SDI and KYC.TV proudly presents its very first #HiddenTreasure

Slum Dwellers International (SDI), Know Your City TV (KYC.TV) and CoHabitat Network have officially launched our very first digital publication ‘Hidden Treasure’.

KYC.TV is a creative collective of talented youth from the global movement that is SDI. We mobilised to make change at settlement, city and global levels through photography, film and storytelling.

A first of its kind, the publication is a celebration of the wealth of talent and imagination of our federation youth. In the face of poverty and need, there is an abundance of creativity and ingenuity which #HiddenTreasure aims to showcase. The treasure is right here in front of all of us.

“Nothing for us, without us.”

The publication reflects on Life, Work, Change, Rest and Insight from the perspective of our talented youth. We say, “Nothing for us, without us.”

At present, Africa is the world’s youngest and fastest urbanising continent. Estimates show that Africa’s population will reach 2 billion by 2050, with 50% of its population being youths under the age of 25. This means the future of work, environment, technologies, the global economy, health and sustainable cities are dependent on the youth in African cities.

Download #HiddenTreasure here.

James Tayler, SDI’s Youth and Media Programme Coordinator, shares how the digital publication came about.

“The magazine emerged out of the demand for young people in informal settlements to be the authors of their own narrative,” he said.

“Too often media products concerning slums are extractive and based on appeals to people’s pity. We reject that and hope to show that young people in informal settlements hold the solutions to global problems.”

According to James, the aim is to publish the magazine quarterly and grow the distribution and reach globally.

“This magazine represents our approach to learning by doing and demonstrates that youth from informal settlements are capable of producing work on an international standard,” said the Prgogramme Coordinator.

“With this media product, we want to open a window into our world. We carry so many problems but we also carry the seeds to the solutions.”

To professionals and agencies: you are welcome to work with us, but make sure skills, a network and increased access to opportunity remain here with us when you leave. For enquiries, contact us here.

SDI hosted its Annual Board Meeting and Secretariat sessions

SDI Board and Secretariat hosted a collection of meetings from 19-23 April 2022 at the SDI Secretariat in Cape Town.  

In attendance, SDI hosted its Board of Directors, which is chaired by Joseph Muturi, national leader of Muungano wa Wanavijiji, the Kenyan Slum Dweller Federation. The majority of Board members are slum dweller leaders, augmented by SDI-affiliated and independent professionals with expertise in key priority areas. 

[caption id="attachment_13468" align="aligncenter" width="660"] SDI’s Board and Secretariat hosted a series of sessions to reflect on the previous Strategic Period and the way forward. (BACK ROW) Charlton Ziervogel, Cher Petersen, David Sheridan, Ariana Karamallis, William Cobbett, Theresa Rodriguez, Austen Nenguke, James Tayler. (MIDDLE ROW) Martha Sibanda, Beth Chitekwe-Biti, Esperance Ayinkamiye, Tamara Merrill, Skye Dobson. (FRONT ROW) Anna Muller, Margaret Bayoh, Emily Mohohlo, Joseph Muturi, Mikkel Aagaard Harder, Xola Mteto. (PHOTO: James Tayler)[/caption]

Get to know our Board of Directors here. 

The introductory sessions spanned two days and served as an opportunity for the Board and Secretariat to reflect on SDI’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, the State of SDI today, how we got here, and our key priority areas moving forward. 

The sessions took a reflective and introspective look at the management of SDI’s Secretariat from 2018 to date and the tremendous progress made since the 2019 systems audit by Sida, one of SDI’s funding partners, highlighted major shortcomings in our internal controls and governance practices. As outlined previously, SDI immediately identified and took a number of critical actions and has spent the subsequent two years engaging in a process of comprehensive organisational turnaround to reactivate, rebuild and strengthen SDI’s Secretariat and governance structures. This week of meetings marked a critical juncture in this process as the first in-person meeting of the newly established SDI Board of Directors and the first meeting between the new board and its Secretariat. 

SDI’s Programmatic Work

The Board and Secretariat also reflected on the network’s programmatic work over the past two years and the Secretariat’s role in supporting affiliates in this regard. SDI affiliates presented impressive work on climate adaptation and resilience, Covid-19 recovery and response, youth inclusion, human settlements and slum upgrading. Additionally, the Secretariat presented a number of key pieces of work, including a comprehensive Communications Strategy, the development of a Youth Inclusion Framework and activities in a variety of global spaces including the Gobeshona Conference on Locally Led Adaptations (27 March – 1 April), COP26, and more. 

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Additional pieces of work presented during the week include efforts towards the development of a comprehensive Business Development Strategy prioritising the hiring of a business development manager, rebuilding funder relationships and diversifying the funder base, and plans for a participatory review of our 2018-22 Strategic Plan and development of a strategy for the 2023-27 period. We aim to conclude the review by the start of the fourth quarter of 2022, with the new plan adopted by the Board and Council in the first quarter of 2023. 

The week concluded with a Donor and Partners Meeting where SDI’s institutional strengthening and programmatic work over the past year was presented to our donors and partners by SDI Board members, Secretariat staff, and federation leaders. While most of the donors, partners and affiliates joined the meeting virtually, it still provided a critical opportunity for the SDI network and many of its key supporters to gather together to review the work done to date and chart a way forward to future support. This offered a critical moment for SDI in our efforts to continue building the trust of our donors and partners.   

To request more information of the minutes of these meetings, please email