Teen climate change activist Ayakha Melithafa is a rising voice in South Africa with her sights set on Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.
Khayelitsha, South Africa – South African teen Ayakha Melithafa is set to join global climate change activist Greta Thunberg on various panels at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland from 19 – 24 January 2020.
Ayakha’s journey started two years ago when, living in Khayelitsha, she had to face hardship due to severe droughts. She began to question why the drought was so bad and learned about climate change. While she is a student at the Centre of Science and Technology in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, she is from a small farming town in the Eastern Cape which is also crippled by drought.
She joined “Project 90 by 2030”, a social and environmental justice organisation based in Cape Town and thrived. She also works as a recruitment official and spokesperson for the African Climate Alliance. The alliance is a youth-led climate advocacy group working in collaboration with more than a million youths around the world.
Ayakha hopes that by joining her fellow activists at the World Economic Forum, they will help her achieve her goals for South Africa. She is calling for an immediate moratorium on the extraction of coal, oil and gas in South Africa. By heading to the forum, her voice is magnified.
“I have been a mentor to Ayakha Melithafa – a 17-year-old youth activist from Khayelitsha – for the past year and in that time, been incredibly inspired by the passion that Ayakha has for her mother, her family, her community and her country. I have recognised her special talent for speaking truth to power, and believe she is destined for a world stage with a powerful message. I would like to do everything I can to support her on her journey.” – Natalie Geyser, a climate justice activist and communications specialist at Project 90 by 2030
Natalie set up a crowdfund on BackaBuddy to help Ayakha cover the costs of her trip. Thankfully the World Economic Forum have sponsored Ayakha Melithafa’s airfare and accommodation for the trip. The money being raised will cover the following:
- Visa fees
- Travel Insurance
- Costs from the Eastern Cape to Cape Town and back
- A stipend for the six nights she will be in Switzerland.
- A laptop, smartphone and data
- Some warm clothes for the very cold Switzerland winter
You can donate to her fund via BackaBuddy here.