“It’s very important for poor people and people of colour to go to these protests and marches because they are feeling the wrath of climate change the most. It’s important for them to have a say, for their voice and their demands to be heard” — Ayakha Melithafa, South African Environmental activist.
My name is Kevine, and I work as a Social Media & Communications Assistant at ONE.
I want to share the story of Ayakha Melithafa.
Ayakha is one of the young activists fighting for climate justice. She filed a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for failing to address the climate crisis. She is part of “Project90by2030,” which addresses our generation’s most pressing ecological problem. She works to help leaders understand complex proposals and organizes collaborative climate activism.
Why is HER voice crucial to other YOUNG ACTIVIST:
Inspired by many other activists, Ayakha deserves to be heard. This young South African leader lifts up other voices to encourage more youth voices to speak up. Our future needs to be a sustainable, low-carbon future. She also encourages South African politicians to lead all Africa to push the rest of the world more to address climate change. Climate justice means avoiding disaster and collapse. Climate justice means acting before it is too late. Mass extinctions, and ecosystem collapses are on the horizon. Ayakha’s voice, like many other activists, demonstrates how lucky most of us are. We have a voice. We have power. Let’s start taking action!
Why I care:
As a young woman, sometimes we feel retaliated against if we speak up to push them to act. Ayakha (and other young activists) proves this false, which stuck with me.
Leaders like Ayakha inspire.
They provide hope and evidence that change is possible. This itself may motivate more people to take action. If you have a passion for women’s equality, ending poverty or even climate change, you can make change happen. If you stand up and use your voice, you inspire many others to do the same.
Why should YOU listen to these activists:
Ayakha’s collaborative efforts show that anyone can contribute to change. You don’t need elite status or authority. Your voice matters. And when your voice joins with others, we unlock more opportunity for change. Young activists are important. When we call for action, it reveals our power to inspire others. Together, our voices reverberate around the globe. This empowers millions of people around the world to act together.
Ayakha was not born a hero. Another young activist inspired her. And now she inspires more youth. She shows me that we can decide what we care about, use our voice, and make change happen.