A fundraising campaign is currently underway for a new youth centre in the Kennebecasis Valley.
The KV Oasis Youth Centre will be a drop-in for youth aged 12 to 25 as well as a place to access medical services.
There will be a family doctor, a sexual health nurse, counsellors, and a psychiatrist on site and the centre will also host recreational activities, workshops, as well as a second-hand store.
“It’s something that we really need,” says Arfan Hajizadeh, a UNB Saint John engineering student and member of the youth advisory committee who is responsible for pushing for the centre .
“We need something in the valley that we have never even seen before.”
In the upcoming month before opening, the organization will be hosting a number of fundraising events to aid in the development of the centre.
Drew Robart, UNB Saint John varsity athlete, is involved in the project also serving on the committee.
He talks about some of the upcoming fundraising events.
“We have our fashion show so a bunch of companies in the community are coming together and having their clothes displayed by models who are youth involved with the centre.”
Robart explains the fashion show, on April 26, will also address mental health awareness, which is also a large reason for the youth centre itself.
“I know that a few companies like Wear Your Label are involved so people who have a history with mental health are going to be displaying and wearing the Wear Your Label clothing.”
In addition to the fashion show, the Lion’s Club will be hosting a “Deal or No Deal” event on April 1.
The ticketed event promises over $1,500 in cash and prizes, a roast beef dinner, interactive games, and a silent auction, with all proceeds going to the centre.
Hajizadeh and Robart got involved in the project after they were approached by executive director Yennah Hurley.
After a few months of uncertainty as to whether or not the Centre would get off the ground, government support as well as a number of sponsors started coming in including a $40,000 grant from the Greater Saint John Community Foundation.
“It just started to become surreal,” says Hajizadeh.
“That’s when I was like ‘yeah this is for real and I really want to help out the community’.”
Anyone is welcome to donate, sponsor, or volunteer with KV Oasis and can do so through their website, www.kvoasis.com.
More information about the fundraising events can be found on the KV Oasis Youth Centre facebook page.
The Youth Centre Oasis grand opening is on May 28.