Our impact in 2017

youth . energy . change

A young world

There are nearly 7.5 billion people in the world and more than half are under 30. That makes us the biggest youth generation ever.

We’re tired of being ignored and underestimated. We want people to recognise that we are one of the most important resources the world has. We have ideas that can change our world.

Young people like us, from all over the world, deliver Raleigh’s work. We volunteer our time and use our enthusiasm to create change in our own countries and globally. We know that our innovation, energy and determination creates real impact.

Raleigh’s 2017 impact report shows that, when we are accepted as partners in all parts of society, from rural communities to businesses and governments, we are powerful catalysts for change.

The Global Goals

Raleigh’s work contributes to eight of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
The Global Goals

Leading global change

Young people as partners and leaders in development

We want to play our part in tackling the world’s problems, but we often get ignored and our opinions are not taken seriously.

Working with other young people around the world, we are taking a lead on the issues affecting our world and communities.

3,795 young people from 34 countries took part in Raleigh’s programmes in 2017. Together, across five countries, we helped change the lives of more than 50,000 people.

We also saw personal benefits. We boosted our skills and confidence and improved our knowledge of global issues. Volunteering has had a positive effect on our lives in many areas.

Volunteers around the globe

Alumni action

We are part of a global community made up of more than 45,000 people, in over 100 countries, who have volunteered with Raleigh.

In more than 15 countries, former volunteers have created national societies who support Raleigh’s work and develop their own activities. In 2017, Raleigh Hong Kong hosted the Raleigh Asia Regional Conference, in partnership with WWF Hong Kong. Raleigh societies from China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Bermuda and Mongolia attended. The conference gave young people the opportunity to connect and develop ideas.

Some of our fellow alumni joined the new Youth Advisory Group. It is made up of young people from each of the countries Raleigh works in. This group is helping shape future Raleigh projects by advising on how to put young people at the heart of them.


Action at Home

864 Raleigh ICS volunteers in Nepal, Nicaragua, Tanzania and the UK completed a project in their home communities in 2017. This shows how we remain active citizens and demonstrates that volunteering has a positive impact on our communities at home.

After his ICS placement, Santosh found that litter and plastic pollution was an issue in Koudi community. So, he decided to return to set up Koudi Kids Club. This young group of litter picking environmental enthusiasts are now keeping their community clean and championing the environment.

Read more about how Raleigh is ensuring young people are connected, valued partners in development.

A volunteer takes notes while speaking to a community member

“The best thing about Koudi Kids Club is one word – sustainability. To avoid a lack of environmental awareness and responsibility among future generations, I realised that engaging with younger children in the village early is key.”

– Santosh (volunteer, Nepal)

Creating healthy

Better water and toilets in rural areas

Millions of people still die every year because of unsafe water and poor hygiene. Young people and children are particularly affected. It stops us from attending school or work and leading healthy, successful lives. This needs to end.

We made a real change in four countries. We worked in teams, side by side with young people in communities, and built water tanks, tap stands and toilet blocks. Living with local families meant we could change attitudes to health and hygiene issues, from handwashing to menstruation.

A volunteer takes notes while speaking to a community member

Impact in country

In Nepal, 700 homes got access to safe drinking water, toilets and hand washing stations. This reduced illnesses and the amount of time spent collecting water. We broke down taboos by talking openly to women and girls about periods and how to manage them. Local young people were inspired to set up youth clubs and groups to manage the water facilities so that our work is sustainable in the future.

In Malaysian Borneo, we worked with communities to provide safe, reliable water sources and toilets for 1,000 people. We also helped communities map where people did not have clean water or toilets. Village leaders and young people will use this knowledge to continue creating change in the future.

In Nicaragua, young entrepreneurs developed the skills needed to set up new businesses, providing toilets to rural communities and work for young people. More than 250 families have bought new toilets from the entrepreneurs. Local young people helped set up water management groups. 76% of community members said these will help the future development of the community.

In Tanzania, Raleigh’s local youth society sent young evaluators into communities to check the impact of our work with rural schools. In schools where we worked, 95% of the new toilets and taps we built were in use. More girls started going to school again and pupil numbers went up. Behaviours also changed. 70% of children could show how to wash their hands and 60% of teachers said hygiene had improved. It was great to see the children practicing what they learned at school when they got home. Others in the community were adopting this too. This means more people were able to stay healthy and go to work or school.

Read more about how Raleigh is putting young people at the heart of safe water, sanitation and good hygiene.
In Nepal: 700

homes with safe drinking water

In Malaysian Borneo: 1,000

people with safe reliable water sources and toilets

In Tanzania: 70%

of children could show how to safely wash their hands

A volunteer takes notes while speaking to a community member

“The project is really needed because of the current situation at the school. There are so many students, almost 2,000, and only eight toilets. Having more toilets will increase the number of students attending class. Disabled children will have access to school because they will have their own toilet. Moreover, the girls at the school now won’t drop out when they are menstruating.”

