The 19th anniversary end of session and graduation party of Hope Fountain Schools for the Deaf was held on Friday, 21st July, 2023, with parents/guardians, government officials, directors, teachers, religious leaders and several other dignitaries in attendance.
The event was organised to celebrate students with disabilities and graduands who have completed rigours of academic and moral training and are now qualified for the next level in their academic and life endeavours
Speaking in his welcome address, the founder and director of the school, Mr Tony Nwokolo said he was happy and proud of how far the school has gone.
According to him, “Words are not enough to express how I feel, I’m deaf and proud, I’m the happiest man in the world today. My hearings are not okay yes, but I’ve eyes to see and I am okay. I’m blessed, all our children are blessed.”
Giving insights into why the school was founded, the director said the school was coined 19 years ago to represent a movement and revolution designed to bring succour to students in a hopeless or frustrating situation.
He said the idea was to bring bright light to a people in perpetual darkness and despair in academic, moral, social, economic.
The school, with 120 students with disabilities in Lagos campus with 20 staff members and 30 in Enugu school, is presently one of the best three schools for the deaf in Nigeria by conservative estimates.
Mr Nwokolo noted “we have trained thousands of deaf children, youth and adults to become useful, well behaved members of the society and may have finished their degrees, NCE, vocational trainings or relocated abroad in search of greener pastures since 2004.”
The director however admitted some challenges the school has had to face, limited funds and resources to run the school programme, late school fees payment by parents/guardians, limited space, lack of credit facilities and others like: sick bay, science laboratory, Library facilities.
Mr Nwokolo calls for stakeholders’ support to ameliorate the successful running of the school.
The event witnessed different presentations where deaf students displayed scintillating dance performances and they were a beauty to watch, other presentations include; school choir, choreography, drama presentation and award of prizes for academic excellence.
The atmosphere was electrifying and the audiences held spell-bound with eye catching displays from the students.
Media houses such as NTA 2, CHANNEL 5 crew from Yaba Lagos, AIT/RAYPOWER crew from Alagbado, EKO FM radio, Inclusive News Network ( online news), journalists were all present at the event.