Kenyan Social Entrepreneur Receives Queen’s Young Leader Award
Douglas is the founder of Oasis Mathare, a community centre in the Mathare Slum in Nairobi, Kenya that provides education, skills training, a community library, an early childhood development centre, and a safe community space for unemployed youth and vulnerable children.
Douglas leads a team of five staff and 10 volunteers who have helped more than 2,000 youth and children in Mathare.
Douglas is the only Kenyan recipient of the 2018 award, which celebrates and supports exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth. He will collect the award from Her Majesty The Queen during a one-week programme in the UK.
Douglas launched Oasis Mathare while working as a youth leader with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), an international organization that supports youth to become innovators and leaders, and to create and apply digital solutions that have positive impact in their communities.
“Growing up in the Mathare Slum gave me first-hand experience with the challenges youth face here. My solution was to create Oasis Mathare – a true oasis that provides a safe, supportive space for youth to learn and grow,” Douglas shares.
Youth have a powerful impact when they put their minds to solving challenges in their communities and countries. Equipped with skills, knowledge, and networks, young social entrepreneurs are successfully tackling systemic problems that governments, charities, and the private sector have spent decades trying to address.
“I always wanted to be a social entrepreneur – to give back to my community, create change, and make it a better place while also creating jobs. Most youth are held back because they think they don’t have resources to run a business, but an idea is a seed in itself. Youth can find support at organizations like DOT to gain the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to succeed,” says Douglas.
Through the Queen’s Young Leader Award, Douglas will join a community of 240 influential change-makers who represent all 52 commonwealth countries.
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