A year of action and impact
2019 has been an incredible year of action and impact for young people, highlighting the continued and growing importance of youth-driven change.
Young people around the world have led the calls for action on the climate emergency. Governments and businesses have had no choice but to listen and start acting. We supported the calls of young people who were taking part in climate strikes to make our future greener and fairer for all.
On our programmes, young people have led change in 2019. Our Social Accountability through Youth project is allowing young Tanzanians to hold development projects in their communities to account using technology. Another exciting project has seen young people take part in a global exchange where they develop the skills to run behaviour change campaigns to reduce the impact of climate change on communities most at risk.
Young people also worked with corporate partners to develop innovative interventions which will increase and spread good hygiene practices where it matters to reduce disease. And on our new livelihoods programme, young people supported underrepresented groups in rural areas with access to sustainable and environmentally friendly employment opportunities through training and seed-funding.
We strengthened connections with our global community and national societies in 2019. Our global community of volunteers and alumni grew to over 50,000 people across more than 100 countries. Former volunteers are now running projects and engaging other young people in 14 active national alumni societies, while our Asian national societies held their annual conference in Malaysia this year.
Supporting young people to achieve all this isn’t possible without our fantastic volunteers, alumni, funders and partners. On behalf of everyone at Raleigh International I’d like to thank you all for everything that you have done to help deliver youth-driven change around the world in 2019. It’s needed now more than ever.
Celebrating the last 13 years
2019 also signals a big change for the organisation and for me personally. At the end of the year I will be stepping down as CEO after 13 years in the role. I am delighted to be handing over the reins to Julian Olivier, someone who possesses the vision, experience and passion to deliver youth-driven change.
As the year comes to a close, I’ve been able to reflect on what a privilege it has been to lead this amazing organisation since 2007. I’d like to start by thanking you all for the support you have given me during this time. It’s safe to say that both the wider world and Raleigh have changed considerably since I started. However, what has remained constant, and hopefully been strengthened, is Raleigh’s ability to change lives, through programmes which empower young people to change both their own lives and those of others for the better.
I’ve also always been struck by the passion, positivity and selflessness that defines every member of Raleigh’s community. This is an organisation that attracts people who don’t just believe the world should be a better place but who actively work globally and in their own communities towards building a brighter, fairer and more just tomorrow. Largely because of this, the focus of my time as CEO has not been about leadership but about stewardship and recognising the talents, commitment and enthusiasm of the amazing individuals who make up the Raleigh community. It has been the privilege of my life to work with and support so many in our shared vision of empowering young people to change the world.
Finally, I’d like to end by sharing this video to celebrate all that we have achieved together in the last 13 years. I hope you can be as proud of the impact we have achieved as I am!
I wish everyone involved with Raleigh every success in the future! I have absolutely no doubt that this organisation and young people will go on to achieve new levels of global impact in the future.
Thank you for your support and farewell,
Chief Executive, Raleigh International (2007-2019)