Another young woman is making the news whilst fighting climate change and this time, she’s from South African shores. Seventeen-year-old Khayelitsha resident Ayakha Melithafa is on her way to represent her country at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland later this month alongside the likes of Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg.

Melithafa’s big passion is speaking out against powerful toxin emitting companies who are blocking action for financial reasons and calling on the country to reduce its own emissions drastically. She became actively involved in creating awareness roughly two years ago when her own family was severely affected by a drought.

“I realised then that it’s very important for me as a youth to spread awareness as it will be affecting us the most in the future,” Melithafa told The South African. She especially aspires to educate more young people who might not yet understand the workings of climate change and what eco-friendliness entails.

“I would firstly love to see more political parties shed light about the climate crisis and actually put measures in place to help climate-illiterate people,” she told the World Wildlife Fund.

“I would love to see political leaders step up and inspire youth and people in general to take action and do all they can to prevent the climate crisis from elevating. I would also love them to lead and teach climate education, particularly in underprivileged communities and schools, because it is their responsibility to take care of their people and make sure their rights are not violated,” she added.

The WEF will cover Melithafa’s basic costs to attend, but she will still have other expenses and will need our help to represent South Africa in this worthy cause. Social media users have stepped up to spread the word, and you can too.

To help her get there and have as much impact as possible, click here to make a donation.

Picture: Instagram/ Ayakha Melithafa

Article written by

Anita Froneman