$ 1 : 16
For every $1 of value invested, One Young World Ambassadors deliver $16 of social value, based on a Social Return on Investment analysis of 42 Ambassador-led initiatives addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2022
SDG Impact Tracker
Interested in supporting impactful initiatives led by young leaders? Search this database of over 350 projects from the One Young World Community to find out more.
Youth Invest - Zimbabwe
Nomqhele Samantha Siziba
In Zimbabwe around 16.6% are currently unemployed. Moreover, only around 55% of Zimbabweans have access to a bank account (1). To increase the access of the young to the labour force and financial inclusion ‘Youth Invest’ offers a variety of training and development programmes for young Zimbabweans.
Based on the conviction that “youth are an integral part of community change because of their resourcefulness and dynamic competencies’’, Youth Invest works on the empowerment of young people in Victoria Falls and Bulawayo.
In September 2019, Youth Invest started implementing her ‘Promoting Rural Tourism Entrepreneurship’ project. This project increases the employment rate and income for young artisans in Victoria Falls. So far 61 young artisans have received training through this project. This training focuses on story-telling, digital marketing and financial literacy.
Moreover, an online and physical hub has been established where these artisans can sell their projects and services. Through these efforts the income for these entrepreneurs is expected to increase with 87%. These training efforts promote long-term and sustainable entrepreneurship and employment in the tourism sector and thus increase financial independence in the area.
Alongside this Youth Invest has provided 16 capacity-buildings training and workshops on financial inclusion for young Zimbabweans in Bulawayo. These programs promote the accessibility of financial services to marginalized socio-economic groups. Over 1,000 young people and women have benefitted from these programs so far, improving their access to the financial system and capital.
One% - Bahrain
Nadia Shehab, Fatema Husain
Nadia and Fatema attended the One Young World Summits in Dublin and Bogota respectively, uniting to work as the Community Managers of one%, an innovative social enterprise in Bahrain which launched in September 2019.
The two Ambassadors share a background in volunteering and social impact. and both were inspired by their One Young World experiences to pursue a career mobilising changemakers. They joined Fahad and Fawaz Algosaibi, founders of one%, who both have a mutual passion when it comes to volunteering and giving back to the community.
It is a global volunteering platform which connects willing volunteers all around the world with local opportunities to create social impact. The platform currently hosts opportunities from organisations based in Bahrain and the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, with a wide variety of events including Beach Clean Ups, Tree Planting, and visits to the elderly homes. Individuals then register as potential volunteers, and can get involved with projects and campaigns which appeal to their sensibilities, or post their own events for others to join. This simplifies the process of connecting volunteers and socially impactful organisations.
In five months, since founding, over 80 organisations have offered roles and advertised for volunteers on the app. In the same amount of time, 2,400 people have registered as volunteers on the site, of whom 1,000 have engaged in activities as a result. As of the date of data collection, the platform has accumulated 2,500 volunteering hours for the partner organisations.
The long-term and highly ambitious target and tag-line for the organisation is to enable 1 billion people to donate 1% of their time for a good cause, on a regular basis.
Ideas Positive - Philippines
Mikee De La Pena
Mikee works for Unilab Foundation, a Filipino NGO which was founded in 2010. He manages various youth initiatives, two of which are Ideas Positive and Heads Up PH.
After attending the One Young World in The Hague he helped to establish the Positive Youth Development Network and now serves as its Director of Communications and Partnerships. The organisation has embedded youth engagement as a core focus for development in the Philippines. This project sought to develop and harness the expertise of young leaders in the Philippines nationwide.
Ideas Positive runs an annual bootcamp to co-develop and accelerate innovative ideas from all 17 regions in the Philippines. Selection criteria varies from year to year, from LGBT rights to environment. The chosen teams in 2019 are addressing healthcare challenges in their local communities, and receiving two months of training before returning home for a six months implementation period in their respective communities.
Since inception, the project has supported 108 youth-led projects across 228 communities, and in turn developed the capacity of 438 young Filipino leaders. Ideas Positive as a programme has engaged over 75,000 young leaders in volunteering efforts across a variety of projects which have impacted over 2.4 million people.
