Community volunteers are helping transform a neglected property in the Rock Hole area of George Town into a vocational and educational center.
The property was originally intended as a new site for George Town Primary School. Part of it will be used to restart a vocational program for at-risk youngsters. The rest of the property will be used for sports, recreation and family activities. The charity Youth ACT is looking for private sector partners to help make the vision a reality.
The project got a kick-start on Saturday morning when volunteers including participants from Youth ACT, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, George Town Primary School, and electrical program coordinator Allan Moore brought machetes, picks and strong muscles and went to work.
Years ago, Mr. Moore, who is also a member of Youth ACT, offered vocational and technical training programs for youths, said Bonnie Anglin, chairwoman of Youth ACT. However, funding dried up in the past few years, the program was halted, and the property became overgrown, she said.
She said Youth ACT hopes to partner with the private sector to get the apprenticeship programs in plumbing and electrical work up and running again, in addition to using the site for recreation, sports and family activities.
“The area is just one example of how we can work and contribute to engage young people in positive careers and activities,” she said.
Mr. Moore said, “I have used my expertise to teach young people about electrical work. They need a location, and that is what part of the cleanup around the property is about.”
He said former portable classrooms on the property donated by government will be used for electrical training and musical classes through the Cayman Islands Steel Band association.
Longtime friend Renard Moxam said Mr. Moore “wants to have more young people join the program. He’s also looking [for] financing to carry the projects through.”
“If we don’t re-engage with young people, then they will end up in prison,” Mr. Moxam said.
“We need to start someplace. There are some challenges and wrinkles that need to be ironed out. Nothing in life is smooth. We just have to face the challenges together, get past them and reestablish a proper sense of community in [our] society. Allan Moore has been one of those persons trying and trying, and I think more people need to join in.”
Mr. Moore started his career with government in 1977. After his retirement as chief electrical inspector, he was approached to assist Caymanians on how to study for the Cayman Islands electrical examination. In later years he formed what is known today as the Community Vocational Training Centre.