Sunday, January 21, 2024



Quoting Mwanandeke Kindembo, who once wrote, "In a socialist society, people are always motivated to achieve unity and the truest form of freedom—organizing themselves and coming to help those in need," Annie's Hope Foundation took these words to heart. Leading a New Year Praise and Exaltation event alongside a Palliative Prayer for Widows in Abia State, Amb. Reverend Dr. Annie Onu showcased the Foundation's unwavering commitment to providing solace and support to widows across the 17 Local Government areas of Abia State at the Michael Okpara Auditorium in Umuahia.

At the forefront of this compassionate initiative was Amb. Rev'd. Dr. Annie Onu, playing a pivotal role in uniting widows who have weathered life's storms with unwavering strength due to the absence of their husbands. The venue became a sacred space where resilience, gratitude, and unity beautifully converged.

The event commenced with soul-touching prayer sessions led by Rev'd. Onu, drawing down the throne of grace closer to the engaging widows, followed by uplifting praise and worship. She went on to welcome the widows, and members of the public, as they come to unite to celebrate resilience and extend support. To the widows, your strength inspires us; this is a testament to community acknowledgment. To our esteemed guests, your presence deepens our collective support.

The Governor of the State, represented by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Hon. Ferdinand Ekeoma, added a touch of regality to the occasion. In his address, he expressed heartfelt appreciation on behalf of Governor Dr. Alex Otti OFR to Annie's Hope Foundation for its altruistic efforts, acknowledging the widows for their unwavering commitment to their families despite the challenges they faced. He commended the Foundation for bringing hope to these widows, echoing the significance of community support in fostering resilience and healing. Pledging the support of the Abia State Government to the Foundation's future endeavors, he applauded Rev'd Annie Onu for her visionary leadership.

Representing the Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Chinyere Kanu-Uba, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Women Development, expressed gratitude for the bold initiative of Annie's Hope Foundation. Mrs. Kanu-Uba emphasized that the event marked a new chapter in the widows' lives marked by mutual support, shared strength, and alignment with the New Abia initiative of the State government where everything works.

Rev Annie Onu, in her address to the gathered widows, delivered words of encouragement and inspiration. She urged the women to view the palliative event as a catalyst for positive change, emphasizing that it was not a one-time gathering but the Foundation for ongoing support and unity within their respective families. Dr. Onu showered encomium on the State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, and his wife for approving the event, pledging the commitment of Annie's Hope Foundation to work with the First Lady to strengthen all the support needed for the New Abia.

In a moment of recognition and appreciation, Dr. Onu expressed her admiration for the First Lady, Her Excellency, Mrs. Priscilla Otti, a distinguished woman renowned for her substance and a heart of gold. Mrs. Otti not only provided unwavering encouragement but also played a pivotal role in inspiring Dr. Onu to host the event. Dr. Onu highlighted the First Lady's impactful contributions and expressed her gratitude for the guidance and support extended by Mrs. Priscilla Otti.

In a poignant moment of reflection and unity, Dr Onu demonstrating her commitment for the New Abia, led a heartfelt prayer invoking God's blessings upon the leadership of the First Family and the collective efforts aimed at making a positive impact in the lives of those present and the broader community.

The Michael Okpara Auditorium resonated with the collective spirit of hope and solidarity as widows from diverse backgrounds gathered to celebrate resilience, share stories, and draw strength from each other. The air was filled with a palpable sense of camaraderie and shared understanding as these women, who had faced the challenges of widowhood, found solace in a community that recognized and honored their struggles.

Amb. Rev. Dr. Annie Onu further acknowledged the importance of collective healing and support as the event unfolded. The Foundation's commitment extended beyond the event itself, with plans for ongoing programs and initiatives aimed at empowering widows to navigate the intricate landscape of life after the loss of a spouse.

"Annie's Hope Foundation is not just about today's event," Rev Onu emphasized. "This initiative has been organized in various Local Governments, making it a Statewide effort with an unprecedented turnout. It's all about building a sustainable support system for widows. We understand that the journey doesn't end here, and we are committed to being a constant source of strength and encouragement for each and every one of you."

As the event concluded, the widows filed out to collect support packs from Annie's Hope Foundation. The Michael Okpara Auditorium, adorned with joyous decorations and thoughtful tributes, became a sanctuary where the widows felt seen, heard, and embraced by a community that recognized their struggles. The event was not merely a gathering; it was a testament to the power of collective empathy and the transformative impact of community support.

Iroabuchi James Chikezie is a Publisher at Social Pulse and writes from Umuahia.

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