The age-old complaint of youngsters that there’s nothing to do has just been blown out the window in North Side.
An open house for the Fusion Youth Centre was held Sunday, 28 October, with about 100 people attending.
“I am pleased to have attended the Fusion Youth Centre Open House and to lend my support personally and on behalf of the Government to the project,” said government Minister of Youth Mark Scotland. “I commend Pastor Ellen Peguero and her church for taking this bold initiative to provide the children and young people in the community with what will be an excellent facility and with much needed programmes and activities that will aid in their growth and development, and help them to become productive citizens of our country. I encourage everyone to support the project by becoming One of 800.”
The centre will reach out to those between the ages of 12- and 25-years-old.
The centre is at the Church of God Chapel Frank Sound, which is pastored by Ellen Peguero.
The event gave members of the public an opportunity to learn more about the plans for the Fusion Youth Centre, meet some of the young people that are benefitting from the Fusion programme and pledge their commitment to seeing the facility completed.
Before gathering in the Fusion Youth Centre for refreshments and a glimpse of the finished product viewed through a 360 degree video tour, attendees heard remarks and greetings from Minister Scotland, Mrs. Peguero, James Myles of the Youth Services Unit and Fusion youth leader Rudolph Gordon. The Fusion Youth Group and children from the Infant Church also participated in the programme.
“The vision for the Fusion Youth Ministry, Church of God Chapel Frank Sound is to let the young people of our community know that they are important by providing a place where they are welcomed, heard and accepted into the family of God, a place where they will be loved and guided but not judged,” explained Mr. Gordon, who heads up the youth ministry at the church.
Pastor Peguero highlighted the mission of the Fusion Youth programme.
“Our mission is to respond to the social and spiritual needs of the youth in our community by providing educational and stimulating programs, activities, and events that will allow them to express their faith in God through their own words and actions and by encouraging them to use their God-given talents in programmes and ministries that interest them,” said Peguero. “As a people of faith we will nurture their growth while teaching them the importance of their relationship with Christ and giving back to their community.”
Mrs. Peguero also made an impassioned plea to listeners on behalf of Cayman’s youth.
“Right now there are young people in here and out there who are just like I was: searching for someone to believe in them and their possibilities. We can’t leave it to chance; we have to reach those young people. Help us to help those youth who think they have no opportunities, and those who know that they do, but need help and guidance in reaching them. We have to stop talking about our young people and start talking with them! We must work together in helping our youth realise that there is hope, and that they do have great potential.”
A number of people who attended the session made donations to the Be One of 800 fundraising campaign that is being carried out by the church.
The goal of the church is to raise almost $250,000 through donations of $312 each from 800 people.
The money will be used to transform the bare interior of the Fusion Youth Centre into a state-of-the-art facility appealing to the needs and sensibilities of youngsters and teenagers.
Colourful lights, an Internet café, iPod docking stations, a stage for performances with sophisticated stage lighting and sound, music, food, pool tables and Wii stations are some of the conveniences envisioned by Pastor Ellen Peguero, the leaders and the youth ministry team at the Frank Sound Church.
The church will also use the centre to provide after-school programmes for children and youth in the community.
“We know that our target of $250,000 is more than achievable because we believe the donation amount is reasonable,” Mrs. Peguero said days before the open house. “We hope that people will consider making this small investment, which will help to impact the youth of these Islands. The fact is that this facility is for all of our children, and it will benefit our country in the long term. We will be offering a structured environment and a safe haven that provides wholesome and challenging activities which cater to the spiritual, social and emotional needs of our youth. It is these types of programmes that will curb the social and moral decay that we are currently experiencing in our country.”
Julie Hunter was one of the first people to make her financial commitment to Fusion’s Be One of 800 project. Although not a member of the church, Hunter says her daughter is a member of Church of God Chapel Frank Sound, and Ms Hunter has witnessed first-hand the great work that is taking place in the youth programme.
“I really believe in the vision that the Church of God Chapel Frank Sound has for the youth,” says Hunter. “I also believe that having this facility will help to keep many young people off the street that may have been going down the wrong road spiritually and socially and also bring in youth who are on the road to destruction. These kids are a blessing to anyone who has had the opportunity to see them minister in church or at other events. I have personally talked to some of them and they are committed and focused individuals. I have also had them participate in events that I have organised and they are always so willing and do such a great job.”
Ms Hunter believes that anyone who has the wellbeing of young people at heart and wants to see positive development in Cayman’s youth and in the country as a whole should support the Be One of 800 campaign.
“So many of our children have taken the wrong road. We should do all we can to nurture and harness those that want to go God’s way.”
For more information about Fusion Youth Ministry and/or the Be One of 800 campaign log on to call 947-3691.