Kenya’s Douglas Mwangi who is popular as Mzelo, has been recognized and awarded by Queeen Elizabeth II in the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Awards for his outstanding efforts in reducing illiteracy and poverty in his community.
He is the founder of Oasis Mathare that offers entrepreneurial and IT skills to unemployed young people, including teenage mothers as well helping to transform the lives of more than 2,000 teenage mothers, young people and children in the slum.
Born and raised in Mathare slum in Niarobi Kenya, Mzelo was chosen in recognition of the work he is doing to reduce illiteracy and poverty in his community and beyond. Mzelo grew up wanting to battle the challenges of illiteracy, unemployment, drug abuse and crime facing his people living in the slum.
The 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders program, set up to honour the Queen for 60 years of service to the Commonwealth and now in its fourth and final year was set up to celebrate young people who are finding solutions to global issues such as climate change, food scarcity, gender-based violence, mental health, and access to education in their local domains. The Award includes training at the prestigious University of Cambridge and a £200,000 (Ksh.26million) Legacy Fund and Mzelo was selected following a competitive process involving thousands of applicants.
The award ceremony took place on Tuesday 26th, June, 2018 at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty’s residence, from 1750hrs London Time with the Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle, Prince Harry David Beckham and Lenny Henry in attendance. Later this month, Mzelo, together with other award winners, will visit 10 Downing Street, take part in master classes at the BBC World Service and the UK Headquarters of Facebook and visit projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK.