Sen. Jarigbe Agom-Jarigbe (PDP-Cross River North) on Wednesday gave financial support of N1 million to the 50-year-old St. Joseph Centre for the Visually Handicapped located in Obudu, the hometown of the Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Ben Ayade.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the school was on the verge of being shut down before the succour came.
Agom-Jarigbe said his decision to assist the school was to enable it to remain afloat.
According to Rev. Sis. Jane Maria, head of the school, the situation had become terrible for students to learn anything before the senator came to its rescue.
She explained that the situation in the school began to nosedive when the state government withdrew its subvention, adding that at some point the management considered shutting the institution.
“To make matters worse, the school was recently burgled by criminals who made away with all the mattresses in the student’s hostel leaving them to sleep on bare floors,’’ she lamented.
She said the centre was established by the Sisters of St. Mary Medical Mission of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1970s and had catered to generations of handicapped students over the decades.
“Many have gone from the school to lead very successful academic careers with some of them currently teaching in institutions of higher learning, including the University of Calabar.
“Some of them have also gained employment in various areas of endeavour, making them useful to themselves, to their families and society instead of hawking their disabilities on the streets.
“The school celebrated its 50 years of existence in May.
“It teaches with braille and also teaches crafts in addition to normal academic subjects and remains a leading light in the Obudu community and its environs,’’ she said.
Maria commended Jarigbe-Agom for his uncommon leadership and concern for the plight of the less privileged in society.
She called on all public-spirited individuals in public and private sectors to emulate the senator so as to lift the less privileged from their disabilities and lead useful lives.
“They are also God’s creatures and need to be catered for,’’ she stressed.