– Renatha (volunteer, Tanzania)

Turning ideas into sustainable business

Increasing jobs and income in rural areas

Young people globally are facing huge barriers to finding decent work and fair pay. Almost 600 million of us are unemployed or missing out on education and training. This global problem is growing every day.

We worked with Raleigh in three countries to boost jobs and incomes in 2017. More than 1,500 young entrepreneurs built the determination, skills and resilience needed to succeed. They went on to create over 900 micro-enterprises.

Raleigh focuses on rural areas because job opportunities there are low paid and unstable. Through volunteering, we are supporting other young people to get the skills they need to succeed.


Impact in country

In Nepal, we helped 931 people to adapt their farming to cope with climate change. 683 community members trained in seed plantation and irrigation. 748 people began producing high value vegetables to increase their income. 250 micro-enterprises were set up, providing work and more regular income for community members

In Tanzania, 1,200 young people trained in business skills. 600 entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to a panel to get grants of up to US$100 to start their businesses. An independent review of Raleigh’s work showed our training is accessible for community members. We give young entrepreneurs a strong sense of ownership over their ideas and work.

In Nicaragua, 118 young entrepreneurs attended training sessions to gain the skills needed to start their own businesses. 97 of the entrepreneurs developed a business plan; over 70% of them were women. 73 entrepreneurs received a grant of around US$100 to help them get their business off the ground. We helped 35 entrepreneurs with existing businesses access other sources of finance. Our work is sustainable because we help young entrepreneurs build networks with other business owners who can act as mentors. This approach has helped create huge impact in the communities. 74% of businesses young entrepreneurs set up since 2014 are still running and 60% of these are run by women.

Read more about how Raleigh is helping to deliver jobs, skills and businesses for young people.
In Tanzania: 600

entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to a panel

In Nepal: 748

people began producing high value vegetables to increase their income

In Nicaragua: over 70%

of the 97 entrepreneurs who developed a business plan were women

A volunteer takes notes while speaking to a community member

“We had plenty of help from Raleigh volunteers with our pitches and regular progress reviews. They trained us to be confident and not afraid in front of the panel. When we were told that our idea was selected, I screamed with delight. I never thought we could succeed. We are so thankful to Raleigh for helping us make our dream come true.”

– Agnes & Dorothy (entrepreneurs, Tanzania)

Protecting local environments

Combatting climate change and sustaining rural resources

Young people want an active role in ensuring our natural environments are cared for. We are the ones who are going to have to live with the effects of climate change and plastic pollution. Our ideas should matter in finding the solutions.

In 2017, we worked with Raleigh to help protect the environment in three countries. We worked with local young people to plant 300,000 new trees. Rural communities connected with officials to manage the impact of local climate change. We also empowered people to use their skills to better protect the resources they rely on.

A volunteer takes notes while speaking to a community member

Impact in country

In Costa Rica, we helped promote eco-tourism by improving trails in national parks. We planted new trees in conservation areas and supported local environmental education. 21 communities improved their knowledge about climate change and what they can do about it.

In Tanzania, we worked with three rural communities to establish new tree nurseries. Together, we planted 300,000 seedlings to help local reforestation. We also taught at village primary schools to encourage the children to look after their environment. This will make our work sustainable.

In Malaysian Borneo, over 100 young people from rainforest communities developed their existing skills to manage local natural resources. They set up committees to ensure sustainable use of their environment. Local young people also became honorary wildlife wardens, working with officials to reduce wildlife trafficking. Their important role helps build bonds between communities and the government. 20 young people attended our nine-week course on creating eco-enterprises. Seven pitched their business plans and received grants help them set up their businesses. Local mentors connected with the young environmental entrepreneurs to help grow their eco-enterprises in the future.

Read more about how Raleigh is empowering a generation of champions of the natural environment.
In Costa Rica: 21

communities improved their knowledge about climate change

In Tanzania: 3

rural communities established new tree nurseries

In Malaysian Borneo: 100

young people developed their existing skills to manage local resources

A volunteer takes notes while speaking to a community member

“I joined because I want to get more experience and knowledge about the environment and nature. I want to learn about sustainable agriculture because I only know about farming using chemicals. I want to show people how to farm organically so we take care of our environment, nature and health. I’m learning how to sustain a business and generate income. ”

– Badrul (entrepreneur, Malaysian Borneo)

Thank you to everyone who supported our work in 2017!

Read more stories of people working with Raleigh