As you will recall, the nucleus of what we now know as GSSAE Alumni Association came into being as a WhatsApp chat group in August 2015. Prior to this time, there were several attempts by well-meaning individuals at organizing old students of GSSAE into a formal Alumni body, but these attempts were not quite successful. With the enthusiasm generated through the WhatsApp group, we were able to present a brand-new car gift at the 80th birthday anniversary of our former principal Pa E.G. Utuk. At the subsequent 1st Reunion held in December 2015, a ten-member team was confirmed as the Executive Committee to steer the affairs of the Alumni group and set the path to formal establishment of the GSSAE Alumni Association through registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). This milestone was eventually achieved on November 10, 2016 when the Certificate of Incorporation was issued by the CAC.
Since its inception, the Executive Committee, under the leadership of Rt. Honourable David Lawrence, set for itself the following key priority areas of activities:
1. Registration of GSSAE Alumni Association with CAC.
2. Re-construction of an abandoned classroom block
3. Sponsorship & Mentorship programme for students of GSSAE
4. Alumni Website development
5. Insurance policy for members
We are pleased to report that in the past three and a half years, we have worked assiduously to ensure cogent deliverables around these five priority areas as will be seen in the summary of our scorecard below:
REGISTRATION OF GSSAE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION WITH CAC
On November 10, 2016 we received our official recognition as a corporate body having been registered by the CAC as an Alumni Association. This was a long and tortuous journey, but we got valuable help along the way from dedicated old students who volunteered their time, contacts and resources for the realization of this purpose.
The Alumni Association has continued to act as a rallying point for many of our old students, utilizing the WhatsApp platform as a primary point of contact. Through this initiative, many old students have been re-connected and have also re-established valuable contacts with long lost childhood friends and associates. As at the time of this report, our roll call has risen to about 240 members and is still growing. It is our belief that the incoming administration will build on these gains and expand the membership base.
RE-CONSTRUCTION OF AN ABANDONED CLASSROOM BLOCK
By far, one of our most significant and visible signature projects has been the rehabilitation and reconstruction of an abandoned classroom block at our alma mater. This is a building that was earmarked to be pulled down due to its dysfunctional state. However, in the face of burgeoning students’ population and shortage of classroom space, the Alumni Association took on the challenge of salvaging the situation. Many volunteered time, technical skills and resources to ensure that the project was completed within reasonable time and budget. It is to the goodwill and commitment of the Alumni Association that we are now proud to hand over this fully re-constructed classroom block to the school authority.
SPONSORSHIP & MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME FOR STUDENTS OF GSSAE
Another impactful programme introduced and jealously executed by the Alumni Association has been the annual sponsorship & mentorship/reward programme. The programme seeks to encourage academic excellence in our wards as well as encourage academic and non-academic staff to remain diligent in their activities. Many old students and their family members have signed on to endow all the academic subjects as well as other special areas. We are constantly innovating and looking for partnering organizations and groups to help broaden the scope of this programme and look forward to expanding its frontiers in the years to come.
ALUMNI WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
The website project started about three years ago, but we had to step it down due to paucity of funds and lack of engagement by our members. We are happy announce that we have since resuscitated this project and expanded its initial scope to include among other things, the use of the website to conduct the groundbreaking and successful electronic voting during the just concluded Alumni election. The website when fully completed will be a very exciting and interactive platform for members and will help drive a lot of our programmes in future and increase our membership base.
INSURANCE & WELFARE PROGRAMME
This is the one programme we could not get off the drawing board for strategic reasons. We had hoped to build up a significant membership base to be able to take good advantage of lower insurance premium, etc. but this was not possible. On the welfare side, we were able to support our members and their families during periods of celebration and loss of dear ones. We hope the incoming administration will pick up and expand this area.
Under finance, we were able to raise funds largely through voluntary donations, subscription and membership fees. The breakdown of key areas of income and expenditure are stated below:
Total income received: N23,863,100
1. Car donation to Pa Utuk – N2,950,000
2. Reunion expenses – N3,905,500
3. Classroom block renovation- N13,919,400
4. Awards & Sponsorship – N2,061,100
5. Welfare Support – N295,000
6. Website – N374,600
7. Others – N310,500
8. Balance – N92,000
Please note that this figure is exclusive of the 2019 Reunion donations and expenses.
We have been fortunate to work with a proactive and supportive school administration led by Mr. Godwin Ekong. We thank him and his team for the collaborative partnership role they have played these past few years and hope they will take full ownership of the reconstructed classroom block and keep it in a pristine condition always.
Finally, we would like to thank all members who supported our programmes financially and in kind. We are truly appreciative of your support. We are also aware that many, due to the challenging economic environment, could not contribute as much as they would have wished to but supported and prayed for the success of our endeavours, for these group of members, we wish you well and pray that you be enabled to be able to join us in future projects and programmes.
ANIEKAN BASSEY WILLIE
JULY 27, 2019