FIDA needs Financial Support to House, Feed Displaced Women and Children – Emem Ette

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FIDA needs Financial Support to House, Feed Displaced Women and Children – Emem Ette

Priscilla Christopher

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Akwa Ibom State chapter has called for the financial support of public-spirited individuals, government and Non-governmental organizations to help provide shelter, food and clothing for displaced women and children in the society.

FIDA State Chairperson, Mrs. Emem Ette made the call on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, when she spoke about the near-hopeless situation of some domestic violence survivors and rape victims rescued by the organization.

Also READ: Help Shelter this Poor Widow

Mrs. Ette in an emotion-laden voice pleaded with members of the society to see reasons to identify with the survivors whom she said were victims of what they never bargained for.

The female Lawyer who was speaking in response to the Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000) donation made to FIDA by Dr. Uduak Onofiok Luke on the occasion of her 40th birthday, thanked the celebrator for singling them out for the financial support.

 “This is an answered prayer. It is only the heart that can do this. The Lord sees our heart and then, he sends help. We’ve been struggling to buy food in our shelter management committee. Today, I had decided to let go some girls because we could no longer keep them. I have a lot of them in my house and I no longer have space; and because of the times, I can no longer keep them in other people’s homes; but immediately you said N500,000, I sent a message to the shelter manager to keep our girls”, she said tearfully.

While explaining the roles FIDA plays, Barr. Ette informed that the body is not just an association of women Lawyers trying to showcase their talents but, a body of committed women doing what is just, righteous and godly. She therefore called for more support from individuals and the government to help them ensure a safe environment for women and children.

“FIDA is not just a body of women seeking justice. It is looking into the eyes of a three year old girl who has been molested and we had to do 6 surgeries on her to reconstruct her vagina; a 7-year old girl that is HIV positive, has tuberculosis and when you ask her how she is, she says, “I’m fine”. And then, you take out the retroviral drugs and give it to her and you see the things those drugs does to her.”

“Is it the woman that was stabbed and is fighting for her life at the Ibom Specialist Clinic? Or the woman that came yesterday, who has ran and is still running because her husband is looking everywhere for her? We can’t even keep her in Akwa Ibom. We had to send her out of the state because we know that he would kill her except we’re able to arrest him so, it’s not just a woman talk. FIDA is about humanity and making our streets safe for our children. Because your children are in your homes today does not mean they are safe. We have a youth corper from Ekiti state that was raped by a man in this state and another from River State who was raped by two men here”.

“And then, someone would call me and beg me to avert justice? Wait, until it happens to your children. A Magistrate used to be very terrible until they raped his daughter; then he called me and said Emem, I did not know. We don’t want it to happen to us and so, we must all join our hands together to make our society safe for everyone. Even the old women are not exempted. We have a 58 year old woman that was raped right in her backyard. She could not urinate for two weeks so, when we talk about no to violence, it is for all of us. The list is endless and we keep counting not less than 10 daily”, she narrated.

Lending her voice to the call for help, Chairperson, Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Comrade Uduak Ekong attested to the demands of FIDA’s responsibilities. She agreed to the spate of violence against women in the society, being a teller of such stories and pushed for more support for the NGO.

The female pen pusher promised to keep advancing the course of exposing such stories, while encouraging women to speak up against domestic violence and abuse.

“We at NAWOJ will continue to tell the stories we need to tell because we believe that the society can be a better place devoid of violence and all the negativities that we wake up to every single day. We tell stories and hide victim’s identities to encourage others to do same. As such, no one should be scared of sharing their stories. Our motive is to be the voice of the voiceless and ensure that no woman or child suffers or dies of violence”, she said.