May 23, 2008 - Launch Of Rose Of Sharon Foundation
It gives me great joy and pleasure to identify with this great idea, The Rose of Sharon Foundation initiated by my big sister, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, a woman for whom I have great respect and admiration.
The welfare of widows and orphans which is the focus of this Foundation is a societal issue which must receive due care and attention of every one of us. This is because these two groups of people are regarded as the most vulnerable in any society. They require the care, protection, support and sympathy of the society to live a fulfilled live and achieve their aspirations and dreams.
Today, one of the serious societal effects of HIV/AIDS is the millions of children that are being orphaned at very early stage of their lives. For these children and others that have been orphaned due to several other factors, the future is very uncertain. We are the ones who can make the difference in their lives. It is a responsibility we must come to terms with not only for the future of these children but also our future, the future of our children and that of the society.
The challenge and pains of widowhood in this part of the world is equally very enormous and must be a source of concern for everyone. We need to give all the support necessary to ameliorate the pains and agonies suffered by widows. It is also necessary that we do not relent in advocating for the enactment of relevant laws that will give adequate support and protection to widows in the face of unfair and retrogressive aspects of customs and tradition.
I enjoin everyone to support the Rose of Sharon Foundation in achieving its mission to ease the burden of existence for widows and orphans in our society. By doing this, we will be giving hope to millions of orphans and widows whose future would be determined by the level of our commitment, concern and compassion for their plight.
Once again, I congratulate Mrs. Alakija and also commend her for this initiative.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Mrs. Abimbola Fashola
First Lady of Lagos State