A YouTube star goes to Kibera and uncovers a bunch of creative minds changing the future.
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Gates Foundation

Jamal Edwards MBE picked up a camera at 15 and started filming. A few years later, he'd built one of the most successful YouTube channels EVER.

Hi, Jamal. Image via Jamal Edwards.


There's a reason he's considered one of the United Kingdom's most successful young entrepreneurs! He even got to interview Prime Minister David Cameron.

Today, his channel and broadcasting company SBTV highlights underground music artists and is expanding into other content. It's said to have even helped launch the career of radio favorite Ed Sheeran. #Swoon.

Recently, Jamal put his camera in a much different light.

He packed his bags and headed to Nairobi, Kenya, with Action/2015 to talk to some of the creative young people who live there in the slum of Kibera.

I tell you what: They know what's up.

GIFs via action/2015.

Kibera is considered one of the largest slums in the world. Many residents live on less than a few bucks a day. A lot of kids who live there can't afford to go to school or even see a doctor.

You'd think the opportunities in a place like Kibera would be pretty grim, but when you see it — really see it through the eyes of Jamal — it looks a little more hopeful.

They are young people doing what they can to change Kibera. And Jamal helped to document them.

There are young people in Kibera who have founded dance schools with libraries and study rooms.

Dance AND learning! A great combo.

Others are using drama and performance to raise awareness of the issues they face.

Bring on the drama, bring on the change.

They are finding creative ways to break through the barriers that have stopped so many before them. They're paving their own futures — some as young as sixth grade!

These young people know what it's going to take for them to succeed, and they're calling on world leaders to help make it happen.

They've got good timing, too.

World leaders are coming together this year to announce a new set of Global Goals to tackle the most urgent issues of our time: poverty, inequality, and climate change.

Action/2015 is right there to make sure it happens. It's made up of 2,020 organizations around the world — joined by Jamal, Kibera youth, and, hopefully, you.

Because turning words like this around is actually possible: "The problem in Kibera is school dropout. Most girls do get pregnant and drop out from school."

But change has to happen first.

One successful YouTube star isn't going to change the course of history. But all of us together can. Here's how you can take action with Action/2015 and how some of Kibera's young people are doing their part:

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