Explain to me, what is Lemonade Day?

This is how I started my busy Saturday morning -May 20th, 2017.

I woke up at 5 am and took Uber down to Elkhart to witness some of the activities that the community does to mark Lemonade Day.

“Explain to me, what is Lemonade day?”, I asked Sheila Flint Sieradzki. “Shaban, Lemonade Day is a national program that takes place during the summer with a view to teach young people how to start a business, sell, save, spend and share a portion of their profit with social causes they care about in their community”, she said. As they sell the citrus juice, young people learn how to build their self-esteem, make decisions and succeed as business leaders and social change agents of tomorrow.

This was inspirational to me since I believe in the power of preparing our young people for the future. Whether they continue with school or drop out, whether they launch their ambitious businesses or not this type of experiential learning helps young people to grow and walk away with skills, values and experiences that can help them in other ways for the rest of their lives.

Shaban Varajab

Shaban was born and raised in Kakamega County in Kenya. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Moi University with a concentration in Math and Economics. In 2013 he received a full scholarship from the Mennonite Central Committee-Kenya, in partnership with Africa Peacebuilding Institute, to pursue a Certificate in Peace Building and Conflict Transformation at St. Augustine College in South Africa. In 2014, Shaban was awarded a full Scholarship by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies to pursue a two-year Master’s degree in International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in which he focused on Policy Analysis and Political Change.

Prior to joining the University of Notre Dame, Shaban worked for 3 years with Rural Women Peace Link as a Youth Development Coordinator and Program Manager, where he led projects that targeted women and young people in conflict zones in Kenya to promote their participation in peacebuilding, community governance and project development.

While at Notre Dame, Shaban travelled abroad during the Fall Semester of 2015 and interned at the Catholic Relief Services where he worked with the Peacebuilding Monitoring and Evaluation department in the Philippines. After the internship, to connect with the South Bend community, he conducted a study on the membership and community engagement of the Rotary Club of South Bend, which led him to volunteer with different community projects including the Boys and Girls Club and Salvation Army- Kroc Center food pantry. Shaban is also a member of the Global Unites youth movement that was formed during a Global Youth Summit that he took part in June 2015 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Shaban is now working as an Innovation Consultant with enFocus South Bend. Passionate about inspiring and empowering young people to discover themselves as healers of the wounded past and future change makers, he founded 42-Change Makers to empower at-risk young people from the 42 tribes of Kenya.