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RB x Raleigh International: collaborating to ignite youth-led action

“At RB, we are driven by our purpose to protect, heal and nurture and we believe that access to the highest quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment is a right for people around the world. A key pillar in bringing our strategy to life is empowering individuals and communities with products, education and skills they can use to change their everyday life. Essential to this mission are the future leaders of tomorrow – young people. Supporting them to drive change both inside and outside the organisation is fundamental. But how can a purpose-led business equip young people to go beyond asking why to envisage what could be?

At RB we want to help young people to think, feel and do, and being aware of an issue is not only a true catalyst, but also the first step to overcome its challenge. Providing young leaders with the opportunity to learn from others and about hygiene, wellness and nourishment challenges, unleashes their creativity and drive to imagine solutions others might not have envisaged.

Partnering for a long-lasting impact

As a business, RB has knowledge and experience to offer and there is nothing like leading and learning by example. And this is very much a two-way street. In fact, local volunteers understand the problem RB want to help them solve and at the same time they gain experience in working with our people benefitting from their expertise. Raleigh International’s purpose is a natural fit with RB’s volunteer programmes on two major initiatives. The Global Volunteer Challenge gives employees the chance to use their business skills and experience to work with local young people to improve health and hygiene practices and reduce preventable diseases. This brings young leaders and young Tanzanians together to work hand in hand towards lasting, positive impact. While our Long-term Volunteer Programme sends select talent from RB on 13-week-long programmes to become project managers: working alongside local youth volunteers gives them the opportunity to not only make a real contribution in a community and gain a deeper understanding of issues around water and sanitation, but also develop their leadership skills in a way that could not be done in the office.

A hotbed of ideas and inspiration

RB has been a proud supporter and participant of One Young World for five years: in 2019, 50 young RB delegates from 26 countries attended the event to share their passion and gain the skills required to shape the future of the business and the world.  RB also funds scholarships for young people already leading in social impact to have the opportunity to attend the forum and learn more, including one young Tanzanian who took part in the Global Volunteer Challenge, who has gone onto to lead the Raleigh Tanzania Society environmental campaign #keshotutachelewa (Tomorrow is Too Late), raising awareness of deforestation and changing behaviours amongst Tanzanians to adopt clean cooking practices.

As part of our commitment to One Young World, RB also sponsors The Lead 2030 prize fund. Powered by some of the world’s leading businesses, the initiative finds, funds and accelerates SDG solutions created by founders under 30. For their social enterprise the winners receive funding of £50k and, just as importantly, access to mentorship from within RB. The Lead 2030 is the world’s biggest prize fund for young leaders making an impact for the SDGs.

There’s strength in unity

As a business we are absolutely committed to addressing some of society’s biggest issues. In order to make a truly lasting difference to pressing social issues we must motivate our own young leaders, effectively bring partners and communities together and key to that is engaging with young ‘drivers of change’ within those communities.

If we can collaborate with our partner Raleigh International to help connect young people with the skills, networks, platforms, and experiences to lead action on the change they demand, we know that we are doing our bit to create a generation of young leaders taking action now on the world’s biggest problems.”

Sandra Hennessy is Social Impact and Partnerships Manager at global health and hygiene company RB. Read more about RB’s partnership with Raleigh International here.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, or an endorsement by, Raleigh International.