International Youth Day serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in changing our world for the better. The theme for this years International Youth Day is “Safe Spaces for Youth“.
“The hopes of the world rest on young people. Peace, economic dynamism, social justice, tolerance – all this and more, today and tomorrow, depends on tapping into the power of youth.” António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. One thing that Raleigh Tanzania prides itself on is creating, developing and supporting “active citizens” in our young volunteers. Both the Raleigh ICS programme and Raleigh Expedition offer a platform for each volunteer to learn new skills, to broaden their minds and to develop their own ideas. This creates a safe space for youth to participate in planning and decision making.
Raleigh and beyond
On all Raleigh programmes, young volunteers form part of a diverse team and work together in a range of environments on a wide variety of development projects.
“Gaining insights from others and learning about the differences on how you see things, how you define things really changed my life- that was all brought by Raleigh Tanzania. The thing I was most fond of from my time on Raleigh was the diversity.” Nicolaus, Raleigh ICS alumni
Raleigh Expedition and Raleigh ICS provide safe spaces for young people to push themselves out of their comfort zone. A key part of our work is building confidence in young people. The young volunteers face challenges whilst working in communities and on youth leadership trek. Overcoming these offers valuable lessons for volunteers to understand their own capabilities.
“I volunteered with Raleigh, I saw a change and I just want to continue being part of that. This is what makes me who I am. I think Raleigh is like a bridge to me, all of the things I am doing right now are because of my experience on Raleigh.” Kelvin, Raleigh ICS alumni
Former volunteers continue to promote sustainable development long after they complete their Raleigh Expedition or ICS programme. It is truly exciting to see our alumni actively engage with their local communities and participate in society on a global scale to drive positive change.
Alumni raising their voices
Two young Raleigh Tanzania alumni are currently part of an exciting programme with WorldMerit. They have been appointed “Action Plan Executors” for two of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will attend a youth-led, international conference in London later this month. This conference aligns with the theme for International Youth Day 2018; “Safe spaces for Youth”. The theme highlights the importance of spaces (public, civic, physical and digital) where young people can freely express their views and pursue their dreams.
Former Raleigh volunteer Kelvin is an Action Plan Executor for SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. He runs a project where he recycles, reuses and refurbishes waste bottles into beautiful decorations for sale. Merit360 will offer Kelvin the chance to speak to and plan with other young people from across the globe who are also passionate about looking after the environment.
Raleigh alumnus Nicolaus is an Action Plan Executor for SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. As well as Raleigh Tanzania, he has also volunteered with Tanzania Youth Vision Association and set up his own initiative at a very young age. Nicolaus will discuss how to tackle issues relating to peace and justice with his international peers and how they can engage and encourage strong institutions.
“One of my biggest aspirations is to one day get the chance to work with the United Nations and to change anything I can for a better world. As an active citizen, you need to find a way you can create a better environment for everyone.” Nicolaus, Raleigh ICS alumni
Raleigh Tanzania are continuing to work with young people to enable them to understand their purpose and realise their potential. Great achievements can be made in working towards social justice and a sustainable future through our growing alumni of active citizens.
Want to know more about our alumni? Read here.
Words by Communication Officer Lou McGowan