SYEF’s local advisory consists of five members from the local community who give tirelessly and with tremendous hope and care for our youth. They’ve come a long ways from where we started in December 2010. For decades, non-profits in the Samburu region approached their development work with a “we know best” strategy, a strategy that has tremendous short-comings when decisions are made by outsiders with peripheral knowledge of the area and little at stake, in the big picture of things. In the beginning, our local advisory board understandably defaulted to aspects of this model. SYEF’s USA-based co-founders were called upon to weigh in on and approve decisions from 9,000 miles away. But today, our five member team embraces the SYEF mission as passionately as anyone, and are empowered to make all local programmatic decisions for SYEF. The organization belongs to them as much as it does to anyone else. With their input and guidance, SYEF has become a highly reputable organization in their community who goes about their work differently – programmatic decisions are made by the local advisory group only, no money is mysteriously lost via corruption, and youth are selected objectively with no basis of tribe, clan, family affiliation or similar aspects.
Isigi, Issak, Apin and Madams Priscilla and Anastasia: they are rock stars. We thank them for the tireless efforts to lead all of SYEF’s activities in Samburu, which ultimately makes our youth feel valued and nurtures the seeds for long-term change!