AYANA is a nonprofit initiative dedicated to transforming the futures of communities in developing countries by empowering youth to design innovative solutions to local issues they identify. Developing countries face issues from discrimination against girls to lack of knowledge about sanitation, and these issues affect us all as a global community. Youth understand problems in their communities very well and want their societies to move forward, but are often not involved in changemaking or decision making processes in their communities. Our impact is in both empowering youth and allowing them to realize their potential as entrepeneurs and changemakers, and also to directly transform communities with critical programs ending poverty, empowering women, and creating educational opportunities for all.
The AYANA Youth Innovation Lab is a weeklong program designed to empower young people (ages 12-25) in developing countries to create targeted solutions to issues facing their communities, using the design thinking process to better understand those affected and create a unique, sustainable solution. Nearly 100 youth have participated in 2017 alone, and the program has led to a diverse portfolio of innovations by young people to improve their communities.
(ABOVE) Students in Moshi, Tanzania build a WASH Center at their school. This project was designed at a Youth Innovation Lab program, by a 14-year-old to curb diseases transmitted as a lack of adequate hand-washing facilities.