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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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: