Hayathe Ayeva

Forced marriages, early pregnancies and juvenile delinquency, notably in rural areas of Africa, constitute barriers for young people to pursue their education and contribute to the development of their communities. While it is in their families and schools that they should find help, education and support, these spaces are usually congested with taboos, stereotypes and traditional harmful practices which push them rather to live in margins of the society and on the edge of their potential.

At 10 years, Hayathe Ayeva noticed these issues to be pervasive and recurrent in Sokode (Togo). In contrast to her entourage, where she had a say and support from her relatives, most of her classmates didn’t find the same possibility of expression, empowerment and support to continue their studies and shape their future. She decided as young as she was to start her quest to empower young students and girls to stay in school, develop their potential and become agents of change in their communities. Robert F. Kennedy Young Defender Hayathe Ayeva joined Plan International Togo’s Club Lumière and later the the Youth Action Movement of the Togolese Association for the Familial Well-Being (ATBEF) that she chairs as part of her commitment to the sexual and reproductive health of young people.

13 years later, she has helped hundreds of young girls and boys in Togo and Africa to understand, advocate and enjoy their sexual reproductive rights. She was also chosen to represent and amplify the voices of the young people on these questions before the government and different international organizations. No surprise that she holds key positions of responsibility on global and continental organizations and advisory boards as a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the African Development Policy Institute (AFIDEP) and Exemplares in Global Health, a member of the PO Advisory Board, a member of the Integrate Health Advisory Board and the IPPF Board of Directors worldwide. Besides, in her former role as a Youth Focal Point FP2030/PO, she set up a collective of youth organizations and leaders committed to reproductive health and family planning in Togo in 2020, which is still operational.

One of her most impactful initiatives is Soluthion Hayathe that she launched when she turned 21, made possible because of her own funds and the technical support of partner organizations. It is a project aiming at reducing the reproductive health information deficit of 21 vulnerable young girls aged 10 to 18, to enable them to access essential basic sexual and reproductive health services in the first instance. Today, thanks to Solution Hayathe, 21 young girls have been empowered on the themes of comprehensive sexual education, receive sexual and gynecological care by the ATBEF Center of Excellence clinic, and have become champions in raising awareness among their peers, with technical support from Plan International Togo.

Hayathe Ayeva is inspired by the principles of gender equality, social justice, and inclusion. She considers access to comprehensive, quality sexual and reproductive health services to be a fundamental human right, essential for the empowerment of individuals and the sustainable development of communities.

Profile written by Phillipe Plagbe.