The Anglican Diocese of Ijebu was born out of the Lagos Anglican Diocese and since then the women have taken giant strides in all information. Mrs. Akintemi started the two storey building at Igbeba but was completed and dedicated during the tenure of Mrs. R. M. Olowoyo. The building called "The Women House" was put into use as a Retreat Centre, Reception Hall and Vocational Centre in the first floor while the upper stories (2) were hostels for students of TASUED. Mrs. Ogunfuye was the Coordinator of the Oil Processing Mill, Tie and Dye, Aso Oke weaving, Nylon Making, Training and Production unit.
The surroundings was very fertile and yielded a lot of pineapples every harvest seasons. Mrs. R. M. Olowoyo(1990-1998) in turn started and finished the Oru hostel project. Same was commissioned on the 16th of June, 2001.
The Women under the able leadership of Chief (Mrs) G.M. Owotomo and Dr. (Mrs) A. Adesanya (now Prof.) cultivated a 5 acres of Palm Tree Plantation in Ologbun. Mrs. Akintunde Rosemary (a clergy wife) was put in charge of processing.
This she did well when the trees started to fruit and we started selling Palm Oil and Palm Kennel to interested members.
The Christian Mothers under the able leadership of Mrs.Grace Omoyajowo(1998-2004) continued the good work by her predecessors. Her pet project the orphanage was started in 2003. A befitting building was erected for this purpose. She put her whole mind, soul and body to it. Abandoned children were bought in from all around Ijebu-Ode. The Women rose to support it. Mrs. Yemisi Segun (a.k.a Iya Pelumi) was the Matron.
Mrs Esther Olabisi Awosoga (2005-2006) took up the mantle after the retirement of the Omoyajowos. She saw to the smooth running of all projects.Although her tenure was short, being a disciplinarian and one for orderliness, the women and especially Clergywives took every aspect of our office very seriously.
The women started having a joint conference (WO+MU) when Mrs. Yinyin Soyanwo took over as the Acting President (2006-2007). She forged a bound of unity between the two women groups as never before. She started the “vogue”of studying a book a year “such books like - Remember Lot’s Wife, The Prayer of Jabez, e.t.c. added a lot to the spiritual growth of the women especially the clergy wives.
What started as a small branch as metamorphosed into a big tree.That is the story of the women and girl’s organization in this Diocese(the women arm comprises the women’s guild and mother’s union.
THE WOMEN’S: Is the umbrella to which all women belong. It does not matter that you are from a polygamous or monogamous setting.Once you are married you are automatically a member till death.
THE MOTHER’S UNION: Was introduced into Nigeria in October 1908 by Mrs.Abigeal Oluwole wife of Bishop Oluwole, Diocese of Lagos(1920-1933).The first enrolment service was held at St. Savior(Ang.) Church, Ijasi, ijebu-ode(Now Cathedral Church Of Our Saviour) on the 3rd of November, 1971. 20 members were enrolled.
The union is for women married (1) in the church (2) married in the registry or traditionally had church blessing.Membership is for first wives only or widows married to widowers.
DIVORCES ARE NOT MEMBERS!
Plan is on to compile a register of all members, distant and home. This is to enable us have a prayer diary for members whereby special prayers will be offered on their behalf on birthdays and anniversaries.They will also be free to send prayer requests to the office.
The Women Organizations under the divine guidance of God and Holy Spirit–led leadership of our president, Mrs. Florence I. Awosoga (2007-2020) have added more laudable project to the commendable ones of her predecessors.
All Church of Nigeria and Provincial meetings were attended.
Two (2) Dioceses were carved out of the Ijebu Diocese i.e. Ijebu North (2005) and Ijebu South/West (2010). Despite their autonomy, we still have fellowship in bond of brotherly love demonstrated in the joint Clergywives retreat and their attendance at every function of ours.
At their creation the Girls’ hostel in Oru and plots of land in Omu were “willed” to Ijebu North and Ijebu South respectively.
Our joy is that the Women are doing well under the holy spirit–led leadership of Mrs.Victoria Kuponu (IN) and Mrs.Olatundun Ogunbanwo(ISW).
JEWAG WATER: Situated in the Diocesan Headquarters produces sachet water. It is NAFDAC approved (sachet no. C1-1776L and bottle no. B1-7736). The borehole was donated by Otunba K. Kalejaiye (SAN). A 100KVA generator at a cost of N4.4Million was purchased to power the production. A vehicle goes as far as Ibadan and Ajebandele to meet the needs of customers. We are trusting God for a new and bigger vehicle because of the demand which is increasing every day. Our water is clean, clear and hygienically prepared in a neat and serene environment. The workers are committed and dedicated.
CTY(Catch Them Young): This is another of the Women projects which started with a creche in 2012 but has now grown to primary school level with 72 pupils in all. It is situated on the ground floor of the Women House in Igbeba. Mrs. T. T. Dairo is the matron in charge and she along with the staff are doing a great job.
OLOGBUN PLAM OIL PALNTATION: Started by Mrs. Olowoyo (Of Blessed memory) and tended by her successors supplies the Ijebu Anglican Diocesan College, Igan-Ipabi and some other customers regularly. A new committee headed by Mrs. Sangoyinka and Mrs. Justina Olowofoyeku is to replace that which was headed by Mrs.Victoria Oyeleye and Elizabeth Orogun due to the retirement of their husbands who were serving clergymen in the Diocese.
