Provide Job Skills to Kenyan Slum Youth

Dec 1, 2012

Happy holidays from the slums of Nyeri town, Kenya

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Happy holidays to you and your families! As we write this eighth report for our Global Giving supporters, we at the Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre are still striving to raise funds to launch a second round of tailoring training. As our first round showed, the skills we teach the poverty-stricken young women who reside here enable them to find employment or start their own businesses. While Global Giving donations are currently our sole means of support for this project, we continue to seek additional resources as we are eager to get started training again.  In the meantime, we are focusing on running our drop-in centre and sports and youth counseling.

We hope you might consider renewing your support to SYSC this holiday season. If you would like to give a donation as a gift to a friend or colleague, we’d be happy to have a local youth send a personal message of thanks. Just drop us a note at Why not become a monthly donor? For the cost of a few coffees a month ($22), you will allow two young women to receiving tailoring training. And for the month of December, Global Giving will match all recurring donations up to $100 per donor.

We are also very excited to let you know that we have launched a new micro-project under our broader Vocational Skills Training project. Through this small campaign, we are aiming to raise $3,900 USD to rebuild the walls of SYSC’s main centre to make them stable and secure from theft. Our facility is currently made of timber and iron sheeting and is sliding due to land erosion. Shoring the building in stone will allow us to run all our programs here safely and dedicate money otherwise spent to rent space for vocational skills training toward program delivery. To learn more, check out our project page at

In community news, there was another fire in Shauri Yako and Kiawara on September 29th that left 51 families homeless. Fortunately, there was no loss of life. Fire is an ongoing problem here because slum the slums are so densely populated, with homes built from very flammable, non-permanent materials and no piped water to extinguish fires when they break. On behalf of residents, SYSC continues to petition the Nyeri town council to install a water point here.

You may also be interested to know that a general election will be occurring in Kenya in March 2013. As part of our commitment to civic engagement and youth empowerment, we are encouraging the youth with whom we work to not only vote, but to vote for somebody who cares about youth and community development issues. Too often we only see politicians in this area when canvassing for votes. While it feels like we are facing many challenges right now as we strive to raise funds, we will not give up as the need here is too great. We know how little it costs for us to be able to make a major difference in the lives of local youth.

Again, we hope you will please consider renewing your support to our vocational skills training program or help us raise the funds to rebuild our centre. In doing so, you will be supporting the youth and at-risk families in our community more broadly by ensuring they have a safe refuge from the street and can access the supports they need to lift themselves from poverty. With our greatest gratitude and happiest holiday wishes to you.

Asante sana – thank you VERY much,

Joe Mwai, Chair, SYSC


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Project Leader

Sarah Van Exan

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Where is this project located?

Map of Provide Job Skills to Kenyan Slum Youth