Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth

by Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth
Livelihood & Life Skills for Impoverished Youth

Dear donors and friends,

Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre is grateful for your continuous support.

As we continue to face down the pandemic, your donations have enabled us to keep our core programs going and also run a COVID 19 response initiative that is providing social protection, food security and strengthening the response at the community level. Through our coordinated efforts, we are trying to see that the vulnerable people are safe from hunger. We continue to distribute food, soap and water, and masks.


Tailoring and dressmaking:

  • Six students completed their training in May 2021, and we're now helping them to get started as business owners (e.g. securing business loans to buy their own machines and set up their businesses). We are also recruiting 8 more students who will start their six months training in July.

Building and construction apprenticeship:

  • We are happy to report that our last group of 4 trainees completed welding and masonry skills training and have now secured employment with our non-profit partner Options for Homes. We are recruiting more students, who will be placed in internships from July 2021.

Kazi Mtaani:

  • In collaboration with SYSC, this government-funded temporary youth jobs initiative has provided 32 youth in the community with jobs, lasting until the end of 2021.  

Adolescent reproductive health education:

  • As the pandemic has continued, the community is seeing increased underage pregnancies and sexual violence. Our community is overwhelmed by the rising needs of youth and for family counseling services and reproductive health education. We are currently trying to raise funds to make educational booklets in Swahili and English languages that we can distribute to youth to share reproductive health information. Let us know if you can help!

Life skills and community work

  • Through our Scouts program, SYSC continues to provide life skills training and provide community clean-up services. This year the program has recruited and trained 22 youth volunteers.

Informal school program:

  • This program remains temporarily on hold because of the COVID 19 social distancing restrictions.


Again we thank all our donors, supporters, and friends who make the work we do possible. Thank you for choosing to support Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre when there are so many deserving causes. 

With apprecation,


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Dear friends,

We know you get a lot of emails so we'll cut right to the point. The pandemic is taking a huge toll on the health and welfare of people here in the informal settlement that we serve. So we are asking for your help to keep a critical program that is empowering young women with job skills that will help them recover from the pandemic's going past May. 

Would you be able to invite 5 friends to make a donation to Shauri Yako to help us continue to pay the tailoring teacher’s salary past June so we can train more young women? 

Read on for more details...

As you know, we are a very small grassroots charity. We serve a community that is marginalized and underserved in normal circumstances and has been heavily hit by the pandemic. We are so proud to have been able to distribute food, soap and masks to over a thousand people as part of our COVID-19 response.

The problems that COVID-19 has brought to Kenya and in the informal settlement that is Shauri Yako include the widespread loss of jobs and livelihoods. Congesting living spaces and the continued lack of basic services like water are still aggravating efforts to stop the spread and need systemic fixes.

But we have been collaborating with the county administration and donors since June 2020 to help put in place social protection and food security measures and to strengthen the response at the community level. We are collaborating with residents and local businesses to collect and share food with the most vulnerable families.  And many residents with small plots of land are now using them to grow vegetables and, where they can, sharing them with others in need.

The community has seen a marked increase in underaged pregnancies and sexual violence here as the pandemic has continued. SYSC is greatly challenged by the rising needs of youth and family counselling services and reproductive health education. 

Prioritizing the empowerment of young women continues to be a key part of our strategic response to this overwhelming problem.  We have been offering tailoring and dressmaking vocational skills and entrepreneurship training to eight girls (carefully following government health measures), who will complete their course in May 2021. The goal is to enable them to find jobs or create self-employment, building the path to a better future.

Thank you to all our donors, supporters and friends who make the work we do possible.  There are many good causes there are to support and we are so grateful you have chosen Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre.

 In peace,

Joe Mwai






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Dear friends,

Since we last wrote, we've been busy responding to the overwhelming basic needs of our community, including food, water and health care. As the pandemic took hold here, we started a Covid-19 Response Project to support the most vulnerable. We are grateful for the donations and in-kind support that has allowed us to reach over five thousand families with food, soap, water, health information and counselling for families and youth. We also have been using community radio to share health information with residents.

You will not be surprised to read that the Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre has scaled down some of our programs in response to physical distancing requirements.  We have suspended activity at our Informal School and all sports programs, as both require gathering. But we hope you'll be heartened to learn that some of our programming is continuing - we know how important it is for youth to come out the other side of this pandemic with job-ready skills. 6 welding and plumbing trainees and currently apprenticing and will complete their training in December. 

We've also been given the green light from our county government's administrator to continue our tailoring and dress-making program with reduced class sizes.  The program is welcoming 4 trainees each morning and four each afternoon. 

