By Josh Gibbon
The Dareton Youth and Community Centre recently secured a government grant to provide a program for “Youth Week” over the April school holidays, giving local young people a holiday treat. They went out to the cinema, had a BBQ at the park, and engaged in cooking, gardening, and art programs. During this week, 17 young people joined in, 10 of whom were new to the centre.
“We wanted to spoil the youth a little bit for the week,” Ilker, who oversees the centre, said. “We’re trying to get a bit more interaction and engagement with them and encourage them in exploring their talents.”
Ilker Deli knows the Dareton Youth and Community Centre will be the reason local youth discover their worth, giftings, and purpose. That’s because a youth centre near his childhood home in Hanover, Germany, once changed the course of his own life.
“I got a lot of guidance from the youth centre that I attended as a young person,” Ilker said. “The leadership directed me in the right way. I didn’t have much guidance growing up; I will forever be grateful for the people who showed me the right way. I’m trying to pass that on to the kids here.”
God has used Ilker’s journey as a teenager to prepare him to lead this ministry in Dareton and provide a safe and nurturing place for young people in the area – many of whom are in desperate need of this kind of support.
The youth centre is an afternoon drop-in centre for youth to hang out, play games, engage in educational activities, and learn to prepare a nutritious meal to eat before they return home. With the help of a few volunteers, Ilker runs this most afternoons in the week.
As the governance structure of this ministry shifts from being directly funded by GMP to becoming its own entity, Ilker is imagining what the future holds for this centre. This transition is strategic and will enable the centre to apply for larger government grants as they develop into the future.
“I just want to lay the foundation and make sure this place stays open for as long as possible,” Ilker said, as he shared his dreams of developing their centre with a large outdoor covered area for a workshop and garden nursery. “My biggest goal, though, is to have a male and female who attend here to take over from me one day.”
Ilker welcomes our network to pray for the centre as they navigate the next few months of financial change – that God would provide for them abundantly through grants and donations so this ministry can make a lasting impact on the lives of the youth of Dareton.
To support the Dareton Youth and Community Centre, you can make a tax-deductible donation via GMP Extend HERE.
Read more stories from churches of Christ in NSW & ACT HERE