Provide Job Skills to Kenyan Slum Youth

by Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)

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


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

local youth outside SYSC
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


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

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)

Location: Nyeri, Nyeri District - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Sarah Van Exan
Toronto, Ontario Canada
$14,428 raised of $22,300 goal
367 donations
$7,872 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. Learn more.
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.