Like children everywhere, children at the CYEC love to express themselves through coloring and story-telling. However, these children often don't have an outlet for their creativity. This past summer, several Penn State students helped establish a program at the Centre that enables children to write, illustrate and publish their books.
Many students wrote about their lives on the street before they came to the CYEC. Some of the stories are hard to believe, and leave us in awe of the strength, hope and resiliency of these children. They are bright and hardworking, and it’s our hope that this project will help them gain much-deserved confidence in their intelligence and creativity. One girl, Margrete, told us more specifically about her motivation for writing her story, “Fate of Love.” “I love reading novels, and so I wanted to create my own, with realistic characters and a long, exciting plot.”
The book-publishing program continues, allowing these children to tell their own stories to the world.
Your support has enabled us to make exciting progress at our first eco-village site in Othaya! The eco-village provides a place for the youth to live, work and save as they transition to independent living. Othaya has a beautiful natural environment, and one of our main income-generating activities will be eco-tourism, with hiking, river rafting and biking, as well as agri-tourism. In the past several months we have built traditional huts for guest housing, a kitchen facility, a dining hall and latrines. Several of our young people have worked with skilled workmen to learn traditional building techniques. We already have a booking by a local organization to use the facility in August!
There is also agricultural land at Othaya, currently growing vegetables for the Centre. Four youth live at the eco-village now, and we will soon have capacity for more.
Additional funds are needed to build more housing for the youth and a reception centre for vulnerable children from the local community. Today is a YouthSpark bonus day at Global Giving, so all gifts made will be matched 100%! This is a wonderful opportunity to double the impact of your gift! Please give now!
Electronic waste, primarily from cell phones and computers, is a common problem in the developing world. Toxic chemicals leak from dump sites into water or cause illness for children scavenging waste. Students from Penn State Berks and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology worked together to identify possible productive uses of this waste. After exploring several options, they decided on jewelry. They then trained youth at the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre to safely make jewelry and desk clocks from electronic waste, turning this scourge into a source of income. Youth are considering other items to produce from e-waste including picture frames and magnets. This project made the Kenyan news!
We're pleased to let you know the youth of the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre have been working hard to expand their businesses, earn money and start lives outside of the Centre. The Zawadi Youth Enterprise Programme (ZYEP), founded in 2010 to help youth start businesses, is now host to 25 young entrepreneurs! Youth businesses include charcoal briquettes, agriculture, hay-bailing, animal rearing, tailoring, cooking and small shops. These businesses have helped more than one quarter of ZYEP’s youth achieve financial independence. These youth are able to live outside the Centre and support themselves.
The CYEC recently welcomed its first Peace Corps Volunteer, who has been aiding youth in finding jobs and expanding their businesses. In just a few short months, the Peace Corps Volunteer has helped more than five youth businesses create comprehensive business plans and has secured permanent employment for one youth. Over the past few months, many of ZYEP’s entrepreneurs have participated in a number of agricultural and trade shows in Nyeri and Nairobi. These shows offer youth the opportunity to advertise their businesses and attract new customers. The youth are currently preparing for Nyeri County Youth Innovation and Talent Show where they will showcase their businesses and special skills.
Global Giving, through the support of Microsoft's YouthSpark program, will be matching gifts made Tues. Dec. 3 starting at noon ET (11 am Central) 100%! This is a great (and rare) opportunity to double the impact of your gift! The funds won't last long, so please give now!
Thank you for helping make our work possible!
Staff and volunteers at the CYEC have created two new youth clubs at the Centre. The clubs are designed to teach the CYEC’s young people (age 13 and up) about puberty, adolescence, HIV-prevention, goal setting and conflict resolution. The girls have named their club “Soul Sisters” and meet each Thursday to discuss menstruation, gender roles in Kenyan society and domestic violence. The boys’ “Brotherhood” club meets each Friday. The young people sip tea while discussing their hopes, fears and ambitions. Staff use a public health curriculum written by the United Nations Population Council to help design their lessons.
The clubs have been a wild success and as such, local leaders have asked the staff to write their lessons in a simple curriculum that can be used elsewhere in Kenya. Local schools have asked that the CYEC’s staff and volunteers share their lessons with the local school children. We look forward to helping other local people start similar empowerment clubs.
Your support helps make this work possible!
Today (Wed. 9 Oct.) is a Global Giving bonus day. Your gifts today are matched at 30% - it's an easy way to make a big difference in the lives of these young people!
Thanks for all you do!
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Director of Zawadi Fund International