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International Widows Day: WOM, Mma Ayara Memorial Institute honor late Mma Ayara

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Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM) in collaboration with the Mma Ayara Memorial Institute has organized a memorial lecture in Bolgatanga to honor the late Mma Ayara Atampugre as part of this year’s International Widows’ Day celebration, on the theme “The Role of Mothers in the Education of their Children: Lessons from the life of Mma Ayara Atampugre”.

International Widows Day is a global awareness day that takes place annually on 23rd June. The day was launched by the United Nations in 2010 to raise awareness of the violation of human rights that widows suffer in many countries following the death of their spouses.

In many countries with traditional societies, women find themselves left in poverty when their husbands die.

While delivering her speech at the lecture, Madam Fati Abigail Abdulai, the Executive Director of Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), said that most widows go through a lot of suffering just to raise their children after losing their partners.

As a result, the WOM Executive Director used the opportunity to call on the government to implement policies that can help alleviate the suffering and level of poverty widows face in the country.

“While WOM in collaboration with the Mma Ayara Memorial Institute is committed to supporting these courageous women, we recognize that the government needs to do better in rolling out and/or implementing social protection policies to break the cyclical poverty these families experience. This country cannot afford to leave anyone behind,” she said.

The late Mma Ayara was born to Asebiga Azomer and Atanpokah of Yorogo. She became Mma Ayara when she got married to Atampugre of Asabiah in Zuarungu-Zonno. Mma Ayara was born an orphan because her father died before she was born, and she also lost contact with her mother in her early life, never making contact with her again for the rest of her life.

After marriage, she took the initiative and enrolled her last four children in school. It was not common in those days for a wife to go against her husband’s decision, but Mma Ayara did and enrolled her children against her husband’s wishes.

The task of paying school fees for her children was therefore left to her alone to bear. She accepted the responsibility and worked harder to cater for her children’s school needs. Her task got bigger when her husband passed away at a time when their last three children were still in school.

Mma Ayara became more determined, persevered, and encouraged by her hard work, sold porridge to take care of the needs of her children both at home and in school. She fought hard through the difficulties, not considering her situation or status as a widow and a vulnerable woman but saw herself as one who has a responsibility of ensuring her children go through education successfully. Mma Ayara passed away last year on 20th April 2023 at age 88 and was buried on 30th June of the same year.

Speaking on behalf of Mma Ayara’s family, one of her children, Robert Atambugre, while shedding more light on her history, urged widows not to relent in ensuring that their children get the education they deserve.

According to Mr. Atambugre, as much as widows need support from authorities, they should never make decisions that will affect the future well-being of their children.

Source: A1Radioonline.Com|101.1MHZ|David Azure|Bolgatanga|

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