Mrs. Chundung Davou Gyang, 60, lost her husband over 20 years ago. It was the most devastating experience, losing a breadwinner, friend and companion at a young age.
Starting life over again was a challenge. Chundung, a resident of Barkin Ladi town in Plateau State had no formal education or business. She struggled to raise the six kids left by her husband. From farming, to petty business, Chundung raised her children, but could not afford education for them.
Her first son eventually got married, a move that was supposed to reduce her burden, but soon added to her woos. He too died five years ago, leaving three children and his young widow behind. Chundung is now forced to care for her remaining five children, her son’s three children and the wife.
All along, life was tough. Sometimes, she spent days without food or clothing; and sometimes took debts just to provide for the family.
Her main source of income – buying and selling maize has crashed several times because the capital used for the business is sometimes borrowed, which often leaves her nothing to reinvest when refunded. Of course, the meager interest she makes often goes to family welfare.
Recently however, the member representing Barkin Ladi constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Ibrahim Gyendeng donated N10,000 to her and about 500 others to start or expand their businesses. Many grumbled, and called the Lawmaker names for “insulting” them with such “meager” amounts as “empowerment package”.
For Chundung however, it was the world of wonders. She had not seen N10,000 in a long time. It was all she needed to grow her business without having to fear losing the capital to creditors.
“What this man has done by giving me this money is undescribable,” she said.
The N10,000 gift, Chundung invested and soon multiplied it to tens of thousands, something she never thought would happen.
“That N10,000 was all I needed to change my life, and it did change my story for the better. I can’t thank God and his servant, Hon. Gyendeng enough,” said Chundung.
Mr. Gyendeng at the empowerment program in Barkin Ladi said he was worried about the economic wellbeing of his constituents, who have suffered widespread deprivations, largely caused by decade old armed attacks.
In his last tenure, the reelected member focused on infrastructural development but this time considers economic empowerment as key to his community’s long yearned emancipation.
There were over 300 people who got various industrial machines for business. These include hair dryers, sewing machines, water pumps and grinding machines among others.
Gyendeng was among few lawmakers to carry out empowerment programs in the past year, despite challenges caused by covid-19.