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Signs of the times

A youth pastor believes not enough is being done to help his generation navigate social issues.
From drugs to gang allegiance, Duvonchez Chambers says too many youth are straying off the right path and he’s calling for more mentors to get involved.

Youth leader Duvonchez Chambers and Pastor Mike Irby say this graffiti scrawled on an abandoned Bodden Town building is a sign of the times.

“When you look at this graffiti and you look at gang symbols, a lot of youth because they are looking for something will join up with a gang,” said Pastor Mike Irby.

A neighbor says she saw young people spray this former bakery with explicit language and illicit subject matter.

“Talking about their love for drugs or marijuana, good ganja, high life, they are promoting their way of getting out of stress or feeling depressed,” said Youth Leader, Duvonchez Chambers.

For Mr. Chambers, a student, he says he does his best to help his peers kick bad habits.

“They explain to me and they tell me that, it’s just from a bad start and it’s hard to get off track now and I’m like, well it all depends on your company and if you can change your company then your company can change you.”

But he feels his words of encouragement fall short once class is over.

“And it just like it starts them over again, from whatever they heard earlier on that day from me or someone else that was trying to help them off that track, they go back home and everything is forgotten and they are back to the same old state.”

Both Pastor Irby and Mr Chambers want more positive role models to step forward that the youth can look up to and engage with.

“Provide an example for these young people who can reach out and encourage them into growing a relationship with those who care,” said Pastor Mike Irby

“Once they see that and they are willing to accept it, then they can truly move on and make a better life for them and they’ll feel a lot better than the feeling that they have when they smoke weed or whatever,” said Duvonchez Chambers.

And he says once you get on the right path, there should be no need to leave a trail behind like this.
Under the law, graffiti is a type of vandalism that has lawful consequences when caught.

About the author

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter was born in Austria and moved to the Cayman Islands at the age of three. Throughout his life, he has always enjoyed documenting his surroundings with cameras. Studying television broadcasting and communications, he now can show the reality of life in Grand Cayman to the public.

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