Skip to main content

Our Story

Raleigh International has worked with young people worldwide for over 44 years.

Home | Our Story

Impacting young people for 44 years

Raleigh International has evolved (Operation Drake (1978 – 80), Operation Raleigh (1984 – 88) and Raleigh International Trust (1992 – 2022)), but it has and will always focus on supporting young people to act and create change for themselves, their communities, and the world.

Raleigh has proudly worked with more than 55,000 young people from over 100 countries, creating a global community dedicated to taking action towards a fair, inclusive, and green world where young people confront the planet’s most urgent crises.

“It helped enhance my leadership skills and I became a better me. Volunteering not only creates youth leaders but also inspires youth in the community to work.”

Peter | Raleigh Volunteer


A world where young people have the skills and confidence to work with others to build a fair, inclusive, and green world for everyone.


To create life-enhancing journeys and transformational experiences for young people through international volunteering – all whilst making a positive, long-lasting impact in the communities where we work.

How does Raleigh International work with young people to create lasting change?

We work with young people through our international volunteer programme: Raleigh Expedition.

Our Expeditions

Our expeditions are youth-driven. Young people play a part in decision making and leading.

Service learning

Young people develop vital skills for the future and learn to reflect on their experiences.

Long-lasting impact

We work with communities to ensure projects are relevant to their needs, responsible and ethical. Volunteers work on sustainable solutions to poverty, low education levels, food insecurity, and unemployment.


Pura Vida

The national saying of Costa Rica, this translates to ‘pure life’ but it’s more than a saying – it’s a lifestyle representing optimism, happiness, being grateful, kindness and living life to the fullest.

Believe in young people

Young people can, and should, be given the opportunities to play a leading role in building a better and more sustainable world for everyone.

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.

Find the courage

We stand up for what we believe is right, we step out our comfort zones and never give up on achieving our vision.

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.

Why young people?

Today there are 1.2 billion young people worldwide, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population. By 2030, the youth population is projected to have grown by 7 per cent to nearly 1.3 billion. As a generation, young people have the potential to be a force for global change and are already at the forefront of solving some of the planet’s biggest issues.

Entering adulthood is a transformational life stage. Raleigh International supports young people in gaining independence and new experiences to forge their own paths. We know that when provided with the knowledge, skills, and networks, young people can lead the way in building a better and more sustainable world for everyone.

We believe that young people have the energy, passion, positivity and, above all, the ability to inspire change and lead on sustainable impact. On Expedition, young people will be inspired to keep making a difference long after the trip has ended.

Volunteers have gone on to form alumni societies; charities of their own; take action in politics; fight for the planet and take on the world’s biggest problems.

Get started!

The Raleigh Impact

Over the years Raleigh has made some significant impacts on communities, the environment and people


Over 100,000 people now have long-lasting access to safe and accessible hygiene facilities and access to toilets, handwashing and drinking water.


Raleigh young people have planted over 900,000 trees to help combat climate change.


Volunteers have built or rehabilitated more than 65km of trails and conservation infrastructure


Over 500 rural households supported to protect income from environmental challenges.