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  1. ITV Report

The teen giving South Africa a voice in the fight against climate change

Today, tens of thousands of school students, teachers and businesses held a second wave of global strikes to call on the government and corporations to act on climate change.

However, those at the forefont of the worldwide movement are going beyond just striking - they’re suing five governments across the world.

Ayakha Melithafa is one of 16 young people - including Greta Thunberg - filing a complaint against Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey for their high levels of carbon pollution.

The group of activists argue these countries have violated the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Ayakha, inspired by Greta, is one of the pioneers of the cause in South Africa, and believes it's the poorest people in the world suffering the most from the climate crisis.

The Cape Town teen is one of the pioneers of the cause in Africa.

Ayaka lives a very simple life with few luxuries in a town near Cape Town, and leaves a small carbon footprint.

The teen told ITV News that kids in Africa suffer more than children elsewhere because of climate change.

“We are the ones contributing the least to climate change, yet we’re the ones most affected," she said.

“It’s very painful to watch and see because every day I see people suffering because of climate change," she said.

Ayakha says kids in Africa suffer more than children elsewhere because of climate change.

As one of the rising leaders in the fight against climate change, she is calling for people from more diverse backgrounds to join her campaign.

“I want to see more people of colour, people who are diverse, people with different stories," she said.

“People that get affected in different ways. I want to hear their stories. I want them to fight as well. I want them to join me. I want us to be a united front."