundation, Dr. Felix King Eiremiokhae, “rural communities are the most hit during this period with cases of malnutrition and malaria rising in numbers, and sources of income depilated.”
In 2019, the foundation launched its goal of 36, 000 by 2029. This initiative is a target to reach and impact thirty-six thousand women in 10 years and despite the effect of the pandemic, the foundation still believes in the goal.
He said, “Much has been achieved through the rural women market moni and WIFARM schemes, but with COVID-19 pandemic, the need to re-access the programme with a strategy that works with present reality made it possible to this modification.”
To hit the ground running, the founder revealed that an initial $350,000 has been released for the Edo State phase, which is scheduled to kick-start in September, as approved by the governing board.
On how the balance will be raised, Eiremiokhae mentioned that the balance of the funds will be raised through a dollar for dollar match system.
Speaking on the empowerment of women, he said, “We believe that when you provide women with capital and convening opportunities to network, you have empowered voices that speak and make the communities peaceful, prosperous and great.”
“The programme will help secure a place for rural African women to thrive and lead their families, communities, and the continent into a new arena of hope and progress, as nations recover from COVID-19.”
He said that women will be supported through a cooperative based programme, which has been an old age tradition women use to support each other in the rural communities, adding that registration of meeting groups is starting the first week in September and Edo State will be the launching pad.
To achieve this, meeting groups will align women of common interests into a meeting group and pitch their group’s interest for the foundation to attain to their needs according to these groups’ interest.
In the early days of the pandemic in Nigeria, the foundation had announced a N25million palliative emergency programme in Edo State that saw lots of women supported with 10,000 naira and 20,000 naira feeding money in additional to a huge support given to Edo State government COVID-19 relief scheme.
Prior to the establishment of the Felix King Foundation, Dr. Eiremiokhae, an industrialist and philanthropist of international repute had commenced philanthropic works early in life.
In 2018, Eiremiokhae, the CEO of Nigeria’s only 100 percent owned multi- billion naira biscuit company, MABISCO, earned the Honorary Georgia Citizen, USA, and a recipient of President TRUMP’S lifetime achievement award, as well as Honorary Doctorate from Trinity University USA.
Felix King Foundation was set up in 2014 by Eiremiokhae and his wife, Aderonke in his desire to see that no woman is left behind. The foundation has been involved in several programmes such as the annual International Widow’s Day symposium to address the challenges of widowhood in Africa, the Widows Market Moni, Rural Women Cooperative Scheme and The Startup Africa conference aborted by COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
Eiremiokhae, a firm believer in the empowerment of rural African women, believed that Better life for rural African women will bring hope, progress , prosperity and development to the hardworking but disadvantaged women and their communities as the world recovers from COVID-19.