WODECO targets poor rural women, unemployed urban women, women with low income, widows, unemployed youths, indigent women, victims of domestic violence CSWs, single mothers, school Children, students of tertiary institutions, Women Living with HIV/AIDS and school dropouts.
The target groups fall among the most vulnerable, unrecognized and the poorest in the society. They are peasant farmers, petty traders or poorly paid casual labourers while many of them are unemployed. Being poor makes them lack basic social amenities such as water, electricity, adequate shelter, good sanitation, basic health-care services.
The women are mostly illiterates or at best semi-illiterates and they are unemployed, unskilled and they lack basic education. The fact that they are women militates strongly against them as culture and religion do not allow them access to economic opportunities and autonomy.
They are mostly from polygamous homes where their husbands have more than one wife and more children than they can adequately take care of leaving each wife to take care of her own children. They know little or nothing about their fundamental rights and they are not involved in decision making at family and community levels because the men take all the decisions for them. Domestic violence and wife battery is the order of the day here and the women are of the opinion that it is a normal way of life, they did not really see it as a bad thing as they are so used to it.
The women do not have control over the land they farm on neither do they have access to credit facilities and other forms of finance as these are monopolized by the men. The widows among them do not have right to inherit their husbands property because under Nigeria’s customary law, a women has no right to any share of her husband’s property.
The children in these communities are as vulnerable as their mothers, many of the girls do not attend schools because their parents cannot afford such luxury and they end up hawking items on the streets to augment the family income. Those who attend school also engage in hawking during vacations, at weekends and after school hours. In extreme cass of poverty, the children are trafficked out of the community or even outside Nigeria for monetary benefits.
The reality and prevalence of poverty and the persistence of harmful cultural traditions have contributed to the marginalization and exploitation of children. The trafficking of young women and children within and outside the country which has been nicknamed the slavery of our time is rampant within the communities.
Children are sent out to work often in hazardous and exploitative situation that are harmful to the children’s health and survival. Many of these children work as domestic servants in homes, cottage industries, markets and mechanic workshops. Scavenging is also common among young children between the ages of 9 and 16 years who are unfortunate to originate from the poorest backgrounds. Many children endure long hours under harsh conditions for little reward which does not improve their poverty level.