Nov 10, 2011

First Group of Trainees Ready to Graduate

Your Support is Helping Girls become Self-Employed

We are happy to report that the eight young women who you and other Global Giving donors have sponsored will graduate in December 2011!  Equipped with tailoring, dress design and entrepreneurship skills (as well as HIV/AIDS education and testing), most of the students are planning to pursue self-employment. SYSC will assist them with access to micro credit and youth enterprise programs.  Many thanks from SYSC staff and our trainees for supporting this initiative.  We are committed to continuing to raise funds so we can offer more girls an alternative to poverty.

On a sad note, we wanted to let you know that Shauri Yako was devestated by a fire three weeks ago: sixteen homes and the life of a child were lost.  Town authorities reported that it was not possible to stop because there was available water.  Because this has been a regular problem over the years, SYSC has continually advocated for the installation of an emergency water point in our community.  Unfortunately, town officials have never taken action.  42 families are now sleeping in the rain and cold.

On a happy note, we wanted to tell you how we're able to help youth escape the slums for a few hours through our sports program.  When we started working with youth within the community, we realized that one of their greatest needs was right to play in safe recreation space. Shauri Yako and Manjengo slums didn’t provide any space for this purpose. When I was growing up here, we use to go and play at nearby garbage dump or roam the streets.  Wealthier parts of town were restricted to people like me and it was a trespassing offence to be caught there. When hungry, we use to invade the garbage bins in the Asian quarter in search of food - there was always roti. Forty years later, Shauri Yako slums have grown to the point that there is no spare space left.

We at SYSC found a way to address this problem.  Eight years ago we successfully negotiated an arrangement with the Ministry of Works to the old sports grounds of their football club, located twenty minutes away from our centre.  It’s now a place for us to provide sports training and leadership programs, home ground for SYSC’s own football club and a very popular recreation space for community residents. In exchange, SYSC maintains the grounds and coordinates programming.  Everyday you can find hundreds of people there – families spending quiet time together or playing soccer or volleyball.  It’s the only green space available for the approximate 175,000 people who live here and it is our hope it will remain and green public space forever.  SYSC has plans to start a cricket training facility for young people, in hopes some can make career out of it.

With thanks again for your kindness and continued support.

Joseph Mwai

Chair of the Board

Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre

Links:

Aug 16, 2011

Update 2: Training 8 girls for a new future

One of 8 new trainees
One of 8 new trainees

Dear Friends,

We hope you have been well. We are now rolling out project out in phases as we continue to work toward our budget goal. We are training 8 students, have purchased machines and materials, hired one tailoring skills trainer and rented program space for six months. Your funds are also allowing us to offer an HIV/AIDS voluntary testing and counseling program twice a month. In May, we were visited by a Global Giving field representative and were pleased she could see our progress first hand.

The following quote is from Mercy Nyadia, an 18-year old program participant: “… I was very hopeless, desperate for something to do in order to… make a living. Here in Shauri Yako slums there is nothing to do, you cannot go out and look for a job if you don’t have good education or any skills. Everybody here is fighting for survival, women are vulnerable to abuse, and sex related diseases, HIV/AIDS and being sold to slavery. I had given up, and SYSC’s program has given me hope… I want us to form a cooperative with others and start a small business or Jua kali, making affordable women’s sanitary pads. SYSC will assist us to get a micro loan. I am sure the business will help me become independent and be able to support my family. I know that I will succeed. Thank you.”

As you no doubt know, Kenya is suffering from the worst drought in 60 years. Media and aid sources are reporting that 11 million people are in need of food aid. Those hardest hit live in Kenya’s drought-stricken northeast provinces as well as the urban poor. Upwards of 400,000 refuges have entered Kenya, with another 1,800 arriving each day. In Shauri Yako, many cannot afford two meals a day and we are witnessing the starvation of small children and pregnant women. Although the government has promised food and funding for the ‘urban most needy’, it is not enough.

We have been working with government representatives and other stakeholders to brainstorm ideas for food security and poverty reduction. Since about half of Nyeri’s 250,000-person population is unemployed youth without job skills, permanent solutions can’t rely on investments in modern agricultural technology alone. We must provide in-demand job training to give youth a sustainable alternative to poverty.

We thank you, our friends, for helping us address this great need.  We will continue to work towards our budget goal so we can implement our whole project.

Asante sana,

A. Mucheru (Project Coordinator) and Joe Mwai (Chair)

One of 8 new trainees
One of 8 new trainees
One of 8 new trainees
One of 8 new trainees
Jun 14, 2011

Our 1st progress report! Launching Job Training Through Global Giving

Drop In Centre
Drop In Centre

Dear Supporters:

This is SYSC’s first project update since becoming a part of Global Giving.  In just 30 days, we raised over $5,000 from 62 donors all over the world.  This is a really big help and will go a long way in helping SYSC implement youth vocational skills training program. We thank you with all our hearts.

We want to let you know that we are putting the wheels in motion to begin a first phase of training.  With funds raised to date we will rent program space and hire an instructor for six months.  This will allow us to offer free tailoring training and HIV/AIDS education, testing, counseling in order to give a new start to eight youth. Tailoring is a skill in high demand in Kenya’s growing informal economy.

We also want to take this chance to tell you a little bit more about SYSC. The three slums we serve began to grow in the 1960s after landless people displaced by the Mau Mau freedom war settled in Nyeri county.  In 1994, Anna Nyokabi  Karanja, commonly known as Mama Mugo, became concerned about the extreme poverty facing Nyeri's growing numbers of homeless children and youth.  She opened the doors to her home, turning two rooms into a drop-in shelter and starting a feeding program, supported by food and clothing donations from the local community. In response to increased demand for services at Mama Mugo's centre caused by a growing population, and with the help of friends and well wishers, the Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre was born in 2000.

Although we are now a registered charity and part of Global Giving, we remain a community-focused, grassroots organization.  We are motivated every day by Anna’s generosity and desire to help children and youth set their lives on a better path. We have learned that sustainably helping people escape poverty is providing them with skill for employment.

Sadly, Anna passed away on July 19, 2010, but she would be touched deeply to know of our success through Global Giving.  Thank you for caring about and supporting our work.

Many blessings!

Joe Mwai,

Chair of the Board

SYSC

Drop In Centre
Drop In Centre

Links:

 
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