By Nna Anulumadu
The rector Holy Family Youth village Amansea, Awka, Rev Fr Dr. Dominic Obielosi on Tuesday eulogized the Chief Shepherd of Onitsha Archdiocese His Grace Most Rev Valerian M Okeke for empowering thousands of students of higher institution through Holy youth village hostels .
The rector while pouring the encomiums stated that the Archbishop who is also the proprietor of the youth village has insisted that no increment should be made in respect of the merger fees students use to pay for accommodation notwithstanding the removal of fuel subsidy that that has led to astronomical hike in prices of commodities in the market.
The rector disclosed that up till this moment, school buses are free for students living in the youth village hostels. Buses ferry them from hostel to their respective departments and bring them back, adding that constant supply of light and water are as well free as the Archbishop pay these bills for students every year since the inception of the youth village, positing that such singular act by the Archbishop is more than empowerment.
” Outside this, our dear Archbishop is much concerned about the individual welfare of the students to the extent of paying accommodation fees for some students whose parents and sponsors suddenly had financial crises. In other words, those students lived in the hostels for free and enjoying everything for free, courtesy of our lovely Archbishop.
I could recall an incident when a student in youth village was diagnosed with hepatitis B. That particular student had almost lost hope for survival because the parents are financially incapable of helping him with the hospital bills. Fortunately for the student, immediately our Archbishop got wind of the situation, he sent the student for treatment and spent several millions of naira on that student’s health. Today he has fully recovered, sound and strong and has since graduated.
Through the cooperate retreat initiated and sponsored by the Archbishop for the priests every year, we the priests have been enriched with wealth of knowledge and how to be self and financially independent. And through his encouragement, inspiration and instrumentality, we have established small scale industries in youth village that are today helping us for self sustainance..
1n 2015, we started a bread factory. Today, we supply bread to many schools in Onitsha Archdiocese and beyond and our bread by name Pane Vita is one of the best in Nigeria. Order for it today, and you will testify about its quality and richness.
We noticed that our students most times complain about typhoid and malaria because of the kind of sachet water they buy outside. We started pure water factory in 2018 and since then till date, the issue of frequent illnesses associated with malaria reduced drastically. The number of sick persons reduced drastically. We started with sachet water but this year we have commenced bottle water production. Our water was described as the best water nation wide by Late Prof Onwuemesi a renowned Professor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and personally, l consider it as the best water in the country. In 2016, we started a shopping mall project and it has been completed. We have also started juice factory.
In effort to give our student the opportunity to enjoy every bit of the world sports, we mounted DSTV and it is for free. We have commenced construction of a topnotch chapel inside the youth village and it is now nearing completion. The chapel has 96 windows that will likely gulp 28 million naira.
We have plans to construct a garden of grace as that will help the students to be sound spiritually because when they are spiritually sound and academically sound, they navigate and confront the noisy world we are living in.
In essence, the Archbishop performs what I may describe as magic here because everything here is almost free. This is the only hostel in Anambra state and beyond where tables, seats, wardrobes, customised beds and foams are provided for the students for free.
We have stable electricity here because Archbishop sunk millions of naira to ensure steady supply of power. Notwithstanding the hike in pump price of diesel, school buses are still free. We actually started with only 8 students in 2009 but today we are under pressure because of high interest and desire by students to live in youth village hostels. We accommodate close to 1000 students now, yet people are asking the Archbishop to erect more hostels since the spaces here are no longer enough to accommodate thousands of students seeking for accommodation because Holy Family youth village is a comfort zone that has produced dozens of first class degree graduates who excelling in different parts of the world.