Creative Christian Arts Ministries expands youth outreach
Creative Christian Arts Ministries'(CCAMI)senior pastor, Henry Higgins, and his wife, Dr. Ann Higgins, have a plann to make hope a reality this year. In a society where last year’s murder count hit an historic high, and seven murders have already been reported for the new year, many church leaders are already showing concern and worry. Yet Pastor Higgins feels that although these are depressing times there is still much hope if we can address the needs and problems of the youth.
Pastor Higgins, who is the leader of the unconventional Christian B-class Junkanoo group, Conquerors for Christ, says that crime is indeed a problem but that it is only the end result of a long process that started in the youth of many criminals’lives. He feels that a way to curb the many problems in society is to target the youth now and make them see that being positive citizens by educating and engaging them on common issues and concerns is the way to go.
In order to make this plan a reality the warehouse located on Windsor Lane, off Market Street, leased to CCAMI in 2006 as a work place for the Conquerors for Christ Junkanoo group and community center will be much more active in its efforts in the coming year.
“The warehouse was originally leased so that my Junkanoo group could have a place to work and practice but upon seeing that there was much more needed by the children and adults alike in the Windsor Lane area and the surrounding communities, we decided that this building could be used for so much more than a traditional Junkanoo shack,”said the pastor.
“Our mission is to have a community center that exists to enrich our community spiritually, physically, mentally and socially through arts, education, sports, recreation, wellness and of course Christian love.”
Some of the bigger projects this year for the center include expanding beyond an afterschool hang out spot. Starting Monday, January 24 the community center will host a wide array of workshops, seminars, activities and fun-filled events every evening at 4 o’clock.
“We are really blessed to have found many partners and persons who were interested in the community center and its function to come onboard to help fulfill our vision this year,”said Pastor Higgins.”Some of our partners include the Bahamas Urban Development Foundation(BUDF), Youth Built, Rotary Club International, the College of The Bahamas Law School, the Community Affairs Division of the Ministry of Social Development, the St. Cecilia’s Urban Renewal, National Pride Association, Bahamas Football Association and many, many more.”
Outside of the usual performing arts programs, which included drama, arts and craft, dance, music and Junkanoo, the center will be offering an afterschool homework assistance program, seminars for all young people on sexual abstinence and legal education. There will also be workshops on parental skills for young adults and parents themselves. A boys and girls’club, soccer club and marching band will also be established. And to engage a greater sense of national pride and environmental cleanliness, multiple clean-up campaigns will also be put on throughout the year.
“We are so happy to be able to serve the community,”said Dr. Ann Higgins.”We have seen many of the young people grow right up in this place and to see them making so many good choices and finding ways to better themselves is what we want. So having this new list of activities is really inspiring and I hope it really reaches the young people as well as those adults in need.”
Podestra Moore, president and founder of the newly formed BUDF, a partner with the community center, said that she had always been concerned about the youth especially in the area of teenage pregnancy and high rates of STDs among junior and senior school age children. Her concern is to talk to the young people about abstinence, safe sex and the reproductive anatomy so that they know what they are getting themselves into and how they can protect themselves.
Leslie Moore, founder of Youth Built, also hopes to engage the young people, especially men, by putting on a series of workshops about the construction industry. He hopes to get them interested in a trade that could be profitable to them one day.
Pastor Higgins invited all persons interested in getting their kids involved in something worthwhile and wholesome to come to the community center.
“We may be located in Windsor Lane but we are open to all who are interested. We need to save all our children and engage them in things positive and what they are interested in. I am very excited about these new programs and I am looking forward to seeing the young that will flow in and the positivity that will flow out,”he said.
The center is open from 9 a.m. 3 p.m.