Meet Solomon! Newest Youth Leadership Council Member

September 16, 2019 | GFC & Partner Updates

“You need to have a vision and be on a mission. The time to pursue your dream is now, so we have to take charge and use the time we have – and use it wisely. Time lost, you can never recover. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, you are the master of your own destiny.” —A message to fellow youth from Solomon, Youth Leadership Council member

Solomon Ndondo, 25, is from Zimbabwe and is the Founder and Executive Director of the Africa Rise Foundation. He recently joined our Youth Leadership Council. Meet him!

SOLOMON, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD AND WHERE YOU’RE FROM?

I grew up in a village in Masvingo province in Zimbabwe. It’s a bit backwards. Currently, there is no access to the internet. I came to the city when I was around 12; I came to Beitbridge. I basically did my primary education from 2000 to 2007, and my secondary education from 2008 and 2014. That’s my childhood in a nutshell.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY?

I just remember that during my ECD years (Early Childhood Education), I was kind of naughty. Maybe because my mom was a teacher, but I just remember that I was kind of naughty. I was just being a silly child.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY UP TO? SCHOOL? WORK? BOTH?

I’m doing both. I’m in my final semester, doing my Bachelor of Science Honors in Human Resource Management, and I’m also working. I am the Founder and Executive Director of an organization called Africa Rise Foundation, which is into sexual reproductive health and also offers scholarships to less privileged children, especially in rural Zimbabwe.

HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL?

I was searching through the internet, and I subscribed to the newsletters from GFC.

WHAT DREW YOU TO GFC? WHY BECOME A YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER?

I have always been an advocate for the voice of young people. I feel like young people need to have a voice in every decision, and I saw the Youth Leadership Council as an opportunity to get my voice out there. Global Fund for Children is a global organization, so I felt like I could have my voice out there in the world. I can help to shape GFC’s policy, and things like that. Since I am currently working on issues that affect young people, I saw it as an opportunity to collaborate with other young people and shape the future of the world.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT AFTER JOINING THE YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL?

I can’t wait to meet other members in person and figure out ways how we can move with forward with this initiative.

WHAT DOES “YOUTH-LED” MEAN TO YOU?

Youth-led to me means mainly three things: the youth drive the policy, the youths’ views and opinions are valued, and the youth are a part of the projects and programs in organizations – they are really involved. There is a saying “anything for us, without us, is against us.” So when the youth are involved, like in what GFC does, [GFC] takes the views of young people through the Youth Leadership Council, since it is serving young people. It’s really important that the views of young people are heard, what young people really need. As young people, we know what the young people need.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE GFC’S WORK IS IMPORTANT?

Young people are the majority of the global population, and what GFC is doing in terms of education and health and skills developed for young people is very important. [Youth] are preparing the future, the future of the world, so what GFC is doing is very important.

#FUNFACTS ABOUT SOLOMON

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY GROWING UP?

It was a car, but the funny thing about it is that it was homemade. I grew up in a poor family, and we couldn’t afford to buy toys. My brother used to make it from tail, wire, and cardboards.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

During my primary level, I always wanted to be a pilot. When I got to secondary level, I changed and wanted to be a lawyer, but we only have three universities in Zimbabwe that offer law, and they’re very competitive. Some of them only take 15 students. Then, I changed to HR.

WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU EVER ATE?

Here in Zimbabwe, we call them mopane worms, they are sort of caterpillars. There is no real taste to it – we fry them.

DO YOU HAVE A PET PEEVE?

When someone looks down upon someone because of their diverse background. Maybe because of their sexuality, race, tribe, or their language – or their level of education.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

That I would be able to raise enough resources to give my organization what it needs.

Our Youth Leadership Council is commissioned to articulate and advance the needs of youth peers, and to serve as advisers to GFC. Learn more about them.

You can listen to the full interview with Solomon here.

Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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