A night to remember

By Serina Moyo


The youth of today often get a bad rep. We are constantly bombarded with negative portrayals of young people in the media; reinforcing negative stereotypes. But the truth is, there’s an ocean of untapped potential in our youth, with skillsets beyond our wildest dreams waiting to be unleashed. And rather than fearing and undervaluing our young people, shouldn’t we be motivating, encouraging and supporting them? They are the future after all. This concept, lead to an idea, and this idea, lead to the creation of HIANA.

The journey of an idea from inception to reality, is often tiring, draining, but oh so satisfying, and an important part of this journey was the launch of the HIANA creative space.

It started off when Pastor David Bruno shared his idea with his congregation of ambitious youths, eager to help their community. The goal – To raise funds for the launch of the HIANA creative space in the heart of Birmingham. The Church wasted no time and donations came flooding in – including generous donations of a £1000 each from several members to purchase quality sound equipment. In total they raised a whopping £9000.

Beauty Behind Gospel members Ken, Joah, Anita, Carl and Michael, offered their services to HIANA on a voluntary basis. Which meant the charity was able to offer training in a range of creative skills from web design to fashion design. Details on each service can be found here.

With regards to the creative space itself, there was a lot of work to be done. First of all, the newly acquired space had to be cleaned, and volunteers from Beauty Behind Gospel Church, pulled up their sleeves in order to scrub, wipe, dust and organise the area.

The men of the church, worked hard on the electrics, making sure everything was working, from the sound system, to the lighting. Meanwhile, the ladies focus was on the interior design and layout of the space.

Furthermore, the HIANA logo was designed, printed and transferred onto the windows in the creative space to allow passersby to see the logo from the street.

As the date for the launch approached, the word was put out about the launch of the HIANA creative space. Guests were informed about the strict dress code as this was a black tie event, and told to prepare themselves for a night full of fun and creativity.

After 5 months of hard work, the creative space launch had finally arrived on November 19th 2016. Some dedicated members of the church arrived in the morning to start setting up the space and cooking up some tasty treats. The other volunteers arrived throughout the day to make sure the lighting, sound, seating and food were all set out and ready for the guests.

Dressed to the nines, guests gathered outside the doors, eagerly awaiting the ribbon cutting ceremony. Pastor Bernard Kord of Father Heart Centre, led a prayer before anyone entered the building, and thanked God for the space and for His blessings. The red ribbon was cut by Joycelyn Bruno, wife of Pastor David Bruno and the guests entered.

The hosts of the event welcomed the guests and the launch was opened with a champagne toast. The guests then enjoyed the music as they helped themselves to the delicious spread that had been provided. Once the guests had settled, the presentation began and the guests were given in-depth information on how the creative space will be used. They were also shown a video showcasing the talent within the HIANA family and the creative services on offer.

Next was a soulful performance by the Beauty Behind Gospel choir leader, and then the creative volunteers were presented in person. Each volunteer introduced themselves in turn, detailing their skill and what they can offer to the youth.

As the evening came to a close, the guests were thanked for their attendance and their generosity as many had made donations during the event. Pastor David Bruno thanked all who had given their time to help with the launch and wished all the guests goodnight.

The launch of the creative space was an amazing start to what is going to be a useful platform for youth to develop their skills and enhance their careers. And this is just the beginning...

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