Photo of six members of a family smiling
Ray-ginald Louissaint Jr. / Save the Children

The Gender and Youth Activity (GAYA) works to improve the quality and impact of food security activities by addressing the barriers and challenges implementing partners face when integrating gender and youth within their activities. Understanding and meeting the unique and intersectional needs of women and youth, and addressing the root causes of the inequalities that affect them, are essential to achieve broad and equitable impacts in food and nutrition security.  

GAYA supports partners implementing emergency response, early recovery, risk reduction, and resilience programs. GAYA is a five-year award (2021-2026) funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and issued through the IDEAL Leader with Associate Awards Activity. GAYA is implemented by Mercy Corps in collaboration with Save the Children.

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What We Do

GAYA uses a human-centered design approach to support emergency and non-emergency implementing partners through small grants, peer-to-peer Learning, and capacity strengthening. Watch this space for upcoming opportunities and more information.   

Meet the Team

Julie Koehler Headshot

Julie Koehler

Program Director/Senior Gender and Youth Advisor

Bethany Leech

Bethany Leech


Katie Pons Headshot

Katie Pons

Knowledge, Learning, and Communications Advisor

Hope Schaitkin Headshot

Hope Schaitkin

Technical Officer, Research and Learning

Beatrice Scheuermann Headshot

Beatrice Scheuermann


Savannah Smith Headshot

Savannah Smith

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning & Communications Coordinator

Emily Teerink Headshot

Emily Teerink

Program Officer