The Children and Youth Empowerment Centre (CYEC) is a residential and educational program for former street-dwelling children and youth in Kenya. The Centre is located in Nyeri, Kenya, approximately 175km north of Nairobi. Currently, the CYEC is home to over 150 children and youth ages 4-22.
The CYEC ensures that all of its young people are provided with the resources and skills necessary for a happy, health life. The Centre’s Residential Program provides a safe living and learning environment for all of the Centre’s children. Children receive all of life’s essentials, including clothing, shoes, toiletries and three balanced meals each day. A registered nurse provides health services to the children five days a week.
Education is an integral part of the Centre’s services. All children are required to attend Primary School (up to Standard 8). It is the Centre’s goal to have all Secondary School aged youth attend school (up to Form 4), but the high cost of Secondary School in Kenya makes this difficult. Alternately, Secondary School aged youth who do not have sponsorships to attend school take part in the CYEC’s Vocational Skills Program. Youth may choose to learn metal work, carpentry or tailoring.
The youth at the CYEC have created Zawadi Youth Enterprises, an umbrella organization under which many youth businesses operate. Members of Zawadi Youth Enterprises can access a small micro-lending program and work together to build their businesses. These youth businesses act as a financial independence exit strategy for older youth preparing to leave the Centre.
The CYEC is financially supported primarily through funds from Zawadi Fund International, a registered US 501(c)3. The Centre collaborates and receives technical support from many Partner Organizations.