Your Support is Helping Girls become Self-Employed
We are happy to report that the eight young women who you and other Global Giving donors have sponsored will graduate in December 2011! Equipped with tailoring, dress design and entrepreneurship skills (as well as HIV/AIDS education and testing), most of the students are planning to pursue self-employment. SYSC will assist them with access to micro credit and youth enterprise programs. Many thanks from SYSC staff and our trainees for supporting this initiative. We are committed to continuing to raise funds so we can offer more girls an alternative to poverty.
On a sad note, we wanted to let you know that Shauri Yako was devestated by a fire three weeks ago: sixteen homes and the life of a child were lost. Town authorities reported that it was not possible to stop because there was available water. Because this has been a regular problem over the years, SYSC has continually advocated for the installation of an emergency water point in our community. Unfortunately, town officials have never taken action. 42 families are now sleeping in the rain and cold.
On a happy note, we wanted to tell you how we're able to help youth escape the slums for a few hours through our sports program. When we started working with youth within the community, we realized that one of their greatest needs was right to play in safe recreation space. Shauri Yako and Manjengo slums didn’t provide any space for this purpose. When I was growing up here, we use to go and play at nearby garbage dump or roam the streets. Wealthier parts of town were restricted to people like me and it was a trespassing offence to be caught there. When hungry, we use to invade the garbage bins in the Asian quarter in search of food - there was always roti. Forty years later, Shauri Yako slums have grown to the point that there is no spare space left.
We at SYSC found a way to address this problem. Eight years ago we successfully negotiated an arrangement with the Ministry of Works to the old sports grounds of their football club, located twenty minutes away from our centre. It’s now a place for us to provide sports training and leadership programs, home ground for SYSC’s own football club and a very popular recreation space for community residents. In exchange, SYSC maintains the grounds and coordinates programming. Everyday you can find hundreds of people there – families spending quiet time together or playing soccer or volleyball. It’s the only green space available for the approximate 175,000 people who live here and it is our hope it will remain and green public space forever. SYSC has plans to start a cricket training facility for young people, in hopes some can make career out of it.
With thanks again for your kindness and continued support.
Chair of the Board
Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre