Dorien is founder and Executive Director of Young Africa.
Dorien came to Kenya in 1995 as a volunteer from The Netherlands. She worked 4 months with kids from the streets at the Don Bosco project in Nairobi. Less than a year later she was in Don Bosco Boys Town to open a computer training centre for the girls. She grew more and more passionate in her love for Africa and for youth development. Along with Raj she worked out the blue print of Young Africa and duly registered it in The Netherlands in 1998. Together, in that same year, they moved to Zimbabwe to start YA’s first programmes and that’s how Young Africa took off. Dorien and Raj built up the organisation, plus the training centres in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Dorien developed YA’s life skills education programme and, after ten years of teaching it, wrote down the methodology. Her strengths lie in project design, capacity building, programme management and public relations. She is the brain behind Young Africa’s scaling strategy and responsible for the expansion plans. All to achieve having trained half a million young people in skills for employability and entrepreneurship by 2025.
Dorien was selected to be a fellow of Ashoka, the world’s biggest network of social entrepreneurs, in 2012 in recognition of Young Africa ‘s integral approach to youth development and for the self-sustainable franchise model.
Dorien is now based at YA International - HUB. Click here to visit the HUB.