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Creation of a youth development center on Mount Kilimanjaro

PDAid Foundation, supported by Danish design and communication agency Phoenix Aid Design, and its Kenya-based partner Kilimanjaro Initiative are setting up a center dedicated to youth empowerment at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro – a hub where youth and experts can identify ways to best support disenfranchised communities. 

Set on 10 acres of land north of Loitokitok, Kenya, the center is a multi-purpose project.  The center will provide a platform where youth groups from disenfranchised communities in East Africa, and beyond, will have an opportunity to experience the great outdoors and receive educational support. Participating youth groups will determine sustainable solutions for their respective communities, in hand with local and international experts.

The center will focus on three key elements: the environment, education and sport. Youth groups will be central to our project,” said Dennis Lundoe Nielsen, CEO of Phoenix Design Aid and Founder of PDAid Foundation.

During an 8-day course, youth groups of up to 15 persons will take part in outdoor adventures and learn skills that will amplify their positive and constructive impact on their communities. Rock climbing, trekking, team building and tree planting, mixed in with bookkeeping and communications training will all be part of the course’s curriculum.

We want to give youth a place to think, get them to step away from their constrictive environments and determine ways on how they can improve their lives and those of others, with the support of experts,” said Dennis.

Moreover, the center will include a tree planting program to offset any of its emissions. It will also rely on solar energy and water retention solutions to neutralize the center’s impact on the environment. The center’s architecture will be inspired by Maasai Bomas, using traditional construction practices and materials.

Timothy Challen, who set up Kilimanjaro Initiative after being shot during an armed robbery in Nairobi, said:

Disenfranchised youth not only need to have opportunities, they need to have a sense of ownership in their development. This center is being designed to support their ambitions. Moreover, we will be working closely with neighboring communities so that they feel this project also belongs to them.”

The center is looking to host its first youth groups during the second half of 2024. The project is well underway.

Read more about the Kilimanjaro Development Center at

The Kilimanjaro Development Center supports four of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being (target 3.4)
  • SDG 4: Quality Education (target 4.1)
  • SDG 13: Climate Action (target 13.1)
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals (target 17.17)

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