COVID-19: VOBA reaches out to College staff, indigent members

From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos

The Vom Old Boys Association (VOBA) has given palliatives to staff of St. Joseph College Vom, in Jos South LGA, Plateau State, to help reduce the hardship the COVID-19 has meted on them.

VOBA has also reached out to some of its indigent members who are affected by the economic hardship caused by the pandemic.

This was disclosed by the President of VOBA, Mr Paulinus Ayatse, while speaking to journalists at St. Joseph College Vom convention, saying, staff of the college were not paid salaries for about four months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ayatse said, “Some of our VOBA members who teach in private schools were not paid salaries too, so we had to reach out to them in our own little way.

“These funds were raised from donations from our members, whom we are very grateful to, and still hopeful that more will still give.

According to him, the sum of about N2.5 million has been disbursed to the beneficiaries.

Speaking on their reelection, the President said, “We have just been reelected for a second term of two years, and our target is to ensure that we build a befitting Secretariat for VOBA, even if we don’t finish it before the end of our tenure, at least we should take the building to an appreciable level.

He maintained that for a school that has being in existence before Nigeria’s independence, it was important that it has a Secretariat.

Also speaking, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the 1995 set of the college, who were celebrating the silver jubilee, alongside the 1970 set, who were also celebrating their golden jubilee, Mr. Daniel Bingel, recalls with nostalgia how the college use to be.

Bingel a member of the 1995 set, said, “It is an opportunity for us to meet as a set, and during that meeting we will be bring our wives and children.

He also said, “Even though we are keying into our VOBA national body’s plans, such as contributing for the palliatives; we as a set also realise that there are some of our set members who are not doing well, so we have made personal contributions to reach out to them as a means of assistance, to increase the bond amongst us.

“Some of us have not met since we left this school in 1995, so its a nostalgic feeling and we want to make the most of the opportunity positively”, he explained.

Speaking on the College’s challenges, the LOC chairman said, “We were 163 that graduated in 1995, which tells you that in the college then, there were more that 600 students; but sadly, today the story is different, the population of the school was 397, but when the school resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown, the population was less.

“So we need to find out why the school is not attractive as it use to be, and also seek ways to take it back to its glory days”, he maintained.

Bingel added that as a set, during their 20 graduation ceremony, the changed the tables and chairs in the dinning hall, and recently the same set constructed bathrooms and toilets for some non teaching staff of the college (kitchen staff among others).

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