Emeka Anokwuru

It was a day of pomp and ceremony in Lagos recently, as the International Women’s Society (IWS) in Nigeria rolled out the drums to celebrate its 61st anniversary and annual dinner.

The event which was held at the Shell Muson Centre, Onikan, attracted women of high repute who came dressed
gorgeously to celebrate the landmark achievement of the group with an award and induction of new members.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Abimbola Demola-Bawaallah, who is the 61st President of IWS, paid glowing tribute to the founders for creating the platform for charity work all over the world.

She also lauded members of the association for their dogged involvement in more than six decades of charity, care giving and positively impacting on the society.

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She explained that the theme of the annual November luncheon and fundraiser: ‘Beyond 60, Waxing stronger,’
was a fitting summary and reflection of over 60 years of dedicated service to humanity. She added that the group
had achieved a lot in the empowerment of women, youth and children through skills acquisition centres, widow’s trust fund, social services, scholarships, LUTH Library Trolley project and a Day Nursery School.

While describing the members as ‘shining, sparkling like diamonds in the sky,’ Mrs. Ademola-Bawaallah said
indeed, the IWS had touched many lives since inception in 1957 and remained the number one private organisation to champion charity business in Nigeria.

She listed its activities to include six charity locations, a large presence in Lagos and Ijebu Ode, and expansion plans for their physical presence in other states in Nigeria.

She also detailed some of their achievements to include training and empowerment of 1500 people, from the skills centres, over 800 widows who benefitted from the trust fund, and a crop of notable scholars from the Day Nursery Centre at Yaba, Lagos.

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She commended members in Nigeria for keeping faith with the IWS, and expressed appreciation to the visiting
international sisters for the endearing and sustainable relationship with the local chapter.

She expressed hope that the group would deepen its partnerships with like minds, government agencies and the
private sector. She also commended the various volunteers, noting that giving back to the society was an invaluable service to humanity.

“In our 61st year, we will strive for more impact which is the reason we are gathered here, for humanity sake and the service that calls us all to give off our best, in lifting the ones who need our help and attention the most.”

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Chairman of the occasion, Princess Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, former deputy governor, Lagos State and Senior
Special Assistant to the President on SDGs thanked the IWS leaders for honouring her with an award.

She commended the members for being steadfast with charity through the years, by going about doing good and providing succour to the less privileged. She pledged her continuous support to the group.

The programme also featured the induction ceremony of new members, an awards and recognition of IWS trustees, past presidents, vice presidents and chairpersons, as well as fundraising and freewill donations to assist in the execution of the group’s various projects. A raffle draw was also part of the activities designed to raise the
financial profile of the body.

Those honoured include Olori Kemi Adetona, the wife of Awujale of Ijebuland, Queen of Ijebuland, Olori Sekinat Aramide Elegushi and Mrs. Claude Nigel, President, Lebanese ladies Society, among others.