Provide Job Skills to Kenyan Slum Youth

by Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)
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
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!

Dear Friends,


We’re happy to send you another update on our actions to support the development and economic welfare of youth in Shauri Yako’s slums.

Youth Skills Training:

In June 2014, we recieved a donation of musical instruments from Nourish, a student-led organization at the University of North Carolina. We are now working with Nourish on the development of instuctional DVDs to teach youth how to play, and give them both an employable skill and the joy of music. We are also pursuing volunteer instructors and funding partners to help us expand this project. It is our longer-term objective to form a community band that can work for hire.

Thanks to Global Giving donors, we have also raised several hundred dollars to launch a computer and internet training project. While we didn’t meet our fundraising goal, we are able to bring internet connectivity into these slums for 5 months, along with a computer skills trainer. This is an enourmously important project, because internet connectivity is cost prohibitive for slum youth, who have little to no access to computers anyway. Through internet connectivity and basic training, we will be able to offer youth access to networks, employers, educational tools and – perhaps most importantly – ideas from which they are currently barred due to their economic class.

Reproductive Health Education:

Unplanned youth pregancy amongst girls as young as 13 years is a huge problem in Shauri Yako’s slums and contributing to child trafficking. Cases of stolen and abandon children are reported everyday. To address this issue, SYSC is working in colloboration with Family Health Options Kenya, who have provided SYSC staff with reproductive health counseling training so we can, in turn, support the community. We are also planning and seeking partners for a full reproductive health program.

Community Housing and Safety:

The population of Shauri Yako’s slums is rapidly growing, forcing people to build temporary housing structures along the Chania River and within the Mau Mau War cemetary. This is creating environmental and cultural pressures. In response, SYSC youth are mobilizing the community’s residents to launch a campaign to highlight these issues and pursuade Nyeri County goverment to find a sustainable housing solution. See the attached photos depicting local housing realities.

Fire disasters are common in the Shauri Yako slums, due to the use of highly flamable cooking fuel and building materials. Fire fighting is challenging because there are no roads within the slums and most houses here are attached. A SYSC youth volunteer group is now working with the Nyeri county goverment to educate residents on fire prevention and response. They are also exploring whether an emergency water point can be installed, or access roads be developed.

Lastly, we’re proud to let you know that the SYSC Scout Troop was selected to participate in the organizing committee for the International Scouts Jamboree in August 2014.

As always, we are eager to hear from you. If you have ideas or feedback on our work, please reply to this email. If you are interested in volunteering with SYSC here or from your home, we have lots you can do to help us help youth. And if you are able to donate, we would be enormously grateful for your support. We are small, grassroots, and dependent on the support of individual donors, but our impact is big for our size.


Joe Mwai

Chair of the Board


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
$14,322 raised of $22,300 goal
362 donations
$7,979 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.