grantees » Jeanne Inès Abenan Ahoue

Jeanne Inès Abenan Ahoue, Senegal

Inès is a young geographer who has seen, ‘the Pearl of the Lagoons’ – Abidjan grow at an alarming rate over the last few years. This growth “has led to the degradation of the environment and worsened the living conditions for poor urban communities” she testifies. Being a witness to these negative environmental and social effects and hearing the words of her mother resound in her head – ‘there is no better feeling than knowing you helped make the world a little better than you found it”, Inès committed herself to negating these effects and began by co-founding the Young Volunteers for the Environment (JVE).

In 2009, three years after setting up JVE, Ines was nominated to be a JWH grantee and was successful. The following year, she began the lengthly enrolment process for her Masters in Sustainable Development at the Centre for Research and Actions for Peace (CERAP), while simulateously doing an intensive 3 month English language course in Ghana.

In January 2011, five months after beginning her Masters, a civil war broke out in Ivory Coast and CERAP along with many other institiutions and businesses were forced to close. While the civil unrest continued and her institute remained closed, Ines looked for other ways to develop herself, working on a number of different projects dealing with disaster risk management.

Four years after being nominated as a JWH grantee, the war came to an end. Other less determined people might have given up but not Ines, that same year she completed her Masters, and says in part it’s because “on the African continent… we must find and exploit all opportunities for training, because they allow us to better understand the environmental issues and especially to find the appropriate answers to the recurrent problems…”

Against all the odds, Ines has surpassed all expectations; it is these types of characters that the JWH Initiative is geared towards empowering further, because they will be the agents of change in the global south!


Ines Ahoue


Skype : sweet.ines1

Nominated by

Tete Benissan Tchotchovi;  Chair-person of AFHON (Actions in favor of humans and nature);  Lome, Togo.