AYANA was a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to activating leadership potential in the next generation and supporting community-led development.
The AYANA Youth Innovation Lab is a weeklong program to amplify the power of young people in developing communities, giving them tools to create targeted solutions to issues facing their communities, by exploring pressing issues and developing a unique, sustainable solutions for their communities.
From 2017 to 2020, our work centered on transforming the narrative that people in developing communities are incapable of solving their own problems. Over the years, hundreds of youth participated in Youth Innovation Labs and found their power to create change. We funded a diverse portfolio of community development projects by young people in seven different communities, with 100% of donations going directly to locally-led organizations to make this happen. These projects impacted thousands of people.
AYANA was certainly not the first to come up with the concept of community-driven development, nor were we the first to recognize the power of empowering young people. Founded by a then 14-year-old, we simply did our small part to support emerging young leaders and make the world a better and more hopeful place for us all.
We are immensely grateful for the pivotal role our local community partners have had, as they believe in a vision of youth empowerment and work tirelessly in their communities to organize and implement Youth Innovation Labs and eventually oversee the implementation of funded projects. Without them, none of this work would have been possible. The young people who have participated in our Youth Innovation Labs continue to inspire us with their unwavering commitment to creating brighter futures for their communities. While we are no longer raising funds for our programming, please contact us if we can help direct you to an incredible locally-led organization for your giving.