One of the main challenges for programs for street children is a successful transition to independent living once the youth complete their education. With high unemployment, (and no homes to return to) they are at a high risk of returning to the streets. To help young people transition to life on their own the CYEC has developed plans for eco-villages where youth can work and further their skills. After several years of preparation and planning, we are thrilled that the CYEC has started settlement at the first eco-village site in Othaya, about 25 minutes from Nyeri.
Youth from the Centre recently participated in a two-day asset-based community development workshop to help them identify available resources that can be used to develop the14 acre site. The long-term vision is to have an ecologically and economically sustainable community that will serve as a launch pad for the youth. Specific ideas for development include horticulture production, dairy goats, and eco-tourism. Like the CYEC, this will be a model facility for the national program for street-dwelling families.
Thanks to your generous support, the CYEC was able to have an exciting and successful 2012 across its programs! Youth enterprises have expanded and grown, children expressed themselves through the arts and the young people shone in educational activities inside and beyond the classroom. Please see the attached annual report for all the details.
Also, Wednesday March 13 is a Bonus Day on Global Giving, so all gifts made that day after 9.00 a.m. Eastern time (8.00 a.m. Central) will be matched at 30%. This is a great way to increase the impact of your donation!
Thanks for all you do! You make all this possible!
In honor of your support of the Children & Youth Empowerment Centre in Kenya, we composed a special version of The 12 Days of Christmas. We think even those who don’t celebrate Christmas will enjoy!
Penn State researchers found protein from meat is crucial for children's brain development & PSU ag students determined rabbits are the most cost-effective meat producers. The CYEC now has more than 50 rabbits, providing income and protein.
The CYEC opened its nursery school program to the local community in 2012. Now these children can enter primary school ready to learn.
Volunteers from US and Kenya joined together in a mural arts program for the CYEC last summer. A recent Penn State grad raised funds and local artists lent their skills so children at the Centre could express themselves and enjoy colorful murals. See: http://www.facebook.com/CyecKenyaMuralArtsProject?fref=ts
A couple Kansas State students have created a company to import and sell the shoulder bags made by the young women at the Centre. The graduates of the tailoring program can earn and save, thanks to these sales! See: http://www.facebook.com/RafikiBags
A volunteer from Australia worked with CYEC volunteers to implement a life skills program developed by Penn State faculty. After gaining greater self-awareness, the first class graduated this fall.
With the support of PSU faculty and students, several youth have learned how to cut and bale hay, as well as build manual balers. Their successful business has been in operation for nearly a year.
Children at the CYEC value education and strive to succeed. In exams this year, more than one-fourth of the primary children placed in the top 10% of their class! We also have 17 students in secondary school, thanks to their efforts and your support!
To increase sustainability and give the children & youth responsibilities, production (food, clothes, furniture) and chores (cleaning, etc.) are handled nearly entirely by the youth & children. Volunteers from KSU helped create a system of exchange to track these activities.
The metalworking and woodworking workshops have been fully renovated and equipped, thanks to a grant from the government of Japan. We are hopeful that with this equipment we will be able to train the street youth to a competitive level at the same time creating an avenue for income generation.
Friends of the CYEC in Kenya have formed the Zawadi Society, a group of volunteers who mentor and tutor children at the Centre. It’s so important for the kids to have a special someone who cares about them!
With two small greenhouses and a shamba (large garden) the CYEC youth produce enough veggies to supply the Centre. This provides fresh produce for the children and skills and income for the youth.
The goal of the CYEC is to develop the potential of these children & youth so they can lead happy, productive lives. Your support helps us meet this goal!
The children and youth at the CYEC value education and continue to excel academically. When we visit, they tell us they strive to be first in their class so they can be doctors and engineers. Given their performance, they’re right on track! Of the 97 children in primary school, 25 were ranked in the top three in their class. (Unlike in the US, results on exams are public and children are ranked within their grade levels.) Classes are large, so this is quite an achievement!
The CYEC is also pleased to have 17 students in secondary school, as entrance exams are quite rigorous. Some attend high schools in Nyeri while others are in boarding schools in Nairobi and elsewhere. Fees and expenses for high school average $550/year, so we appreciate your support to enable these young people to continue their education!
Two students have completed their courses in college, receiving diplomas in information technology and criminology. Both are working, and one is also continuing for a bachelor’s degree. Another youth is studying accounting, and several are in vocational programs outside the Centre.
Education is key to a successful future for these children and youth. They realize this and work hard, so your support is used well.
Each year, the CYEC hosts students and young adults from around the world, but most of our students come from two universities - Penn State and Kansas State. The students prepare for a semester, then come to work on various projects for the Centre, sharing their skills and passion and forming lasting relationships with our children and youth.
This summer, the students from Kansas State reinforced and expanded the Zawadi Exchange Program. Through this program, children and youth at the Centre earn points for doing chores or producing food, which can then be exchanged for toys (for the children) and room and board (for the youth). This builds responsibility and self-sufficiency among our young people.
Penn State students primarily worked with the youth cooperative, leading them through a series of workshops on entrepreneurship and business development. Most of the youth are involved in agricultural enterprises, but other activities include making jewelry from electronic waste. Two PSU graduates also extended their time to work on livestock production (the goats now produce enough milk to give all the young children a cup each morning!) and a mural arts program. Other PSU initiatives include low-cost greenhouse production and a tele-medicine initiative.
These partnerships are so valuable for all the young people involved. The US students are able to apply what they've learned in class, and more importantly, connect on a genuine level with the children and and youth at the Centre. The children at the centre are encouraged to continue their studies, and all of them learn they're not so different from each other.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Director of Zawadi Fund International