We will ExCEL together

7th September 2018

It has always been a core belief of Raleigh International that youth are the key to lasting change. Made up of alumni from three different countries, we, the Raleigh ExCEL team, are determined to prove it!

Hola! Mambo! Namaste!

Raleigh ExCEL (Exchange for Campaigns, Empowerment, and Leadership) is an FK Norway (now NOREC) funded exchange program between the National Societies of Raleigh Tanzania, Raleigh Nepal, and Raleigh Nicaragua. The project enables 14 Raleigh alumni from across the world to spend three months in Tanzania and three months in Nepal, learning how to design and implement campaigns.

Katherine, Vivek and Faith discussing ideas

“Being around people from different backgrounds opens your mind and gives you new perspective. We are all learning from each other which helps on both a personal level and a professional level.” Elissa, ExCEL participant (Raleigh Nicaragua)

We will be carrying out detailed needs assessments at local, regional, and national level, and building relevant skills so we can deliver youth-led campaigns with our societies on our return home.

Raleigh International works toward several SDGs, three of which were selected as a possible focus for campaigning in 2019: Clean water and Sanitation, Decent work and Economic Growth, and Climate Action. After much consideration, a meaningful discussion, and lively debate exploring ideas across these three SDGs we concluded that our campaign should focus on SDG 13: Climate Action. Watch this space!

As well as increasing our societies’ ability to design and deliver our own projects and campaigns supporting climate action, this multicultural exchange is also designed to increase our individual leadership skills. We are all extremely passionate about helping to strengthen our National Societies in Nepal, Tanzania and Nicaragua after the exchange, improving our ability to make effective partnerships with other organisations, and to further our impact.

Luis and John, Elissa and Schola engaged in discussions during training

On the 13th August, the Raleigh ExCEL team came together at Norway to attend the FK youth camp in Flekke, Norway, along with 159 youth from more 14 different countries. We discussed issues of youth leadership, global justice, and climate change, and explored solutions from a multicultural perspective.

“Norway was perfect. We shared a lot and got to know each other. There were so many people from different countries and places and it was really nice to interact with everyone. The sessions were interactive and fun. There were leadership sessions which presented different ideas on how to be an effective leader and what skills you need to work successfully on projects like this so we are feeling prepared.” Manish, ExCEL participant (Raleigh Nepal)

Following this inspiring youth camp, we then traveled to Morogoro, Tanzania (on the 18th August) and since then have been participating in training sessions on needs assessments, project design and implementation, supported by Raleigh Tanzania staff.

ExCEL group activity during induction in Morogoro

We are now commencing desktop research which will enable us to start our needs assessment. Our main goal is to better understand how communities here in Tanzania are affected by climate change, and their ability to adapt. To start with we will build our knowledge of policy and stakeholders at national and regional level. After gathering enough information, we will be devising community needs assessment tools and will travel to nine different rural communities on the 4th October. With the information collected over a period of three weeks of living with rural communities, we will develop an appropriate campaign strategy, before heading to Nepal on the 14th November.

We are all eager to find out more about effects of climate change, so that in six months’ time our National Societies can take action to make a change. This global issue affects all of our communities across the world in different ways, but we are finding strength by coming together. Despite being from different countries, as a team we feel we have found strong common ground to start this exciting journey together.

“To be part of change; to create a good path, come up with solutions and ideas for development we have to engage young people. My mind is now looking forward, much further forward than I had looked before.” John, ExCEL participant (Raleigh Tanzania)

Youth. Energy. Change.

Words by Raleigh ExCEL team.

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