First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Women have trained and empowered some underprivileged widows in the production of various household items. The skills acquisition, entrepreneurial and economic empowerment gesture forms part of the Bank’s activities to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019. It is also in line with the financial institution’s commitment to continually impact lives through the goodwill and support of its female employees who have over the years, sponsored several initiatives for women nationwide.
The FCMB Women intervention was in collaboration with Jakin N.G.O, a renowned organisation that works with vulnerable groups in Africa to overcome economic, educational and health challenges.
In a statement, FCMB explained the beneficiaries, 50 widows in all, underwent series of intensive trainings with Jakin N.G.O in making of liquid detergent, air fresheners, insecticides, the use of beads to make various accessories, and headgear tying, among other household items. In addition, FCMB Women made donations to buy the materials to start the businesses for the 50 widow graduants. The training will go a long way to provide a platform for the beneficiaries to become entrepreneurs, create employment, generate income while also enhancing their standard of living.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the beneficiaries on March 5, 2019 in Lagos, FCMB’s Divisional Head, Corporate Services, Felicia Obozuwa, said the gesture is in line with the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility and the commitment of FCMB Women to recognise and support the well-being of the underprivileged in the society.
The Divisional Head said, “beyond celebrating the International Women’s Day, we believe that as a corporate organisation, made up of mothers, wives and sisters, it is necessary to extend the hand of fellowship and love to the underprivileged through empowerment programmes which will help them generate income in a sustainable manner. FCMB Women decided to come to the aid of these widows, following the discovery of the difficulties they faced. We were further inspired to support them
because despite the difficult situations they experience, they have been resilient and determined to overcome the odds to contribute to economic growth’’.
She added that as an institution which recognises that equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to success, FCMB will continue to create opportunities and support initiatives that add value to individuals, businesses and the society.
In her comment, the Founder of Jakin NGO, Mrs. Olubukola Adebiyi expressed gratitude to FCMB Women for their noble role in alleviating the challenges encountered by the underprivileged in the society.
‘’We are proud of the various interventions of FCMB Women to make life better for Nigerians. By sponsoring the training of widows and going the extra mile to provide the items they require to start businesses, you have again demonstrated true love and care for the needy’’, she said.
A beneficiary of the programme, Mrs. Bukky Idowu who underwent training in soap making expressed gratitude to FCMB Women and Jakin N.G.O for providing her with the opportunity to acquire the skill. According to her, ‘’I lost my husband through an accident in 2008. And life has never been the same in terms of finance, my condition and that of my children. I had enrolled at various vocational centres to learn how to make soaps, which has been my passion, but none yielded the desired results. When I heard about this training programme said to be sponsored by FCMB free of charge, I grabbed it and decided to participate. To the glory of God, I am now a professional in soap making. I have no doubt that I will make a success story of this skill by becoming an entrepreneur. I will now make money to take better care of myself and my children’’.
Speaking in the same vein, another beneficiary, Mrs. Caroline Ewurum, had this to say: ‘’My heart is filled with joy, being a beneficiary of this empowerment programme. I had been planning to venture into a business, but lack of capital has been a hindrance. With the support provided by FCMB Women, I am set to live my dream and become self-reliant as well as an employer of labour soon’’.
Over the years, FCMB Women motivated by the CSR commitment of First City Monument Bank, have trained youths with entrepreneurial and employability skills, renovated schools, built libraries, donated books and other learning materials, awarded scholarships to indigent students, raised business capitals for widows, and donated care materials to orphanages across the country. Last year, FCMB Women renovated a Home Economics Centre, at Ebute Metta in Lagos, which serves over 900 girls from 14 different primary schools across Lagos Mainland.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited is a member of FCMB Group Plc, which is one of the leading financial services institutions in Nigeria with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. Having successfully transformed to
a retail banking and wealth management led group, FCMB expects to continue to distinguish itself through innovation and the delivery of exceptional services.