The United Nations General Assembly put 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in place back in 2016, which aim to tackle issues such as ending poverty, protecting our planet and ensuring peace and prosperity for everyone by 2030. Raleigh International is proud to contribute to achieving these Global Goals for Sustainable Development, by working with young people to create impact in communities and environments in South Africa and Costa Rica. On UN Day, we want to share some of the goals we work towards:
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
The UN reported in 2022 that ‘approximately 735 million people – or 9.2% of the world’s population – found themselves in a state of chronic hunger – a staggering rise compared to 2019.’ It’s clear there is a growing crisis, and global efforts are needed to alleviate this challenge.
How does Raleigh help with this? In South Africa, our Volunteers come together with project partner Nourish to help achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote food and farming resilience. This has involved clearing land to create sustainable vegetable gardens at a local creche, of which the most recent harvest of spinach was able to feed 125 children at the local school. Volunteers and staff are able to educate local communities on sustainable agricultural practices, allowing them to continue to provide resources and help towards ending hunger in the long term.
GOAL 4: Quality Education
According to the UN, ‘an estimated 84 million children and young people will stay out of school by 2030 and approximately 300 million students will lack the basic numeracy and literacy skills necessary for success in life.’ Education is a crucial factor in ensuring that SDG’s are achieved. Without an increase in Education, and quality of Education, the cycles of hunger, poverty and injustice cannot be broken.
Some of our previous projects have included building school facilities such as classrooms for children to be able to learn in. Or, building staff accommodation to make travelling to work for teachers much more accessible, and enjoyable. But it’s not just about Education for children – Volunteers also provide staff training and awareness days with teachers, to help understand and teach new and improved education initiatives that provide quality education for all.
GOAL 13: Climate Action
The Sustainable Development Goals Report for 2023 stated that ‘Students and youth globally are demanding climate action and comprehensive and quality climate education to prepare them for a greener future.’ Young Volunteers are at the heart of Raleigh’s work, and we strive to provide experiences that are not only impactful for the communities we work and live in, but for our Volunteers too.
We’re proud to work in Costa Rica – A country leading the international fight against climate change. Despite making up only 0.03% of the world’s landmass, Costa Rica is home to nearly 5% of the planet’s biodiversity. Volunteers get involved with tasks such as improving trails, sign making, waste management plans, biodiversity inventory and reforestation. Alongside this, they raise awareness on the importance in preserving these eco-systems, which all contributes to the global fight against climate change.
GOAL 15: Life on Land
The UN’s Goal 15 is about conserving life on land – protecting, restoring ecosystems and stopping the loss of biodiversity. For Raleigh, Environmental sustainability is at the heart of our work.
Our projects in South Africa have involve clearing wires, fences and invasive plant species. Some of the impact our most recent Volunteers had were removing 2.7km of old telecom wires, 32 snares and 3 hectares of mopane bush encroachment. All of this works to contribute to a more diverse and healthy eco-system, allowing for a greater variety of wildlife and plant species to flourish.
Making an impact
Our dedication to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals demonstrates how we can effectively work in partnership with global initiatives to bring about positive change. Our mission at Raleigh International is to inspire and empower young people to drive positive change in society. Through our volunteering programmes and youth development initiatives, we hope to be a symbol of collaboration, impact and sustainable development.