Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya

by Zawadi Fund International
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Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Educate and Empower Street Children in Kenya
Planting at the polytechnic
Planting at the polytechnic

After nearly three years, the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre is thrilled to welcome college students back. Since 2009, we have been partnering with Penn State University on projects related to agricultural production, youth development and business development. This year, Penn State is back with a team collaborating with us on horticultural production, livestock production and business start-ups.

While we have a strong agricultural program at the Centre and our polytechnic, we’re working with Penn State to address pest management and to improve soil health through cover crops and crop rotation. Penn State students are also helping us identify cover crops that could provide feed for the dairy cows and to assess the potential for keeping a few sows.

Many of the students at our polytechnic will be going into business for themselves when they graduate. Penn State students developed a series of workshops on entrepreneurship and small business development to prepare our students and help them develop basic business plans. They are also working with a couple of graduates one-on-one, starting with those from the tailoring program, to help them grow their businesses.

We are so excited to be able to once again learn and share with some of our partners from the United States! Karibuni tena!

Business development workshop at the polytechnic
Business development workshop at the polytechnic
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Isaack
Isaack

The Rathithi Polytechnic provides students the technical skills to be able to provide for themselves and contribute to their communities. The polytechnic has courses in masonry, plumbing, tailoring and dress making, catering, agriculture, electrical wiring, hairdressing and beauty therapy, and computer applications, along with leadership and lifeskills.

Students in technical schools in Kenya take national exams for certification. In May, four of our students took exams in plumbing, masonry and tailoring and all passed, and another eight took exams in December and are awaiting their results. The pass rate nationally is about 60 percent, so we’re proud of our students! It’s especially gratifying as several of our instructors are alumni of the CYEC.

While some of our polytechnic students are from the local community, many have come up through programs at the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre (CYEC). Isaack is one such student... Isaack lived on the streets for nine years before joining the CYEC in 2011. He attended Thunguma Primary School then Mweru High School and was active in the acrobatics club. After graduating from high school, he was among the first students in the polytechnic in 2019, studying tailoring and dress making. His progress was partially disrupted by covid-19 as the poly (along with all schools) closed in 2020. Isaack was able to resume in 2021 and took his national exams in December. Isaack is currently working with three other graduates of his class to establish a clothing business, making school and professional uniforms and traditional African wear. His goal is to become a recognized fashion designer.

Despite the challenges of covid, our students are succeeding, and we’ve continued to develop programs and infrastructure at the polytechnic. Your support enables these young people to follow their dreams and give back to their communities!

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Samuel
Samuel

The Children and Youth Empowerment Centre ensures young people can fulfill their potential. Children learn and grow in an environment where they feel loved and supported. We are so proud of our young people who are now in college, pursing their dreams and preparing themselves to give back.

JaneMercy came to the CYEC in 2014 when she was in the eighth grade. She’s currently studying Tourism and Hospitality Management at Moi University. JaneMercy attributes her academic success to the support she’s received from the CYEC. She appreciates that the Centre has allowed her to develop and has made her a better person.  She writes, ‘I am really thankful to the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre for helping these children who are in need. I am one of them and am proud to be part of the family. I pray that after my four years’ course, I will have a good job and be able to give back to the Centre by helping my younger sisters and brothers. Thank you so much for making our lives better.’

Samuel joined the CYEC in 2010, when he was in sixth grade. He has some setbacks academically, but under the guidance of Issa and Benard, he managed to improve his grades and eventually served as school captain in high school. He’s now at college, studying business information technology.

Samuel writes, ‘I am really excited and delighted to say that CYEC has been like a home to me and is the place anyone who needs help, love and support should come. During my holidays CYEC has exposed me to … leadership, mentorship and managing the kids, in which I am able to acquire skills … like communication, collaboration, leadership skills. Sometimes I feel ready because of what I have been equipped with much thanks to Almighty GOD for such a blessing family. I am looking forward to learning more and being of impact to the young ones and generation to come. GOD Bless you ALL. THANK YOU.’

Your support helps ensure every child will have the opportunity to thrive. Thanks for all you do!

JaneMercy
JaneMercy
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Diana
Diana

While schools in Kenya were closed for most of 2020, those in 8th grade came back to school in October to prepare for exams. These exams determine opportunities for placement in high schools – the stakes are very high! Several of our students did quite well, especially considering the disruptions. Here’s a brief introduction to two of our 8th graders.

Diana was orphaned by the age of four and came to the CYEC with three older siblings. She thrived at the Centre, despite the difficulty of her early childhood. When she was little Diana loved to color and paint, and as a teen, she likes music and making new friends. She said, “I would like to … thank the Children and Youth Empowerment for the kind and caring support they have given me for the last ten years. I thank God for CYEC and may God shower blessings upon the CYEC family.”

Jacinta was only three when she came to the Centre. She likes watching movies and dancing and wants to be an accountant when she grows up. She said, “I thank the CYEC family for the care and support. To me the leadership and staff of CYEC are my parents.” She also promised to “work hard when I join high school and make CYEC proud.”

Both Diana and Jacinta have come far since they joined the Centre, and they appreciate the support they've received. They scored well on the national exams and we’re hoping to place them in good schools next year. You support can help them fulfill their dreams. Together, we're changing lives!

Jacinta
Jacinta
Girls education
Girls education

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Mask distribution at Thunguma Primary School
Mask distribution at Thunguma Primary School

Like much of the world, schools in Kenya closed last March due to COVID-19. The CYEC continued to provide academics, sports, lifeskills and arts for the children there, but due to limited internet access, most Kenyan schools did not operate remotely. That means that children have essentially missed a year of school. We know education is a critical part of providing these children a brighter future, so we've worked hard to keep them engaged. 

Schools have reopened, and our children are thrilled to get back to school! We have 52 children in primary school and 50 in high school. An additional five students are in college. We know how important education is for our young people and we want to provide them the support they need to get back into the schooling routine. Your support helps provide for school fees, uniforms (they've grown in a year!) and school supplies. Thanks for the difference you make!

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Zawadi Fund International

Location: Paoli, PA - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
Janelle Larson
Director of Zawadi Fund International
Nyeri, Kenya
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