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Jan 6, 2015

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas, CYEC-ZFI version

In honor of your support of the Children & Youth Empowerment Centre in Kenya, we’ve composed a special version of The 12 Days of Christmas. We think even those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas will enjoy!

1. “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a book written by a child at the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre.”

 This past summer, several Penn State students helped establish a writing program at the Centre to allow children to literally tell their stories. With donated software and a printer, the program continues.

 2. “On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 Several years ago, K-State students in the Leadership Studies program established a full set of co-curricular activities including an arts club. Local volunteers meet with the children every week to help them develop their creative talents. They now have a vibrant visual and performing arts program.

 3. “On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three acres of drip irrigation, two sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 Penn State engineering students installed a drip irrigation system in a section of the CYEC garden. Now the youth help grow veggies for the centre year-round.

 4. “On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four micro-loans, three acres of drip irrigation, two sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”                                           

In the past several years, youth at the Centre have received micro-credit to set up small businesses such as a retail shop and catering. They’ve repaid and are doing well!

 5. “On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five preschoolers playing & learning, four micro-loans, three acres of drip irrigation, two sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 The CYEC opened its nursery school program to the local community in 2012. Now these children can enter primary school ready to learn.

 6. “On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six students a-studying, five preschoolers playing & learning, four micro-loans, three acres of drip irrigation, two sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 Public education in Kenya is free through 8th grade, but secondary schools charge tuition. Local and international ZFI sponsors support CYEC youth as they further their education. Our kids regularly rank at the top of their class!

 7. “On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven children breakfasting, six students a-studying, five preschoolers playing & learning, four micro-loans, three acres of drip irrigation, two sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 ZFI donors ensure CYEC children have a healthy breakfast before school 2 days a week. We also provide medical and educational supplies and clothing.

 8. “On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 8 youth a-working, 7 children breakfasting, 6 students a-studying, 5 preschoolers playing & learning, 4 micro-loans, 3 acres of drip irrigation, 2 sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 PSU students led youth in professional skills workshops, and now many are employed locally and in Nairobi. They’ve also started development at the first eco-village site in Othaya!

 9. “On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me 9 youth a-baling, 8 youth a-working, 7 children breakfasting, 6 students a-studying, 5 preschoolers playing & learning, 4 micro-loans, 3 acres of drip irrigation, 2 sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 Several years ago a PSU faculty member helped youth start a hay-baling business. They’ve received grants to provided training to youth in Uganda and other parts of Kenya to expand the program – helping many young people across the region!

 10. “On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me 10 volunteers mentoring, 9 youth a-baling, 8 youth a-working, 7 children breakfasting, 6 students a-studying, 5 preschoolers playing & learning, 4 micro-loans, 3 acres of drip irrigation, 2 sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 Friends of the CYEC in Kenya have formed the Zawadi Society, a group of local 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!

 11. “On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me 11 children playing, 10 volunteers mentoring, 9 youth a-baling, 8 youth a-working, 7 children breakfasting, 6 students a-studying, 5 preschoolers playing & learning, 4 micro-loans, 3 acres of drip irrigation, 2 sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

After school activities include sports, reading, music, and an environmental club to help CYEC children and youth develop their self-awareness and have fun!

 12. “On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 youth succeeding, 11 children playing, 10 volunteers mentoring, 9 youth a-baling, 8 youth a-working, 7 children breakfasting, 6 students a-studying, 5 preschoolers playing & learning, 4 micro-loans, 3 acres of drip irrigation, 2 sets of paints and a book written by a child at the CYEC.”

 The CYEC strives to develop the potential of these children & youth so they can lead happy, productive lives. Your support helps us meet this goal! Thank you for a wonderful 2014!

Links:

Oct 7, 2014

Young Authors at the CYEC

Excited to write!
Excited to write!

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.

So proud of their books!
So proud of their books!

Links:

Jun 25, 2014

Eco-village development and Bonus Day!

A hut under construction
A hut under construction

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!

Huts for guests
Huts for guests
A river for rafting
A river for rafting
A lovely setting!
A lovely setting!
 
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