PROGRAMMES: (Spiritual, Empowerment, Charity, Training, Educational)
Our Programmes have been expanded and we touch lives in more ways than ever before. Programmes such as the underlisted are in place to enlarge us spiritually.
The Women of favour (widows) were organized and given a lot of opportunity to organize their activities. Their life patron is Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye(SAN). Programmes such as retreats, seminars, charity day,conference and empowerment day are some of their activities.They even had their own Christmas parties. Evang. (Mrs.) Beatrice Modupe Adetona is their Co-ordinator while Ven. Niyi Fagbule is their Chaplain. Through these their fellowships, most of them have woken up to the reality that there is a life after the death of one’s spouse.
CHARITY / MEDICAL OUTREACH: This was purely a medical outreach to villages during Mrs. Omoyajowo’s tenure, but has grown to include charity. Clothes, Household items, Foodstuff are now being given out. Counseling, Evangelism and tit bits on family matters are now added. We do not discriminate in attending to people. All are welcome.
COUPLES' DAY: Started five (5) years ago and has both old and young couples in attendance. Activities included, "Dress me up", "How well do you know your spouse"? Couples' Special (where couples are asked to do that special thing they do that make them laugh e. g. song, humour etc.). A Whatsapp has been opened where they can chat with themselves.
EMPOWERMENT UNIT: Headed by Prof (Mrs.) A. Adesanya
CLERGYWIVES: has been reaching out to the women and churches through the Ijebu Initiative.......... She is planning a big programme just for the Diocesan Women beforre this year runs out.
BABA EGBE & IYA EGBE AYA BISOBU FORUM: The first meeting was held about 3 years ago bu without much success. It was resuscitated on 30th November 2016. During the meeting, they were given the terms of reference to work on and officers were elected. The Chairperson Chief Seun Timi and Vice Chief B. O. Adelaja swung into action immediately by visiting churches, encouraging people to patronize the JEWAG water (the two of them have been leading by example) and visiting Ologbun to inspect the Oil Palm Plantation and to proffer solution to the problem of low production and staffing. The Forum has also been of great assistance in sensitizing people on the on-going building project of the new Hostel at Ologbun. Some even launched in their churches and donated persoally. It is their aim and objective (by God's grace) to build a Vocational / Empowerment Centre for Women and Youths in the Bishopscourt.
CLERGYWIVES CO-OPERATIVE: Began in the year 2014. This has enhanced the lives of many lives who can now obtain loans to start SMEs.
DAYS OF SOLEMN ASSEMBLY: Is a day set aside for them to meet,have a re-think and rededicate their lives to the ministry.Testimonies abound as to the things the lord hath wrought through this highly spiritual progamme initiated by the president.We have thus far had 3 episodes.
LADIES / GIRLS / BOYS GUILD: trainings, seminars and retreats were organized for them.The annual camp at ologbun witnessed a considerable increases in attendance. Boys, for the first time were residential for the 4days,the camp lasted in 2015.Platoon leaders stayed with their wards in the same hostel.It was impressed on them that,they were good role models,mentor their ward call them and counsel them regularly in other words they have become “watchmen” over the children.
SCHOLARSHIP: the women organization have youth in various institution that enjoy our scholarship.We are determined to do more to see that a child without the means to learn is not left unlearnt.Some youths who completed apprenticeship in fashion designing were given sewing machines during the 2015 women’s conference and charity day.Our chiefs and some eminent sons and daughters of this diocese have been most supportive with their donations,advice and words of encouragement.With this in mind,the women organizations honoured some of them on the 25th of july, 2015 with awards for selfless service.Those hounored were:
Chief (Mrs.)Grace Modupe Owotomo
Hon. Justice Titilola Mabogunje
Chief (Mrs.) Patience Aina Ogundeko
Hon. Justice Oluremi Adesida
Mrs. Adekunbi Odunmoluwa Oyejide(JP)
Olori Abimbola Adetutu Balogun
Chief (Mrs.)Josephine Onoimiuko Diya(JP)
Prof. (Mrs.)Adenike Osoba
Aare (engr.)Elijah Olufisan Osibajo
Surv. (Mrs.)Abosede Olufunmilayo Atanda
Chief. (Mrs.)Anthonia Olufunmilola Onasanya
Mrs. Onikepo Oludayo Atewologun
Our mother Mrs.Oluranti Ademowo(Mama Lagos) declined the award but her support has been immense.
Mrs.Bisi Otudeko who had always supported us with handsome donations at every of our project also declined the award.
The grandfather of the diocese,Pa.Chris Ogunbanjo donated a Toyota hiace bus to the women in 2015.We appreciate him.
OUR JOYS AND SORROWS: The building housing the orphanage was razed down by fire in 2009 when a women clearing the bushes for the planting season accidentally set fire to the roof. We thank God that there were no children inside (they had been moved to the children’s home Abeokuta at the instance of the state government to fill the Stella Obasanjo children’s home) but properties worth millions of naira and cash were lost.The site now houses the women office which was dedicated on the 12th of August 2010.
OUR PROJECTS: The Women built a new hostel accommodation at Ologbun. There were 12 big rooms and 6 small ones all en suite under the able chairman of Prof. Mrs. A. M. Osoba.
CONCLUSION: Ijebu Anglican Diocese is blessed with capable women leaders who are God fearing and are always ready to make their mark and foot print on the sand of time.
President, Mothers’ Union and Girl’s Guild
Ijebu Anglican Diocese.