And we've been delivering reproductive health education to youth (pictured), which has become a pressing priority -- teen pregnancy rates have climbed by 40% during the lockdown. Reproductive health information is hugely important to poverty reduction and improving the lives of young women, and we are seeking partners who can help us keep this project going. Please let us know if you can help.

We thank all our donors, supporters and friends who make the work we do possible. We know there are many important causes to support and are so grateful that you continue to choose the Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre.

Kind regards,


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Scouts distributing soap early in the pandemic
Scouts distributing soap early in the pandemic

Dear Friends,


Like organizations all over the world, SYSC’s regularly programs have been placed on-hold, as social distancing rules prevent us from gathering. For three months, we have focused all our efforts on preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the communities we serve.

These are very difficult times for folks here. If you’ve been following us on social media you’ll have read how challenging it is to follow health guidelines and government restrictions in a community without access to running water. For a great many, the cost of sanitizer or a homemade mask is totally prohibitive and hunger is the consequence of staying home.  Unfortunately, with increased unemployment, school closures and more people packed into very small living spaces, we’ve also observed a big increase in domestic violence and the sexual exploitation of children.

In response, we have launched a community health support initiative to slow the spread and protect those most at-risk. In collaboration with the local administration and community health volunteers, we have been: 

  • Providing coronavirus sensitization and health education, including talks in community radio 
  • Collecting food and distributing to the most vulnerable in the community
  • Providing family and youth counselling
  • Distributing soap, sanitizer and water

Thanks to grant funding from the Project Solution, we are also installing a high-volume water tank in the community that the local government will refill, saving residents trips to the Chania River for water and making handwashing more feasible.


Skills Training Program Update

Happily,  the eight trainees who completed welding and masonry job skills training with SYSC in December 2019 have secured jobs in the construction industry.  SYSC equipped each trainee with a set of tools, to help them get started.  In February 2020, 4 new trainees (2 focused on welding and 2 on plumbing) began a skills training apprenticeship with our partner Options for Homes Kenya.  Your donations will help us to purchase workplace compensation insurance, a requirement for all on-the-job trainees.  Eight youth also began tailoring training, but this program has been suspended until we determine ways to continue while distancing. 


Informal School Program Update

Our informal school program is also on hold - all schools in Kenya are closed.  The kids who attend our school mainly come from displaced and refugee families, who are not able to attend formal schools. Unlike other Kenya kids, who are accessing online school studies, most children in our community do not have access to a computer or a t.v. and the government has yet to announce support for kids who are being left behind. Our focus is on raising funds for books to allow learning from home. 


As always, we thank you for giving generously to make the work we do possible. We can’t do this without you. 



Bi-weekly food bank outside our centre
Bi-weekly food bank outside our centre
Distributing food to the community
Distributing food to the community
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Tailoring trainees at work
Tailoring trainees at work

Dear Friends,

I want to tell you about how your help has allowed us to start a new tailoring and dress-making project.

We've purchased program manuals and 5 tailoring machines, including one specially-designed for disabled persons, and recruited a volunteer trainer. As of January 15th, we're thrilled to have 8 youth enrolled in this new course. Once we can acquire the funds to purchase five more machines, we'll expand enrollment.

Through this training, we help marginalized youth to find employment or start businesses so they can become self-reliant and support their families.  We know this community-focused approach works. For 19 years, the Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre has supported youth through skills training, health education and life and leadership skills initiatives. The 12 youth who completed our recent 6-month masonry and tile-fitting course, for example, are all now employed in the construction industry.

Ways to Increase Your Impact

You might have heard before that successful fundraising is all about tapping into your direct network - asking the people in it if they know anyone who might become a supporter. This is a challenge for SYSC because our network -- our board members, staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries -- generally come from within Shauri Yako's impoverished community and have many responsibilities already. For SYSC to help more youth, we know we need to focus on fundraising and we'd love your help. From telling a couple of friends about our grassroots efforts to bring hope and opportunity to youth, to researching grant opportunities or writing applications, your help or connections to those who might be able to get involved would be invaluable to us. Please hit reply to let us know of your interest.

Thanks again for your continued generosity. Without it, we could not support the disadvantaged youth, displaced peoples and refugees here in the Shauri Yako slums of Nyeri. Your commitment to improving the lives of our youth and their families is a wonderful gift.


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Organization Information

Shauri Yako Community Youth Support Centre (SYSC)

Location: Nyeri, Nyeri District - Kenya
Project Leader:
Joseph Mwai
Nyeri, Nyeri District Kenya
$5,741 raised of $11,081 goal
110 donations
$5,340 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG41623

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