Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)

Vision: To empower disadvantaged and marginalized slum youth, women and at-risk families in a sustainable way. Mission: To improve the quality of life for people living in extreme poverty in Nyeri district, Kenya's biggest slum, through social and economic development programs and community services, with a special focus on children, youth and poor women.
Dec 3, 2013

Microsoft will match your donation for youth today

Community kids outside their homes
Community kids outside their homes

Happy Holidays friends!

Guess what? SYSC has joined teams with Global Giving and Microsoft. We are lucky enough to be a part of their Youth Spark campaign. Today is Giving Tuesday and Microsoft is matching any donations we receive to support slum youth development beginning at noon, up to $1000 a donation (until the $250,000 in matching funds runs out). 

If you are able to help SYSC this holiday season, today is the day to do it - you'll DOUBLE your impact.

It's been a big year for SYSC, thanks to you. We raised enough funds to tear down our old iron sheeting facility and rebuilt a solid facility and two-stall public toilet in stone and lumber.  This means we have a permanent home for our programs and can avoid spending essential program funds on rent, our equipment is safe from theft, youth have a safe refuge from the street and the community has a new meeting space. Best of all, we all have new hope for the future. Because we are a part of Global Giving, we were able to build a partnership with The Project Solution and have just found out university students from the University of North Carolina will be coming this summer to teach music and computer lessons, through the youth-run organization Nourish.

We're excited for a new year and focused on fundraising for tailoring and welding job skills training. This will give youth skills in a high demand sector. According to Business Daily Africa, there is a massive shortage of technical skills like plumbing, mechanics, tailoring and welding, in the Kenyan economy because universities have been taking over middle-level colleges that used to train workers. 

We know we can make a real difference in the lives of slum youth with your help. Here's a testimonial from Kenneth, pictured below with his wife and family:

"I am a volunteer for SYSC. I was born and raised by a single mother here in Shauri Yako slums 33 years ago, where I continue to live with my wife and three children. None of us live here because we want to. Life is a daily struggle. The government consider the community of Shauri Yako an ‘informal settlement’, which renders slums residents ‘invisible’ to the authorities and the town administration. SYSC is only organization that helps our youth to escape slums life and become independent. Our hopes and dreams depend on SYSC's success."

Thank you for your support. We've said it before, but it continues to touch us that strangers who do not know us are generous enough to support our cause.

To close, we'd like to wish you and your families' the happiest of holidays and share with you an old Swahili proverb: kutoa ni moyo usambe ni utajiri, which means 'giving is from the heart not from wealth'.
Joe
Kenneth and his family
Kenneth and his family
Dec 2, 2013

Thanks, you helped us build two toilets!

Our new two-stall toilet
Our new two-stall toilet
Dear friend,
With your support, we have now built two modern, hygenic toilet stalls outside our newly rebuilt centre.  Our centre has not had a toilet in the past and this addition will make participating in our programs more comfortable for all users.  Most of the youth who use our centre live in serious poverty and are accustomed to sharing a pit latrine with about 30 others. 

Here's how we spent your money on construction materials and labour (in Kenyan shillings):

1 lorry quarry stones: 14,000
1 lorry sand: 14,000
4 x 900 iron roofing sheets: 3,600
6 x 750 bags cement: 5,800
2 Toilet systems: 14,000
PVC and other pipes:  2,900
Timber 6 x 4 for roofing: 2,400
2 timber doors – 3200 x 2: 6,400
Door frames 1250 x 2: 2,500
A mason and 2 labourers   2,000 x 5 days: 10,000
Plumber: 2,500
Nails 2’’ x 2, 3’’ x 2: 520
2 windows: 2,400
Draining line/system work: 4,400
Metal water tank and pipes: 5,500
Total: 90,920 = $ USD 1,082
 
We are slightly under our estimated budget of $1200. The difference will be used to paint the exterior of the toilets and will help withoutsanding priorities, like installing eavestroughs on and electrical wiring in our centre.
We are so grateful for your help. A $1,200 project probably doesn't seem very big to you, but it's often hard to get the attention of funders with really small projects. Many don't fund infrastructure either. Support from individual donors like you is the reason why we are successful in changing the lives of slum youth. 
Thank you so much.
Joe Mwai
Chair
Youth we support
Youth we support
Nov 18, 2013

Progress on improving slum youth's lives

Scouts troop meeting in our new centre
Scouts troop meeting in our new centre

Hello friends,

It's time for another update on our work to improve the lives of slum youth here in Nyeri town, Kenya.

We're really happy to let you know that since we last wrote we have completed a two-stall toilet just outside the facility where offer we offer our youth drop-in and programming centre. For the first time, youth - most of whom are accustomed to sharing one pit latrine with 30 others - have access to a hygenic, modern toilet when they use our centre. This is an extremely exciting improvement for everyone, and we are so thankful to our Global Giving supporters for making this dream a reality.

The past three months have been active for us in the areas of fundraising and planning. We have submitted several new grant applications, thanks to the hard work of our new on-line volunteers.  We have been researching the feasibility of growing bamboo along the nearby Chania river as a means of sustainable income development for local women. And our local Scouts troop has been brainstorming on ways to help the community and themselves. They are now exploring opportunities to train in first aid and emergency preparedness, with the goal of eventually being able to train others.

We've heard from our supporters that they like to hear from those we help.  Here's another story from one of our beneficiaries.  Is there anything you'd like to know about SYSC? Respond to this email and let us know.

"I have been involved with SYSC since I was 12 years. I am from a family of 8 children and a single mother. When our father left and my mother later lost her job, we did not have a home and my mom turned to Mama Mugo (SYSC’s founder) for help.  I lived at SYSC when it was Mama Mugo’s Childrens Home.  SYSC gave me a place to live and sponsored my education through secondary school.  Afterward, through a SYSC donor, I attended a hospitality college, where I trained as a cook. Now I work for the Kenyan Red Cross as a cook. I am self reliant and able to help my mom and two younger sisters. I volunteer at SYSC once in a while, when I can.  I want to give back because I owe what I am today to SYSC.  I would like to see SYSC grow to be a bigger organization that can reach out to more youth and children because what they do is very important." - Nicholas Mureithi -

In conclusion, THANK YOU for your kindness and generousity. You are making a direct difference to youth who are isolated and receive no programming support from the Kenyan or local government.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Joe Mwai

Chair of the Board

Single mother
Single mother's support group meeting
Our new toilet
Our new toilet

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