Dec 21, 2017

Good news & highlights from SYSC

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As 2017 draws to a close, we at the Shauri Yako Youth Support Centre (SYSC) want to thank you for ongoing support for our work. Without your generosity, we would not be able to provide the programming we do to give youth in the slums we serve a chance at a better future.  While we remain a very small charity, our impact in our community is signficant - thanks to you.

It has been a difficult year in Kenya as political turmoil over the disputed presidential elections has polarized the country, created uncertainty about the future and taken a toll on the economy. Predictably, the impacts on the unemployed have been heavy.  We have also faced our own set backs at SYSC, from unexpectated labour policy changes that have delayed our construction skills training project to budgetary constraints.

Despite these challenges, we remain optimistic, undaunted and enthusiastic to building the capacity of youth to lift themselves from poverty.  And, to that aim, have lots of highlights to share from the last quarter:

  • After School Study Program: In October, we started an after school study program for primary school children from Shauri Yako and Kiawara slum’s children.
  • Reproductive Health Education: We began providing peer-led reproductive health information in schools within Nyeri town through our Scouts program. We also began a collaboration with Ruare Radio Station to provide a joint HIV/AIDS and Youth Reproductive Health Education program from January 2018. The program will air will twice a week for 45 minutes and is expected to reach reach thousands of people every week.
  • Good news: We're thrilled that after 52 years, the Kenyan government has agreed to give title deeds to the residents of Shaurio Yako slums. People began to live here informally in the 1960s after being displaced during the Mau Mau freedom war.  SYSC is carrying on its advocacy for the community, campaigning government to provide a primary school and  sewage system and advocating for youth representation on the Nyeri County government.

We continue to look for ways to diversify our funding and grow our support. We are also recruiting volunteers (local and virtual) to teach music, arts and help with fundraising. SYSC relies on volunteer human resources to deliver our programs so that we can maximize the impact of the funds you give to support our programming. As always, we'd be thrilled for your support as a volunteer or if you have a little extra you can give toward of programming for youth.

Thank you again for your continued support.  We wish you and your families a wonderful holiday and prosperous New Year.

Truly yours,

Sep 25, 2017

How You've Helped Kenyan Slum Youth this Quarter

Construction Industry Pilot Program Trainees
Construction Industry Pilot Program Trainees

Happy September to our friends around the world!

We'd like to let you know what's been happening around here, and how your support is making it happen:

Skills training for construction industry artisans:

You may recall that earlier this year we were proud to launch a construction industry artisans training project in partnership with Options for Homes Kenya (OFHK).  This pilot was put on hold in August 2017 because the Kajiado County Government has informed us that all the program trainees in the construction site must have a workman’s compensation insurance. SYSC and OFHK are in discussion to see how this problem can be solved. The program important project receives 75% support from OFHK and 25% from SYSC – and is supported directly through your donations. Construction industry artisans are in a huge demand in the county and, therefore, once these trainees have completed their training, there will be employment for them either from OFHK or other construction companies. We have requested for an insurance cover quotation and have asked OFHK to cover at least 4 people so that we can continue with this critical program.

SYSC Scout program

SYSC Scouts group has really helped to change my life and enabled me to secure a job with Kenya armed forces. I will be forever grateful for all who support SYSC Center and its program. - Dan M - 

Another youth employment opportunity –6 youth from SYSC Scout group with secondary education were recruited into Kenya’s armed forced in July.  This is encouraging to the youth who live in the ShauriYako slums, as it shows that there is recognition of the life and leadership and discipline skills that youth gain from being a part of the Scouts groups.   

SYSC Scouts group also provides free community services. For example, the SYSC Scout group participated in Nyeri Annual Agricultural Show which was held from September 14 to 17. The group had opportunity to discuss scouting with a large number of youth from the county, while also providing free customer and security services for this three day event.

In other youth leadership news, we’re happy to see local youth working with Nyeri Scouts Association and SYSC Scouts to organize walk that will take place in October 28, 2017 in support of Nyeri Hospice.

