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

We’ve composed a special version of the 12 Days of Christmas in honor of your support of the Children & Youth Empowerment Centre in Kenya.  We think even those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas will enjoy! 

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a converted electric vehicle.”

The CYEC has converted a matatu (public service passenger van) from diesel to electric, with support from the United Nations Development Program. This will provide youth with training on how to do the conversions and creates a cost-effective way to move between the polytechnic and the main Centre. With time, they hope to create a network of Electric Vans and charging stations for local transportation, creating more jobs and enhancing sustainability. 

 “On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

Kenyan students take high-stakes exams at the end of 8th grade to determine their high school placement. Two students who came to the Centre as very young girls earned nationally competitive scholarships for high school. Our kids take full advantage of the opportunities they’re given!

“On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

Water is precious, so they’ve installed rainwater harvesting at the polytechnic to help with irrigating the crops. They don’t waste a drop!

“On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

The CYEC produces a variety of vegetables to ensure a healthy diet for the kids and generate some income. This year Penn State students worked with them on the production of peppers and onions. Another PSU team offered business-development workshops to the polytechnic students. We’re so glad to have students from the US again!

“On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five local friends of the Centre, four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

Over the past several years, support from the national government has dried up. Fortunately, members of the local community (churches, civic groups and individuals) who appreciate the work the Centre does for vulnerable children have stepped in, providing much needed food and other in-kind support. Together, we make a real difference!

“On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six university students a-studying, five local friends of the Centre, four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

The number of our students in college/university continues to grow! We’re especially proud that this year, we had the first college graduate from the children who started with us as elementary school students. More are on the way, thanks to the opportunities provided by our supporters!

“On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven children breakfasting, six university students a-studying, five local friends of the Centre, four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

ZFI donors ensure CYEC children have a healthy breakfast before school at least three days a week.  We also provide medical and educational supplies and clothing – all the basics any child needs and deserves.

“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight youth a-leading, seven children breakfasting, six university students a-studying, five local friends of the Centre, four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

Students from the Staley School of Leadership at Kansas State also returned this year and worked with the leadership program at both the Centre and the polytechnic. Older students at the Centre mentor and look out for the younger ones, playing a key leadership role. The polytechnic also incorporates leadership in the curriculum for all its students, equipping them to make a difference in their communities.

“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine library books circulating, eight youth a-leading, seven children breakfasting, six university students a-studying, five local friends of the Centre, four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

The CYEC and polytechnic are resources for local low-income families. The polytechnic has established a community library, with a focus on young children. By supporting literacy, they can help more children succeed (beyond those under their care), and ensure fewer children end up on the streets

“On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten certified poly grads, nine library books circulating, eight youth a-leading, seven children breakfasting, six university students a-studying, five local friends of the Centre, four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

Students in technical schools in Kenya take national exams for certification. So far, all of our graduates from the polytechnic (60-some) have taken these tests and all have passed. This speaks to the quality of our programs and instructors as the national pass rate is just over 60 percent!

“On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven macadamia nut trees growing, ten certified poly grads, nine library books circulating, eight youth a-leading, seven children breakfasting, six university students a-studying, five local friends of the Centre, four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

 A local macadamia nut processor has given the polytechnic 80 macadamia trees. After about four years, they will start producing and generating income – a nice partnership with a local small business!

“On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve youth succeeding, eleven macadamia nut trees growing, ten certified poly grads, nine library books circulating, eight youth a-leading, seven children breakfasting, six university students a-studying, five local friends of the Centre, four acres of veggies, three barrels of rainwater, two students on scholarships and a converted electric matatu.”

With your help, the CYEC strives to develop the potential of these children and youth so they can lead healthy, happy, productive lives. Together we can change lives!

Donate today to make a difference!

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Nancy in the classroom
Nancy in the classroom

Nancy is one of several successful graduates of our program who are now giving back through volunteering at the Centre. Nancy came to the CYEC when she was 13, after losing her mother at 8 and spending several years with her grandmother. After excelling at elementary school, she attended a boarding school for high school, then completed a diploma in hospitality management.  

Nancy is working with the children at the Centre to help them take on more responsibilities and learn life skills. She’s organized them in mixed-age groups, with the older students taking leadership roles and guiding the younger ones. She’s helping them learn problem solving skills and conflict resolution, along with basic tasks such as serving meals and cleaning up after.  

Gratitude for the people at the Centre and those who support their work motivates Nancy. ‘I am very grateful to the CYEC. It’s like a family to me. They’ve given me advice and have been very supportive. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t come here. I’ve benefited from the support of others, so I want to give back and make things better.’ 

You support enables Nancy to do her work and creates opportunities for more young people. Thanks for all you do!

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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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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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