Mar 31, 2015

The Good You have Helped us to Do

Soccer team
Soccer team

Hi friends,

We hope our friends around the world are well. For this report we thought we'd tell you a little about some of the good things happening here, as well as some of our challenges.

Scouts program:

It has been very busy season for SYSC Scout group, which has organized a successful monthly leadership and First Aid training camps, along with a community clean up. After a fire disaster struck our slum community in January, group members helped to rebuild burned houses and began working with Nyeri County Social Services on a community security, safety and fire disaster awareness campaign from May 2015. In February, the scouts also organized a three days annual Scout Jamboree at Kabirui-ini Camp.

SYSC Junior Soccer Team:

We are happy to report that a Junior Soccer Team was revived in January 2015 for youth 14 to 17 years of age. The team has 34 registered members and a coach, and is practicing on Saturday and Sundays.  We plan to have the team ready for Nyeri County Junior Leage by June 2015. The aim is to train youth in soccer skills and also to keep them enganged so that they can stay away from other harmful activities.

Computer training:

The computer basic skills training  you helped to support has become essential in the community. While we have focused on youth, adults from our community are also approaching us to learn computer skills so they can participate in the many online services now offered by goverment and other agencies. To continue to deliver our program and expand in response to community demand, we urgently need to replace our equipment as 4 of our 7 computers  are beyond repair.  We are seeking partners who are able to support us with refurbished hardware and software. Have any connections or ideas? We'd love to hear from you!

Youth Health Counselling – Sexual and Reproductive Health Education

There is enormous need for sexual and reproductive health education for kids who live in Shauri Yako and Manjengo slums. SYSC uses every opportunity to provide youth with health education, taking advantage of scouts and sports activities gatherings, but its not enough. Resources for a fulltime program are critical to address this need. SYSC has developed a proposal for Adolecent Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and are looking for partners in health sector.


The youth have created temporay gym space in one of the SYSC’s hall, and exercise activities are held every day using homemade equipments. Its an innovative way for youth to keep fit, stay healthy and it also provides opportunity for young people to discuss issues of health that affect them.

Thank you once again for your ongoing support to our work to help slum youth have a greater chance for better future.


Joe Mwai

Chair of the Board

Dec 29, 2014

Christmas in the Slums - and a Thank You

To all our Friends around the World:
“Kidogo changu pokea na dua njema nakuombea – Please accept this little from me along with my prayers”. (Swahili proverb)
SYSC would like to take a moment to wish you all a happy holiday season - whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and a happy New Year - and thank you so much for the kindness you have shown the youth that we support.
In Kenyan culture, Christmas is a time for families and loved ones to get together, worship, share and feast. In the slums of Shauri Yako the spirit is the same for most people who live here.  Although it’s really a struggle to put food on the table every day, they have a big heart. I think Christmas is a time for those who live here to look forward to a better new year and a time to truly forget their troubles and experience the true kindness of family and friends.
To ensure that as many people as possible in the community will have enough to eat on Christmas day, people save food for days. Few have gifts to share, but food is plentiful. People prefer the most tasty and economical food, pilau rice.  Families invite neighbours and others in need. "Come as you are, it's Christmas". There are gatherings in churches, singing and children dressed in their best head out to play at the Mau Mau Freedom Fighter’s grave yard, the only green space available near the slum.This year, we have a new youth-organized choir and, perhaps by next Christmas, a trained music band.
If might be able to give a little to help support our job skills training for youth, we'd be so grateful. Recurring donations of 4 months duration or more are being matched at 100% until December 31st.
All the best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year!
Joe Mwai
Dec 1, 2014

The Hope You've Given Slum Youth Lately

Setting up for computers training
Setting up for computers training

Hello to our friends around the world,

We writing to tell you about how, through your help, Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC) is continuing to provide vocational education and skills training to at risk youth.

We have been focusing on youth training in computer operations, word processing, internet and email. There are currently 21 youth receiving training two days a week. This gives them a chance to compete for a wide range of jobs that nowadays require basic computer skills, such as supermarket cashier. They are also able to use the internet when here to search information and access social media, something kids all around the world do, but these slum youth would otherwise have no access to. 

As well, in October 2014, we launched a very popular music classes, with lessons in keyboards, guitar and vocals. The music program has 55 student participants, who have access to a range of instruments and equipment newly donated by the Nourish student foundation at the University of North Carolina. We are thrilled to have two volunteer keyboard teachers, offering lessons for twelve hours over the weekends, as well as a volunteer keyboard teacher. SYSC also offers music trainees with free internet access. 

 The music program is having a big impact on the youth participants, teaching them not just a useful, employable skills, but also offering a creative outlet to kids whose lives are otherwise filled with the stress and challenges of poverty. We are delighted to report that the youth have now organized their own choir and drama group. We are now striving to raise $2000 to employee a music program for a year in order to continue this highly successful program.

My Name is Muthoni Wanjama, I am 16 years old and a beneficiary of SYSC job skills job skills training is the only way to escape poverty and become self-reliant. I am so grateful to all those who support our programs. SYSC has brought training opportunities to the youth of Shauri Yako that we only use to dream of. I have just completed a computer course and I am now in SYSC music class, learning how to play piano. I would like to be a musician one day. I believe it’s possible.

SYSC’s future plan is to put in place more arts courses, including digital media arts. This kind of training is suitable for self-employment and meets growing demand for these services locally. Do you have ideas or skills in this area or know of any potential partner organizations? If you can help, we’d love to hear from you and borrow from your expertise as we develop a project proposal. We are also always thrilled to receive donations of used equipment – particularly musical instruments, books and computers.

Please know that it is only with your support that SYSC can achieve its mission to give youth the skills they need to lift themselves from poverty. We remain a small grassroots organization that depends on the kindness of our individual donors around the word.

With our deepest gratitude,

Joe Mwai

Our new musical instruments!
Our new musical instruments!
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