Community >> Thulani Madondo
Company: Kliptown Youth Project
Title: Founder and Executive Director
Country: South Africa
Thulani grew up in Kliptown - a suburb of the formerly black township Soweto outside Johannesburg in South Africa. An area most often referred to as a slum. With an unemployment rate of almost 90%, and most people living in metal sheds without sanitation, water or electricity, the people of Kliptown face hardship unthinkable to most of us. Growing up here Thulani faced the same struggles that most Kliptown kids face, but while all of his siblings were forced to drop out of school for financial reasons, Thulani managed to complete high school by cleaning cars and doing various side jobs. He was accepted into college, but wasn’t able to afford to go. This lead Thulani and a group of friends from the community to set up Kliptown Youth Project. “We didn’t want to see other kids go through what we had gone through. No school uniforms…. Feeling hungry in class…. Failing classes and be beaten for not completing your homework, while have no one who could help you. We knew the problems of this community, but we also knew the solutions. And we want the kids to realize that they have a lot to contribute to this world”. Thanks to Thulani and KYP dozens of kids have now completed high school and gone on to college. In 2013 Thulani was honored as a CNN Hero. This is a story of how the best solutions often come from within, and how you can change the outlook of a community by focussing on the kids and education.