Self-taught engineer Kelvin Doe, 22, of Sierra Leone is one of the five honorees for the 2019 MTV Europe Music Award Generation Change Award, MTV announced on October 29, 2019. His fellow honorees are Lisa Ranran Hu, 20, of China, Kelvin Doe, 22, of Sierra Leone, Jamie Margolin, 17, of the United States, Alfredo “Danger” Martinez, 33, of Mexico and Shiden Tekle, 20, of the United Kingdom.
A self-taught engineer and an entrepreneur, Doe is the founder of the Kelvin Doe Foundation. With this nonprofit, he empowers young people in Africa to design innovative solutions to tackle the most critical problems in under-developed communities.
At age 11, Doe used trash in his hometown for spare parts to build batteries, generators and transmitters to power his local community. He built his own radio station, which he used to broadcast news and play music under the nickname DJ Focus.
Through various programs, Doe engages with educators, the private sector, government leaders, leading global visionaries and NGOs to mobilize and provide platforms, resources, makerspaces, mentorship and tools to advance the impacts of experimental and hands-on learning programs in Africa. His recent activity includes crowdfunding to provide makerspaces across Freetown.
Doe has won several international innovation awards including the Presidential Gold Medal and is also the youngest person to participate in the Visiting Practitioner’s Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a frequent speaker at sci/tech/art and youth empowerment functions and serves on the Honorary and Advisory Board of Emergency USA, an organization with a mission to provide free medical and surgical care to victims of war and poverty.
Currently, Doe lives and studies in Toronto, Canada. He hopes to run for president of Sierra Leone in the future to help improve the lives of the people in his country.
Including Doe, the five selected change makers from across the globe will receive their awards from iconic MTV personality Sway Calloway during the 2019 MTV EMAs live red carpet pre-show in Seville, Spain on November 3, 2019. MTV International will make a monetary donation to each honoree’s organization and amplify their transformational work and unique stories across the brand’s social and digital platforms in nearly 180 countries.
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