Programs and policies created to help youth thrive often skip an important step: engaging youth directly and asking them what they want. In Africa—where more than 60% of today’s population is under 25—listening to youth voices is necessary if we are to create a sustainable future with them.

The formation of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) in late 2021 was inspired by our systems work that shed light on the underlying root causes and patterns that amplify the socio-economic exclusion of Africa’s youth. YAB has shaped our work—and even shifted investment strategy— to better support our partners in serving youth. Connecting with young people ensures feedback loops directly from those most impacted by our work and enables us to remain proximate in the communities we work in.

With the YAB, we seek to:

  • Foster and deepen authentic connections among young people and provide opportunities to build their social capital
  • Create spaces for learning, growth and harnessing their power in tackling issues pertinent to them and their communities; and
  • Play an advisory role in our work, supporting us to advance youth-centric perspectives and building together with them as trusted thought partners.

Meet Our Youth Advisory Board Members

These are passionate changemakers making an impact in their respective fields while helping to shape our work with young people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our partner organizations nominated these individuals for their curiosity, passion and creativity and we couldn’t be more thrilled to continue partnering with them.


“My environment pushes me to improve and do more. My dream has always been to help my peers achieve what is not readily available to them. I am excited about YAB. I aspire to attain skills and mentorship to reach more girls in the Pokot community.”

Pamela Omondi, 22 years

Executive director & co-founder, Kigelia Foundation; Girl advocate and scout, Kenya Scouts Association

Pamela is a student of education at Egerton University who is passionate about mentoring girls. Through her organization, Kigelia Foundation, she aims to empower young girls from vulnerable backgrounds to break barriers and face their futures with confidence. She is a strong advocate of breaking the menstrual stigma and often spearheads community campaigns and fundraising efforts for feminine hygiene products.

“I feel privileged to be part of the YAB. I look forward to using this space to explore my gifts and skills. I’m interested in learning how to tell my story to create a great future and seek practical solutions that work for young people in Kenya.”

Brian Bosire, 27 years

Head of recruitment and community at Teach for Kenya; CEO and founder, Hold My Hand

Brian is an emerging leader whose passion is empowering youth with tools and skills to hone their potential and pursue their dreams. He founded his own company, ‘Hold My Hand’ which curates community events and incorporates games and play as a way of reaching out to youth. He is also a mental health advocate and in his free time, offers mental health coaching services and championing at Inuka Africa.

“Education is close to my heart and I hope to be able to push this agenda through Jasiri and the YAB. I would like to use my voice to be heard. Sometimes, all the voices in the system can drown you.”

Ashley Jahalo, 24 years

Founder and director, Jasiri, Miss Heritage Mombasa; Kids Talent Coach, Child counseling psychologist, Barnabas Children Center

Ashely is passionate about community service, working with children and believes in servant leadership. She founded her modeling agency to nurture the confidence and talents of young children through dance, art, music and equipping them with life skills.

“Acquiring skills like systems thinking and listening has allowed me to deeply look in and ask how to solve the problems. What if we could give young people access to the right kind of skills in Kenya? I hope to be able to explore that with YAB "

James Mwangi, 29 years

Founder and editor, Zinduka CBO and magazine; Journalist, tailor, YouTube content creator and youth mentor

James is a storyteller who is passionate about harnessing the power of media to highlight pertinent issues in the community. He is a strong advocate of skilling youth and providing them with opportunities to earn an income and live a dignified life.

"I like serving the community. I started while in college, and that’s how I ended up doing community work. Being in YAB will allow me to explore options further and learn from other peers."

Shila Salim, 31 years

Team lead, Youth for Sustainable Development; Mentor and mother

Shila is passionate about governance and creating dynamic spaces that allow young people to engage in decision-making and harness their collective power for positive change. She was one of the finalists of the Volunteer Impact Awards, which celebrates the exceptional contribution of volunteers from around the world in creating lasting change in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Update: July 2023

Hear from Our YAB Members

Our time with our Youth Advisory Board members has been a gift. We thank them for sharing their wisdom with us, and we wish them the best in their journeys ahead. Hear their reflections below: