Jul 5, 2016

How Your Help Matters

Dear Friends,

I wanted to send a quick update from Nyeri town, Kenya, to say hello and thank you once again for your ongoing support of the Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre. It helps us to keep the doors of our centre open to the impoverished youth who reside in Shauri Yako, Manjengo and Kiawara slums. As a small community organization, the funding you provide through Global Giving is critical in helping us to run programs to give these youth a chance at a better future - and we are so grateful to you.

What’s New Around Here?

We are happy to report a new Health Promotion partnership we have formed with Family Health Options (FHO). FHO is now delivering health and reproductive health education to local youth, using SYSC’s facility as a satellite centre. The essential information being provided is building on the reproductive health project that our Global Giving supporters helped us deliver last year.

SYSC’s Scouts group has also begun a new urban farming training program for local youth and their families. The aim of the initiative is to improve food security within our community, where healthy food options can be very hard to come by.

We are also finishing planning on a Masonry and Brickmaking training project proposal. Training local youth in masonry would provide them with job skills in a high demand field. Kenya is experiencing an acute shortage of skilled tradespersons that is impacting the productivity of the construction industry. We have partnered with two local development companies to arrange internships once students complete classroom training. Our next step is finding partners to help us launch this new program. If you have ideas or would like to get involved, please just reply to this email. We’d love to hear from you.

Lastly, we are always happy to report that our junior football team continues, which provides local youth an outlet and chance be a part of a team.

Once again, we are so thankful for your continuing support. We will include some photos with our next report.

My warmest wishes to you.

Joe Mwai

Chair of the Board


Apr 4, 2016

Update on your support in action in the slums

Dear Friends,

For the past eight years, the Shauri Yako Youth Support Centre has focused on empowering underprivileged youth from Shauri Yako’s slums through skills training, continuing education and health promotion. We believe this is a sustainable way of reducing youth poverty. But we are a very small, community-based organization, run in the spare time of a handful of volunteers who also must work to support their families. As a result, we have limited capacity to fundraise and pursue grants from big donor organizations. We depend almost entirely on individual donors and partnerships with like-minded organizations who, like us, believe in the importance of giving slum youth a better shot at life.

Although our budget is currently very small, we are proud to tell you of our on-going efforts and accomplishments. For one, we continue to provide free, short employment training courses. Where possible, we assist with job placements. In January 2016, we also formed a partnership with the Youth Learn, Earn and Save Initiative, one of the organizations under CAP Youth Empowerment Institute, to provide youth with job skills training and internships for trainees. The first four participants in this initiative are now taking a three month course at the Buru Buru Centre. SYSC is providing their transport and training space at our centre.

We have also continued to address the lack of reproductive health information available to youth by using the SYSC Scouts as peer educators and delivering information at group meetings. While we have no funding for this program at present, we are continuing to offer individual counselling at our centre. Other good news is that Safaricom has agreed to donate uniforms and balls to support our long-running soccer club, which provides an outlet and teaches teamwork to community youth. Lastly, we are developing a proposal to make Interlocking Bricks, an income-generating idea of our local youth.

“Being a young person with no college education or job skills is a dangerous thing. The ever-increasing youth unemployment in slums, should worry everybody. Thank you for supporting me through the Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre.”- Robin, participating in SYSC skills training program-

As always, I want to end by saying that we are always looking for volunteers, both local and international, particularly in the areas of music, theatre, Information Technology, Fundraising and Drawing Arts. If you would like to volunteer or have questions or ideas for us, please just hit reply to this email.

Many thanks and blessings to you and your families.

Joe Mwai
Chair of the Board

Jan 12, 2016

2015 Year End Report

local youth outside SYSC's training centre
local youth outside SYSC's training centre

Dear friends,

My warmest wishes to you and your families at the start of this new year. We begin 2016 with an on-going commitment to support the youth who reside in the slums around Nyeri town. We are hopeful this year will bring success in our efforts to raise funds, expand our programming, address the vast need within this community and unlock the potential of the youth we serve.

As a really small community-based charity, SYSC relies entirely on the funds it raises through Global Giving to support its operations. In 2015, your generosity allowed us to run two projects: reproductive health education and computer skills training. 

Although we raised only a third of the $3000 dollar budget planned for the reproductive health care project, we are proud to have provided education, including the distribution of free family planning materials, that reached over 500 people.  We continue to use leftover educational materials within local youth, and are happy to report they are very interested in this information. This gives hope that we may be able to help turnaround the serious issues that youth are experiencing from lack of education, like high rates of teenage pregnancy and sex trade participation.

The $1300 dollars raised toward job skills training this year were used to deliver a computers skills training program for 24 youth. Thanks to your support we were able to secure internet connectivity and include web literacy in our project for the first time.  This is a hugely popular training program amongst youth, who know how important computer skills are to finding secure work. To reach more participants, we will are seeking funding so we can buy six additional computers to expand the program.  This will be one of our priorities for 2016.

We also continued to run our music program, which teaches youth how to play an instruments, provides some music theory and offers the many side benefits proven to come with participant in the arts, like increased morale and self-regard.  Without funding, the program has been on and off due to the difficulty of finding a volunteer teacher. But we are thrilled to have now secured a volunteer teacher from Kimathi University, Nyeri. To cover his travel expenses of approximately $25 USD a month and be able to sustain the program, we have advertised lessons in all town schools for those who can afford to pay for $1 a lesson. We will also continue to provide free lessons for those without means.

Quote from Joyce, 17 years old unemployed mother of one:

“I have very little education, but if you train me to do something with my hands that can earn me a living, I will also train five others.”

It is people like Joyce and donors like you who encourage Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre to do what we do.

Bless you abundantly.

Joe Mwai


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