Our Hero: Thulani Madondo

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Thulani Madondo

Congratulations to Thulani Madondo who has been nominated as a CNN Hero for 2012.

Madondo was nominated as a 2012 CNN Hero for his work with the Kliptown Youth Program (KYP), which provides meals for children, support with school fees, after-school care as well as educational help and tutoring to about 400 disadvantaged children from the Kliptown area. The organization has also made it possible for 18 youths to pursue higher education.

Madondo, 30, grew up in a family of nine and faced many of the same struggles as the children he is helping. Financial pressure forced all of his older siblings to drop out of high school. But Madondo washed cars and worked as a stock boy to earn money to stay in school, and he became the first member of his family to graduate from high school. In spite of his efforts he could not afford to go to college.

Five years ago Madondo and several Kliptown natives founded the Kliptown Youth Program to give young people an opportunity to pursue their education without worrying about food and educational resources.

According to the Kliptown Youth Program website, Thulani graduated from secondary school in 2001 and soon after participated in the City Year Program as a service leader in the community of Yeoville, South Africa. He received his community development practitioner certificate from Wits University and then his certificate in community development at the University of Johannesburg. Thulani is one of the founders of KYP and oversees the entire organization. He is responsible for communicating with various stakeholders, including corporations, NGOs, government bodies, volunteers, and more.  He is in charge of national and international fundraising for the organization and provides regular guided tours through Kliptown.

KYP’s mission is to eradicate the poverty of mind, body, and soul and to fight against the disadvantages imposed on the children of Kliptown, by providing educational support and after school activities. It seeks to develop young and dynamic individuals who are willing to contribute effectively for the betterment of their community.

Our tutoring, athletic, and arts programs provide a life to the children of Kliptown not defined by survival, but by the ability to be active community members, to have dreams, and most of all to have hope about the future.

Founded in early 2007 by a small group of inspired and passionate young people from Kliptown, dedicated to making a difference in their community, the Kliptown Youth Program provides educational support and afterschool activities for the disadvantaged children of this township.

Lets Vote for Thulani Madondo, Our Hero http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/2012.heroes/thulani.madondo.html