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Founder of the Children and Youth Empowerment Center to visit Berks

Paul Maina, the founder and director of the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre (CYEC) in Nyeri, Kenya, will discuss collaborations with Penn State Berks and developments within the CYEC on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 1 p.m. in room 121 of the Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Penn State University’s collaboration with the CYEC began when Maina turned to Dr. Janelle Larson, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Division Head of Engineering, Business, and Computing, seeking the University’s expertise to help address a variety issues with the innovative school he established for former street-dwelling children.

The CYEC is part of the Kenyan national program for street-dwelling children and was created to address issues of standards of care, program sustainability, and program exit. Penn State faculty and students from a variety of colleges and campuses, including Penn State Berks, are now partnering with the CYEC to address all three issues: developing a life-skills curriculum to enhance standards of care; improving agricultural production, value addition, and other business opportunities to support program sustainability; and creating entrepreneurship education and developing an eco-village where the older youth can transition to independent living as a key part of the exit strategy.

Maina has held positions in microfinance, small business development, and environmental conservation. He has worked with bodies such as iLima (an environmental NGO), the National Environmental Management Authority (Kenya), the UK Department for International Development, UNICEF, and the ILO. He is chair of the Association of Care Givers in Kenya and a board member of Children International, Kenya and Zawadi Fund International. He holds degrees in Economics from the University of Nairobi, and in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Oxford where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

For more information, contact Dr. Janelle Larson at 610-396-6183 or via e-mail at JBL6@psu.edu.

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