Provide Job Skills to Kenyan Slum Youth

by Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)
Aug 21, 2013

A new centre and a new beginning for slum youth

Our new stone and mortar centre
Our new stone and mortar centre

Dear friends,

We are so pleased to let you know that our new centre is complete and back in use! We now have a safe and permanent place for youth to escape the streets.  This new building will be able to withstand the threat of erosion that faces so many of the buildings erected in these hillside slums.  The community and youth we serve are really excited about this new beginning and we are so grateful for your help.

We are now fundraising $1200 USD to meet a new local government requirement to install a 2-stall public toilet for the centre's users. This will offer a hygenic facility to people who are accustomed to sharing a pit latrine with up to 30 others. Please click here if you are able to help us out with a small donation toward this goal:

Right now, we are also focused on fundraising so we can offer more job skills training. Most youth here do not get the opportunity to finish school due to the cost and the obligations to contribute to their family's income. Job skills training in the high-demand sectors of tailoring and welding helps slum youth build a successful livelihood.

Fundraising is hard for us as a small grassroots organization, so we are thrilled to have the help of some new 'online' volunteers who are helping us with different parts of fundraising, like research and writing. It is amazing for us to think that there are people in South Korea, France and Australia who are giving their time to help us out, just as it touches us to think about you giving generously to at-risk youth whom you do not know.

We recently checked back in with some of the youth we've served in the past to record their stories and thought we'd share one with you:

I am 20 years old, the eldest in a family of 7 and a resident of Shauri Yako - Witemere slums in Nyeri town.  I went to school up to class 6 and then dropped out due hunger and poverty. In my family finding food was a priority, which left little or no time for education. It was very difficult for my mom to put food on the table, so I started working at a very early age to try and help by doing all kinds of odd jobs, including house help. A course instructor who knew my family introduced me to SYSC.  In 2010, at the age of 17, I took part in a free six month tailoring skills training program at SYSC. Afterward I volunteered as an assistant instructor at SYSC while looking for a job. In 2011, I took a micro-credit loan and started a dress and curtain-making business in my rented room here in the Shauri Yako slums. Today I am earning enough to pay rent, support my mom and 6 siblings, and I am also training them in tailoring. Discovering SYSC changed my life – see where I am now!  - Jane Kamau

Lastly, we'd like to ask you if you have any questions about the Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre, the slums where we work or the youth we serve? Please hit reply to this email - we'd be happy to hear from you with questions or ideas. 

Thanks again for your support.

Joe Mwai

Chair of the Board



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Organization Information

Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)

Location: Nyeri, Nyeri District - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Sarah Van Exan
Toronto, Ontario Canada
$14,240 raised of $22,300 goal
358 donations
$8,061 to go
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