In Local News, we’re thrilled that the Government of Kenya has announced that it will start providing free secondary education from 2018.

TheKenya presidential general election campaign is still going, but Nyeri county elected a new governor in August. We are waiting eagerly to see if the new county government has development plans for ShauriYako Slums.

Fundraising:

Youth skills training project funds raised from May to 31st July 2017 were $452.10. These funds were used to support the skills training, Scouts program and to support the office administration. We appeal for funds to buy four computers for the center’s computer skills training program. If you can help, or would like to support our search as a volunteer, please let us know.

Future plans:

SYSC main program focus for the next five years is vocational and entrepreneurship skills training and adolescent reproductive health education. These are two areas that will have a huge impact in youth empowerment in our community and align with national needs. SYSC has developed project proposals for both projects and we continue to seek funding and partners.

To our donors and friends, thank you so much for your continuous support. We appreciate your kindness enormously.

Yours truly,

Joe Mwai

Our Scout Group - Community Youth Leaders!
Our Scout Group - Community Youth Leaders!
Jun 26, 2017

Highlights: the Impact of Your Support

Reading and storytelling program at centre on Saturdays is my best time. I can read Hadizi za Abunuazi and other books well now, and can tell many stories to all my friends”. -  Elisa Wanja (12 years) -

Skills training for construction industry artisans:

Thanks to you, SYSC launched a new construction industry artisans training project in partnership with Options for Homes Kenya in April. Eight youth are now placed with an Options for Homes construction project in Ngong Hills, Kajiado County and learning plumbing and masonry skills.  This housing construction project will provide on-the-job building experience for three months, after which the participants will test for certification through the KILBIT Training Institute.  Given the persistent shortage of qualified tradespeople in Kenya, we know we are providing highly employable job skills.

Our objective is to expand to include welding, metal fabrication and electrician skills training.  We are working with CAP Youth Learn, and Earn to explore establishing a training program centre at our SYSC facility in Nyeri town. A community-based program would allow us to serve many more youth in need and avoid having participants commute long-distances other training venues.

Civic Engagement in Upcoming Elections:

Country General Elections bare here again, and so are the politicians, seeking votes from residents – particularly youth.  SYSC is busy hosting candidates so we can discuss our community’s most pressing needs – vocation training for youth, a new primary school and a sewer system.  We are also working to educate youth who feel disenfranchised and overlooked to not sell their vote and use it to elect a politician who will champion their problems. We are also advocating for youth representation on the Nyeri County government.

Studio Mashinani Youth empowerment initiative:

A joint government & co-operative sponsored initiative led by Studio Mashinani Arts Centre, which will identify and promote youth with artistic talents – is preparing to launch in all counties, including Nyeri town. This is a major step in the right direction for youth here.  Not only will the initiative create jobs here, but address youth social issues, like lack of engagement or opportunity for creative expression.  SYSC is working with the Nyeri County government and Studio Mashinani program managers to help identify the land for the development and project implementation.    

SYSC Scout program: Celebrating Tirus

We are proud of Tirus Ndegwa, a SYSC Youth Support Officer, who has been elected as Assistant Commissioner for Nyeri Scouts Association in recognition for his long service with Kenya’s Scouts Association. Tirus is the founder and trainer for SYSC’s Scouts Troop, which provides over 15 volunteer hours a month to our community, including maintaining SYSC’s centre and environmental stewardship of the Nyeri.  Able to help? Our scouts are in need of new uniforms and funding to organize training camps. 

Fundraising:

The $1032.45 raised through your GlobalGiving support this year have been allocated as follows: $820 to support our on-going construction skills training program, and $212.45 for office administration. Thanks to the support of 2 new volunteers, we have submitted 3 project proposals since April: 2 for skills training and one for youth reproductive health training. Keep your fingers crossed for us! We continue seeking for funds to expand our skills training program, our main strategic goal.

 To our donors and friends, thank you so much for your continuous support. We could not help youth lift themselves from poverty without your kindness.

Truly yours,

Joe 

 
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