Provide Job Skills to Kenyan Slum Youth

by Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)
Welding and Metal Fabrication Training
Welding and Metal Fabrication Training

Dear friends,

With the $13,146 you have helped us to raise since joining Global Giving, we have been able to provide job skills training for 82 youth in computers, tailoring and entrepreneurships. We've supported the completion of Global Giving micro-projects like building a new program centre that gives our youth a reprieve from the streets, and installing sanitary toilets for a community accustomed to sharing pit latrine amongst up to 30 people. We assisted those trainees interested in starting small business/self-employment with access to micro-credit loans from Uwezo Fund.  65% of those trained are directly employed and others are in self-employment. And every program participant has received HIV/AIDS education, testing and counseling.

However, we are still striving to raise the remaining $9,560 of our target, so we can train 160 more youth. We aim to purchase equipment and run a six month welding/metal fabrication skills training course. According to 2015  government report, Kenya's 47 counties are facing an acute shortage of qualified construction sector trades people, like electricians, masons, plumbers and welders.  Labour cost have climbed to 25% of total building costs, according to the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya.  To achieve the development goals in Vision 2030, Kenya will need to train 250,000 trade persons. In the meantime, we will use our small computer lab to deliver computer training, offering youth a highly employable skill.

Are you able to make a donation? With enough support, we will buy welding and metal fabrication machines and hire a trainer. Do you have access to old computers that would allow us to train dozens of new youth? Could you spare some time? SYSC relies heavily on volunteers to sustain its programs. There are many ways you can volunteer with us. We would welcome you as a skills trainer at our centre, in the areas of computers, music, fine arts, etc. We could also really use your help as a grant writer, advisor and fundraiser from where you live. We also value Friends of Shauri Yako, a group of people who are able to promote the work of SYSC through their networks, raising awareness and support for our work.

Lastly, we're pleased to let you know we will be partnering with Nyeri Micro Enterprises (Jua Kali) to start Youth Training Placements Pilot Project in 2016. This is an innovative pilot project that will place 12 youth for 3 months to gain training in shoe making and metal fabrication. With the goal of enabling self-employment, they will gain hands-on training in entrepreneurship, including how to sell the products they make.  SYSC needs to raise $2,310 to contribute tools and 2 grinding machines for trainees, work wear and support allowance. We are excited about the new opportunities and possibilities this partnership will create.

If you have ideas for us, or would like to volunteer, please reply to this email or contact Joe

Together we are making a difference.

With thanks to you and your families for your generosity.

Youth training to make shoes for Nyeri Market
Youth training to make shoes for Nyeri Market
Dear Friends,
Today I am writing to both thank and update you, and to ask for your help. Our micro-project to raise funds so that we can give local youth access to reproductive health care has just 2 days left. 
Thanks to Global Giving donors, we have raised $830 to provide free family planning services, reproductive health information and condoms to youth living in the Shauri Yako and Manjengo slums. But we have just 2 days left to raise the remainly $2100. Can you help us to get the word out about our campaign? (here's the link:
How We Are Spending Your Funds
  • We've started a Reproductive Health Education Program in the slums that targets adolscents
  • We've put two volunteer trainers in place
  • We've made arrangements with local schools to train peer trainers to provide information to youth
  • We are providing access to condoms
  • We've use Scout troop meetings and gatherings to educate youth and build advocates.
Why We Still Need Your Help
  • AIDS is the leading cause of death of teens in Africa
  • Kenya has the fourth highest AIDS infection rate in the world
  • Teenage pregnancy is rising sharply in rural areas where teens lack access to information and services
  • Early motherhood can affect the health of the teen mom and the child, often causes school drop out and can entrench the cycle of poverty
  • A government bill to address reproductive health care as a national concern is still stalled a year later by debate and heavy criticism by groups who are worried about the 'corruption' of young minds
  • With the full $3000 target reached, we could partner with to implement a complete one-year program at a far lower cost.
Quote from the reproductive health education program beneficiary
“The reproductive health education is of great help to us women; however, it’s equally important to educate our men. Some of us have little control when it comes to this affair, men have the power, and that is why the condom is necessary. For our younger women, they are vulnerable because of ignorance and poverty” - Atanasia N.
Thanks for all you have done to help . Together, we are making a real difference in lives limited by poverty but filled with potential.
Joe Mwai, Chair
Community Outreach
Community Outreach

 Dear friends and supporters,

Today Global Giving is matching a portion of every donation made to our projects. Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Cente is trying to raise $3000 to provide free family planning services, reproductive health information and condoms to youth living in the Shauri Yako and Manjengo slums for six months. Can we ask for your support or your help getting the word out? As a small charity funded entirely by individual supporters, we want more people to find out about our project.

Suggested Facebook Post:

Can you help or spread the word? Youth in the slums of Shauri Yako and Manajengo, Kenya are experiencing significant, growing rates of unplanned teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The HIV/AIDS rate is on the rise in youth 14 to 20. Significant problems like sexual abuse, prostitution as a means to earn an income are not uncommon and human trafficking is a reality. Yet there are no health service providers in Shauri Yako right now, and no health focused government or international aid support to our community.

With your help, local charity SYSC will introduce critical reproductive health care services for youth in these slums. 

Paste this and the code below in and Facebook will link to our project page:

<script type="text/javascript" src="">  { "projectids" : "20232", "ggtid" : "67A74D6183A92A5CFA3B7642B69B156C"  }  </script>

Suggested tweet if you use Twitter:

Small community charity in Kenya needs your help to deliver reproductive health education to you. Teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDs rates rising.

About our Project:

With the $3000 in support that we are raising, SYSC will:

  • Help reduce the rates of sexual violence, sexually transmitted diseases and increase family planning
  • Meet the right of youth to reproductive health services, so they may feel safer, empowered by information and make informed decisions
  • Reduce gender-based discrimination and violence and improve human security

SYSC has made arrangements to partner with the Family Health Options Centre in Nyeri town, and will second an individual for the project’s six-month duration as a Health Educator. This individual will be responsible for:

  • Providing twice monthly individual and group counselling at SYSC community centre
  • Training volunteer peer-to-peer educators to lead outreach and the dissemination of condoms and printed educational materials within the community, including at schools, churches and local youth gatherings (note that mentors will be awarded a small honorarium to cover their expenses/opportunity costs of their time)
  • Partnering with SYSC’s staff lead, who is a trained HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases outreach worker, to mobilize and facilitate community events:
    • Two monthly community events at SYSC’s centre
    • Additional organized events local schools and churches

Why will this Project be Successful?

  • Because the project will tackle real and significant community problems that are otherwise going unaddressed
  • Because the community has championed the project and is united around its success
  • Because SYSC can build on its past experience and success providing reproductive health care services
  • Because SYSC will partner with a local public health organization to increase the effectiveness of its efforts
  • Because education initiatives can be built into SYSC’s existing programs to increase reach and impact

Thank you so much for your help.

Joe Mwai

Chair of the Board

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

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

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Organization Information

Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)

Location: Nyeri, Nyeri District - Kenya
Project Leader:
Sarah Van Exan
Toronto, Ontario Canada
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