Not fewer than fifty-one newly-graduated Marriage Counsellors have been enjoined to gather human and material resources needed to help curb the rise of broken homes in the society.
The charge was made yesterday, Sunday, December 1, at the graduation ceremony of the October/November Special Diet of the M-Solution Consulting International.
Muslim News findings revealed that the new graduates – all females, were sponsored by their organisation, Al-Mu’minaat, a prominent women faith-based Muslim body in Nigeria, to embark on the six weeks extensive modular programme.
With the latest graduates, the M-SCI has produced 90 professional marriage counsellors within a year. It would be recalled that the Centre graduated 15 and 24 students in March and August, 2019 respectively.
The Special Guest, Maternal and Child Health Professional, Prof Drissa Toure of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA, said that it was necessary to begin to train people from different disciplines about the intricacies of the marital life so as to reduce the divorce rate in the society.
Prof Drissa, while speaking at the event held at Golden Tulip Essential Hotel, Airport Road, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, stated that broken homes were the root cause of some of the most prevalent societal ills.
He further enjoined the new graduates to utilize all resources available to help couples have better and improved marriages, as well as create avenues by which pre-marital counselling can be available to intending couples.
The Amirah of FOMWAN, Lagos State Chapter, Dr. Mrs Haleemah Sadia Egberongbe, said, many couple do not have the right orientation that will take them into marriages.
According to her, “I sincerely believe that the cause of failed marriages in the Society we find ourselves is due to the fact that people do not have the right orientation to take them into marriage.
“Marriage is an everlasting divine institution. It is not what we go in and rush out in couple of years. It requires that one gets the right orientation. Once a child is brought up, I’m sure with the right sensitisation and awareness, he/she will be able to work together with his/her partner in marriage to ensure their marriage works out very well.
“Without the right orientation, it is usually very difficult and that is what brings about problems and issues that arise among couples,” she noted.
She commended the Institute for organising the laudable programme, saying, “Although I’m hearing about it for the first time, I have been really thinking very fast about putting this kind of event into my plan for members of my organisation because it is a programme that is very long overdue among the Muslim women”.
“I believe every sector of the society should have people who are vast into marriage counseling and other aspects of counseling generally. I would commend the brains behind this great initiative, M-Solution, for what they have done and I hope that in the future, it will spread into various societies.”
She urged the graduands to put into practise the trainings they have received.
“I can see that they are all ready, I can see the enthusiasm in them. I just pray they will sustain the enthusiasm they have in them today and go into the society positively, to give out to the society and get positive results of the course they’ve gone through”, she added.
On his part, Executive Director, Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation, Dr. Abdullah Shuaib lauded the effort of the organizers while stressing that graduates who have undergone the 6-week module Marriage Course will take a step to mitigate the rising scourge of marriages breaking down.
“When the homes serve as good role models for children, it will churn out children that will contribute to socio-economic growth while also solving youthful restiveness, unholy activities and crime rate that the society is contending with,” Shuaib said.
The sponsorship of 51 members was part of the efforts of Al-Muminaat Islamic Organisation, – being a women-only organization – to provide ways by which women can help marriages thrive.
The female president of Al-Muminaat, Nimat Abdul-Lateef represented by Dr. Monsurah Kadiri, said that the move was precipitated by the organisation’s move to provide counselling services to women.
“We are very passionate about building peaceful and sustainable families which is why we have brought 51 members of our organisation to benefit from this course.”
Lead Counsellor, Mr Sulaimon Ogunmuyiwa noted that the course was a six weeks modular programme focusing on concepts, knowledge and skills required for couple counselling.
He further enjoined couples – even newly married ones who might be considering divorce to seek help for their marriage.
“Studies have shown that children are usually the most affected in the event of divorce, who then cause havoc in the society. The negative impact of unhappy families, broken homes, incessant crisis in the families lead children into sexual promiscuity, crime, drug and substance abuse and we want to nip all these practices in the bud,” Ogunmuyiwa stated.
Muslim News later spoke with some of the graduands as they shared their experiences and what the society should expect from them.
Hajia Khadijah Yusuf said it was a rare opportunity for her to have graduated from the Centre.
She said, “AlhamduLiLlahi Rabbil Aalamin. I feel proud of this feat, because during the sessions, we went through a lot of experiences. Although we’ve been counseling both single and couples for decades but there are some facts, figures and rudiments we didn’t know before. But now, we have been taught through this training. I was able to gain more.”
Relating some of her experiences, Hajia Yusuf noted, “Previously, when something bad happened to people that made them cry, we used to pet them not to cry and all that, but now we’ve been taught to allow them cry and by then, the tension in them will be removed. Unknown to us back then, stopping people not to cry is like inflicting them with another harm. We now know that we should allow such people to cry out all agonies and in a short time the person will get over the such situations.
She thanked the organisers and facilitators for the drilling, saying that the society should expect the best from them.
“In Shaa Allah, with the little experience from the training and previously, I pray to Allah to assist me in helping humanity. From inception, I counsel Christians and Muslims without an office. I am not planning to take it as a profession, rather I will continue to serve humanity with it”.
Barrister Mutiat Orolu-Balogun thanked the organisation for giving her and other members the opportunity to take the course, saying that it will equip more women to be succesful counsellors in the society.
According to her, “A lot of us have been doing counselling for years but we were not trained and we didn’t have requisite knowledge, we only do that based on experiences. Having a proper formal training now will guide us. Also this training will make us identify what is needed to be done in order to be able to meet the goal of counseling which is to make the society a better place, because the family is the most important unit of the society.”
Barr Mutiat, the Executive Director of Hijab Right Advocacy initiative further said, “Quite a number of times, I’ve had to do pre-marital counseling for ladies going to marriage and by my profession as a legal practitioner, I have had the opportunity to counsel couples or clients seeking divorce.
“We’ve performed counselling in some point as a legal practitioner and we’ve engaged in one way or the other. I’ve also gotten training as a family mediator. With this training now, being a family counsellor broadens my knowledge on being a better family mediator especially regarding to family law.”
The legal practitioner added that, “The society should expect better services and more in-depth knowledge because the experiences and knowledge you add on will eventually turn out into the quality of services you give. It will empower me to give my clients a better service than before and have the bigger picture in mind that it’s not only about my clients but also about how it affects my society, children and community. So, the job will be performed with the larger picture in mind.”
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Alhamdulillah robbil alamin. Congratulations to the graduants. I hope and pray that the knowledge that have gained during the 6 weeks intensive marriage counselling course will be put into immediate use to help curb the alarming rate of increase in divorce cases.
As one of the first beneficiaries of this programme, I ask Allah out of his mercy to reward the organisers of this initiative because they are doing a great job.