The management of St Joseph Centre For The Visually Handicapped, Obudu in Cross River state has cried out to spirited individuals and organisations to come to its rescue as the students are passing through the most difficult times.
And following the outcry, Sen.
Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe has promptly supported the Center with the sum of one million Naira.
Popularly known as the Blind Center Obudu, it was established by the Sisters of St. Mary Medical Mission of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1970s.
The school, which in May, 2022 celebrated its 50 years of existence, teaches braille and crafts in addition to normal academic subjects just as it remains a leading light in the Obudu community and it’s environs.
The school, in recent times, has been faced with infrastural decay, poor teaching facilties, lack of vocational tools, environmental hazards and feeding challenges.
It was laernt that the school was recently burgled by criminals who made away with all the mattresses in the students hostel, leaving them to sleep on bare floors.
In a telehpone interview, the head of Centre, Rev. Sister Janet-Maria Okorie, said the call for help became imperative because they are no funds and even incentives from state governement to enable the centre meet up its social responsibilities.
Sister Maria said since its inception, it has catered for a good number of handicapped students over decades, disclosing that the situation was so bad that they were considering shutting down the institution as the centre can nolonger carter for the daily needs of the students.
She commended Sen. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe for the one million naira donation, saying it came at the most auspicious time of their life.
In an emotion-laden tone, she said: “I deeply appreciate the support by our Senator, his uncommon leadership and concern for the plight of the less-privileged in society. Since I got the cash, my joy knows no bounds. May God bless him abundantly.
“I, therefore, enjoin all public spirited individuals, both in public Service and private businesses, to emulate Sen. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe and lift the less-privileged from their disabilities to enable them lead useful lives as they are also God’s creatures and need to be catered for.”
Speaking. a community leader from Obudu, Venatius Ikem, Esq, said Sen. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe’s attention was recently drawn to the severe hardship faced by the handicapped and abysmal plight of the school following withdrawal of subvention to the school by the current adminstration led by Governor Ben Ayade.
Ikem, who doubles as the state PDP chairman, said graduands from the school have lead very successful academic careers with some of them presently lecturing in higher institutions including the University of Calabar, Cross River State.
According to him, some of them have also gained employment in various areas of human endeavour, making them useful to themselves, their families and society instead of hawking their disabilities on the streets.
He stated that Sen. Jarigbe’s support to the Center would go a long way to improving on learning and crafts gevelopment to empower the visually handicapped students.
He called on all aons and daughters of Obudu, the entire northern senatorial district and philanthropic individuals and organisations to assist in rebuilding the Centre for rhe less-privileged.