My Impact Story in Youth Work
Solomon Ojalo is a YALI Alumnus, Sprint Forward Alumni, Member of the Learning Society, and the Program Manager of The Slumcode Group. The Slumcode Group is a social enterprise working in low-income communities providing youth with a safe and easily accessible space to inspire social innovation and autonomous programs. My work sets up programs and events aimed at developing the organization and the community. I am passionate about leadership, and I naturally find it easy to create and lead teams in problem-solving and guidance giving. I’m currently working on SDGs 4,8,9, 11, and 13. When I was growing up, I was fortunate enough to be raised in a family full of love, as my Mum would always call me King Solomon. She always believed that someday I’d be somebody great. Growing up in the ghetto wasn’t easy as one could be easily lured to join the wrong company, but Mum was always strict on the people I hang out with.
In 2011, I met Albert Nashon, who, since then, has always been my mentor. He walked with me through the corporate ladder, and I gained a lot of experience and lessons under his guidance. Through his help, I was able to do quite a number of events to develop the communities, especially the youths, such as entrepreneurial training and hosting training sessions, talent management for music groups, representing my seniors at meetings, coordinating other youth, and submitting activity reports. I played a vital role in organizing, coordinating, and managing five significant events. These events include the Hands of gratitude workshop, Youth Talent Forum, Breakfast with Sitawa on Mental Wellness, StartUP – Entrepreneurship Training – a partnership with Digital Opportunity Trust Kenya, Empire Rising – Video shooting, and launch. I also coordinated a session where a key US Entrepreneur visited our youth space. The events and programs held were able to reach out to over 100 youth, and about 30 youth have reported benefiting from the agenda. Through all this great work in 2019, I was selected to participate in what would help empower young leaders from Africa, impacting the community. I grew my capacity and ability to approach, understand, and create solutions to immediate challenges facing my community. The lessons, training, networking, and idea-sharing boosted my skills to become more effective in transforming my community. When I came back to my community after the program, I started bigger and better events, programs, projects, and partnerships. Some of the projects and events include: KILIO – COVID19 REALITY, which is one of the recent projects that I was part of; Kilio was a song written by the Slumcode Creatives to help people deal with the current challenging situation that was brought about by the COVID19 pandemic.
I Am Heuristic – Entrepreneurial Program is the world’s first start, a game-based entrepreneurial program that aims to empower Start-Ups from the grassroots level; it is a partnership between Slumcode and Wiwitan Foundation. Youth Pamoja Fest – Youth Event aims to create an informative, safe platform where young aspiring entrepreneurs can interact. With the help of my very able team from Open Troop Youth Group, we have been to develop projects and programs that have helped impart knowledge and skills that have transformed the lives of over 300 youth. Based on the great exposure and the vast experience that I have gotten from working in my community, not just with changemakers from my country but with changemakers worldwide, I believe I have what it takes to cause a WORLD SHIFT. Through listening, linking, and learning, I hope to replicate the Slum Code model across the globe to help spearhead change in my country. I’m planning to actively pursue sustainable solutions, collaborations, and partnerships with organizations that share the same vision so that we can prepare the youth for the future by equipping, training, and providing them with the right resources, networks, and tools.
Solomon Ojalo Graduating from the Young African Leadership Initiative.
Solomon Ojalo facilitating the Youth event.