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. More than 130 children and youth, ages 6-22, call the CYEC home.
The Centre ensures that all of its young people are provided with the resources and skills necessary for a happy, healthy life. The Centre’s Residential Program provides a safe living and learning environment. 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 our 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. These youth learn metal work, carpentry or tailoring.
Upon completion of academic or vocational studies, youth have the option to join Zawadi Youth Enterprises, an incubator for youth-run businesses. Members of Zawadi Youth Enterprises can access a small micro-lending program and work together to build their businesses. These businesses help the Centre’s youth become financial independent, allowing them to confidently start their adult lives.
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.