Mikee is also the leading figure behind #YouthCan forum, a three-day event for young leaders. Approximately 2,500 young leaders attended in 2019, a significant growth since 150 attending the inaugural event four years prior.
The forum was run by a group of 20 ‘Ideas Positive’ alumni, and included 14 short courses to develop the theoretical and practical skills of attendees. One such class was run by Emmanuele Marie Parra in her capacity as One Young World’s Coordinating Ambassador for the region, to teach them how to create global impact with local solutions.
Two Degrees Footwear & Apparel
Two Degrees Footwear & Apparel - United Kingdom
Along with his Co-Founder, Luke set about producing a shoe with optimised sustainability and that simultaneously supported conservation efforts. In turn, this off-set any unavoidable environmental costs of its manufacturing and distribution.
Together, in 2017, they founded Two Degree Footwear and Apparel producing shoes called “Twos”, operating the enterprise part-time alongside their day jobs.
Shoe production raises a variety of nuanced sustainability questions. Leather has ethical issues and environmental implications from the tanning process and livestock emissions, while vegan alternatives are often petro-chemical based, less durable and do not biodegrade in landfill.
After visiting a vast array of suppliers, they settled on the use of bio-leather, a waste product of the cattle industry tanned using an innovative bio-process free from heavy metals. The shoe boxes are biodegradable, and made from a single sheet of recycled cardboard. The rubber outsoles are made from recycled materials such as used car tyres and old outsoles.
Despite minimising their emissions as much as possible, it is impossible to eliminate completely, and therefore through the “Feet for Feet” initiative, each pair of shoes sold protects 1,000 square feet of endangered rainforest. This project is run in partnership with World Land Trust.
In a kickstarter campaign, the company raised over $100,000 in pre-orders. Including sales since, they have protected over 1,200,000 square feet (11.15 hectares) of endangered rainforest in Mexico, Ecuador and Argentina. The ambition is to have protected 25 million square feet by 2020.
ThinkHER Ambition - United Kingdom
Lola’s passion for female empowerment led her to leave her job to found her own organisation, ThinkHER Ambition. The Gender Gap remains a substantial issue in British society and stands at 17.9% (1). Lola aims to educate and inspire young women as a means of tackling this deep-rooted inequality.
Since its foundation in 2018, ThinkHER ambition has impacted the lives of over 700 young females from around the United Kingdom, through its services which includes programmes, workshops and events. In 2018, it became an official Google Academy Partner and has held three annual summits at the Academy Space, bringing together over 300 young females for interactive skills development, networking and inspiration.
In 2019, ThinkHER launched a mentor programme in collaboration with Unilever for six female students who were being supported by their school’s pastoral team and at high risk of underachieving. This project offers them guidance, education and development to exponentially improve their employability, and life prospects holistically, with the opportunity to network with hard-working, successful women that work at Unilever.
ThinkHER has tapped into the expertise and resources of prestigious partners and participated in a Cass Business School Strategy programme to make the organisation as effective and professional as possible.
Lola credits the speeches of fellow Ambassadors such as Hyppolite Ntigurirwa and Ilwad Elman as providing her with a necessary sense of perspective to pursue her ambition, supported by regular contact with other members of the community. ThinkHER continues to develop strategies, launch new projects and aim to expand beyond London to have global reach.
Greenpact - Kenya
Leroy’s work in the area of waste disposal and clean energy production began with a high school science project, with a selection of his peers. Leroy co-founded Greenpact formally in 2014, a year before his graduation. It is an energy solution for farmers and schools in rural Kenya, a country where 25% of people still lack electricity access (1).
Greenpact’s installations repurpose agricultural waste from households, small rural farms and schools into a clean energy alternative. This allows rural families and small organisations to access cheap and safe, renewable energy.
Before installing in a school or farm, the Greenpact team analyse the best-suited energy solution and dimensions. The client then purchases the concrete installation, which Greenpact trains them to use. The organisation also offers to train the client to maintain the solution, or Greenpact will offer that service itself.
At a small-scale, the solution will power five complete days of clean energy for a household from the waste of three cows over a period of two weeks. The scale increases exponentially as the quantity of waste increases.
