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Our Story

Find out about more about our history and our values.

We are Raleigh International. We are a youth-driven organisation supporting a global movement of young people to take action. Young people make up Raleigh International.  They determine, design, and lead the work we do.

We have worked with young people around the world for over 35 years. We constantly evolve but have always focused on supporting young people to take action and create change for themselves, their communities, and the world. More than 55,000 young people from over 100 countries have worked with us, creating a global community dedicated to supporting youth-led action.

Where it all began

In 1978, Operation Drake was launched by HRH Prince Charles and Colonel John Blashford-Snell with scientific exploration and community service as its aims. It gave a generation of young people the inspiration to change the world.



In 1984, Operation Drake evolved into Operation Raleigh, a trailblazing programme providing the space for young people to volunteer on projects around the world. Almost 4,000 volunteers took part in Operation Raleigh.

In 1992, Operation Raleigh became Raleigh International, the global organisation we are today. Since then we have worked with thousands more young people across the world to create sustainable change on a wide range of projects around climate change, water and sanitation, sustainable enterprise and social accountability. Through Raleigh International’s Expedition, ICS and national youth programmes over the years, young people have stepped up as young leaders making a significant contribution towards the achievement of the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Where we are today

In 2020 we officially became a global youth action organisation and launched our first global campaign Action Not Excuses, dedicated to acting against the climate emergency. Through Action Not Excuses young people are leading environmental campaigns in their home countries in Malaysia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Nepal and the United Kingdom.



As of 2021 we continue to provide young people with volunteering opportunities through our Expedition programme and National Youth programmes in Nepal, Costa Rica and Tanzania. We have also launched Re:Green, our first UK programme based in Scotland, providing volunteering opportunities for young people in the UK.

Raleigh International is a global community dedicated to building a better, fairer and more sustainable world. We hope that you will join us on our journey.

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Our Values

Create impact together.

We believe our voices and actions are stronger together. It is the ideas and power of an inclusive movement that changes the world.

Act with integrity.

We respect the qualities of real leaders, and we strive to embody them in everything we do.

Commit to learning.

We understand the importance of learning for growth and inclusion. We must listen to and learn from each other to create real change for everyone, everywhere.

Find the courage.

We stand up for what we believe is right, even if this means stepping out of our comfort zones.

Never give up.

Changing the world can be hard, but we will not stop until we have achieved all we set out to.