About Us

Soweto Youth Initiative is a registered community-based organization. It was started in 1999 by Julius Odero as a scout movement club by the name of "Soweto Club". It later changed to the name we know today as the organization grew beyond the scout movement. Its main aim is to nurture and empower the community, the youth, as well as disabled people so that they all can become responsible citizens through social, physical and spiritual development.

Leonor Alhinho

Communication/Journal Coordinator and Ambassador

Hey, I’m Leonor, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Portugal. In 2019, I was studying Law but I wasn’t sure about that choice. I decided to pursue that feeling and to think in a better way about what to do with my future, I managed to get out of my comfort zone. I decided to go to Kenya, as the idea of helping the ones in need always fascinated me. The project that I ran into was SYI (Soweto Youth Initiative), and I spent there more or less one month.
If I’m being honest, it wasn't all heaven. On my first day in Kahawa West, I felt horrible, and feeling alone was NOT the major problem. One step into Nairobi and you notice that everything that has been described to you about extreme poverty is true, and it’s right there in front of you.
As the days passed and the minute that I started talking to those beautiful kids, I felt like I was at home. My first two weeks were spent on trying to figure out everything that needed a change, in fact, in a place like that, one month feels like 2 days. The infrastructures, the conditions of poverty, hunger, lack of education, the misunderstanding despite the huge occurrence of teenage pregnancy, AIDS, drugs, school dropouts are an actual and deeply implanted reality. I had on my mind that the tiniest change on one child’s future was already a victory, but I wanted more. I talked to my friend Vasco so we could make a major change. Now, and with another member, we’re trying to make a change in the communication of SYI in order to promote the internationalization of the knowledge of their needs. Alongside with the other ambassadors and with my knowledge about communication (now I’m a Communication bachelor’s student), I hope that we can make it to a point that provides a better and brighter future to those kids.

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