My name is Hafsat Idrissu. I am a 63 year old. I am popularly called Mama Put in my community. I have been married to my husband, Jonah Idrissu, for over 40 years. He is a civil servant. Since we got married, we have been moving from one city to another across the country. Presently we are based in Abuja, but my husband still travels across the country from time to time for his work. We have 11 children but 4 died at different times in the past 40 years. Almost all our children have done their primary and secondary education, however this was not without great difficulties and struggles. This was due to the lack of money to send those that were willing to continue schooling. Three of them have finished their higher institutions, two have joined the military service, and the remaining two are thorns in my flesh.
...my husband has neglected his family; he spends his time and resources drinking and sleeping around with women outside his matrimonial home.
Marriage for me has been on the side of 'managing and patching' and not on a bed of roses as it seems for others. For the past 13 years, my husband has neglected his family; he spends his time and resources drinking and sleeping around with women outside his matrimonial home. What hurts me the most is the fact that he sometimes brings different women home into our matrimonial bedroom and asks me to vacate the room for many nights. As if that is not enough, he orders me to cook and serve these same women in our house with the money he never gave for food. This is what I have consistently been facing in my matrimonial home. More so, two of my sons have taken the path of their father. They both drink and smoke and sleep around. I have tried all I can to dissuade them from such behaviour but they keep referring to their father’s example.
As a result of my husband’s way of life, he rarely gives money towards the family basic needs. As long as I can remember, he only bought 3 wrappers since we got married. Over the years I started doing a small restaurant selling food because I could not fold my hands and watch my children go hungry and starve. By God’s grace I have been into this business for the past 22 years (this is how I got the nick name “Mama Put”) and it has been a means of sustenance for us.
I heard about the ADVANCE Hadassah Project and decided to come for the training organized for the needy women from around Abuja. I was fortunate to be part of the group of women...
Last year was a very difficult year for my business. I found it very challenging to continue selling food as I use to due to financial difficult that came as a result of one of my children falling ill. However, towards the end of the year I heard about the ADVANCE Hadassah Project and decided to come for the training organized for the needy women from around Abuja. I was fortunate to be part of the group of women qualified to get the loans they gave out for income generation after the training. By God’s grace I paid back my first loan and was given another to expand my business. Through the loans and the progress I record in my business, I have purchased a grinding engine for processing cereals for flour and other food materials I use in the restaurant. I also grind other people’s cereals and make extra money from it. This loan without collateral or interest has changed my life and that of my family. Now I’m becoming financially capable of providing for my children, grandchildren, and other people in my extended family who need help.
In many ways our life as a family is very nice and enjoyable because God has blessed us abundantly through ADVANCE.
At the moment, my major challenge is the apartment we are living in as a family. Recently the government has put on sale the building where we live and have asked the occupiers to buy off the apartments they occupy at the rate of two million Naira. We decided to keep the apartment, which is a one-bedroom apartment. Officially, a percentage of the payment is taken from my husband’s basic salary by the government office, as is done with every staff of the government department. The office also advised its employees to step up the percentage in order to pay off the purchase on time before retirement or in case of any eventuality. My husband has refused to do so. He decided to leave and abandon us to pay for the apartment. He left me and moved to another house across the town with another woman. Right now my children and I are just at the mercy of God. If anything (death or retirement) happens now, we will be thrown out of the house and left with nowhere to go. The little money a take from the profit I make from my business is not enough to meet the required percentage to enable us keep the apartment.
I am grateful to ADVANCE for believing in me and supporting me to improve my restaurant. The restaurant is where I am able to raise money for food, clothing and also helping with my grandchildren’s education. In many ways our life as a family is very nice and enjoyable because God has blessed us abundantly through ADVANCE. Even though we are still faced with the desperate need to secure our house permanently, they have really helped my family otherwise we would have been hopeless and lost. I believe and know that God will help us, because His word in Psalm 32:7 says, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” A