Customers are protected from the negative health consequences from unclean cooking, saved money from energy expenditure, and they protect the environment from damaging carbon emissions.
Familes, and in particular women as per the household culture in Kenya, are saved time searching for firewood. Since foundation around 10,000 rural Kenyans have benefited from these impacts. That includes the teachers and students at 50 schools, and 70 installations in total.
Jaan Pakistan - Pakistan
Roughly 40% of the population in Pakistan live off-grid and rely on burning firewood and other biomass to provide energy in their homes. This dependence on polluting combustion materials is expensive, environmentally harmful and a big health concern. Khizr founded Jaan Pak, a clean energy social enterprise in 2014, having won the Rwanga Social Start Up competition at the One Young World Summit in Dublin.
The organisation used this seed funding to design a solution to unsustainable, open-fire cooking in Pakistan which has dangerous repercussions on people’s environment and health. In 2015, Jaan Pak imported solar thermal stoves from China – however, pilot testing showed that these were unsuitable for Pakistani culinary methods and people were unwilling to use them. Next, the team imported biomass stoves, which were expensive and received similar feedback.
In 2017, Jaan Pak identified that they needed an indigenous solution. The organisation has designed three products (including a heater and two stoves) to provide clean, fuel efficient energy to households in Pakistan. After a long period of R&D, the product is now on the market and already in 2,000 households. The organisation has used education to create social impact, directly reaching 14,000 individuals with education on the damage of open wood cooking.
Having been recognised by the government as leading innovators, the team have provided their research and technology to the public sector that is now developing a policy to ban open fires and run a nationwide campaign on the economic, health and environmental benefits of clean cooking. Jaan Pak is an expert consultant to the government on a change that has the potential to impact 100 million people across the country.
PODER - Belize
Juan founded PODER (Program of Opportunities, Development & Ethical Entrepreneurship) with support form The Resolution Project. It is a development organisation supporting disadvantaged indigenous communities in rural regions. It began in Costa Rica but is primarily focused in Belize at the moment.
Since studying Agriculture Science with a focus in Soil Microbiology at Delaware State University, Juan has started a new project remotely, to promote sustainable agriculture in his local community with the aim of improving livelihood.
Juan built a relationship with a cooperative of farmers in his hometown in late 2018. Through the collaboration, he developed the concept for agriculture, cultural and natural resource protection. Juan gained the support and partnership of a local NGO called Ya’axché Conservation Trust who offered their capacity to manage the project. This was the first project the cooperative had managed to get off the ground since their establishment 25 years ago. It launched in August 2019 having secured funding earlier that year from GEF/SGP Belize.
The cooperative developed a scheme of training on sustainable agriculture and biodiversity protection for 2,500 acres (1,102 hectares) which had previously been used unsustainably with a slash and burn method. The 30 farmers in the cooperative are participating in the project, which also trains their families in GPS mapping, conservation, farm management and organic methods. This aims to improve biodiversity and protect the area’s eco-systems, and provide stable and sustainable agriculture for a community totalling 900 people. The next stage the group hopes to implement is an agritourism initiative for the Community and its surrounding.
Juan has tapped into the One Young World Community in the Caribbean and Central America, speaking at events in Costa Rica and Trinidad and planning future initiatives with fellow Ambassadors.
Wish for WASH
Wish for WASH - United States
Jasmine is a social entrepreneur who founded Wish for WASH (W4W), a social impact collective intended to bring innovation to sanitation in 2014. According to the World Health Organization, over 4 billion people in the world today lack safely managed sanitation (1). W4W’s mission is to bring more diverse minds, talent, and innovation to the problems of global health and WASH in our world through research, design and education because #everybodypoops.
She led W4W in conducting iterative toilet innovation pilots and research in Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Ethiopia and in an Atlanta-based resettled refugee community all with a human-centered design and social inclusion lens. Its first sanitation relief product is the SafiChoo toilet, an innovative toilet system that operates as a ‘toolbox of options’ allowing users to upgrade their sanitation system based on their current financial and community waste management options. The current version of the SafiChoo toilet includes a sit-squat toilet seat, a riser, a snap fit floor, and a series of inserts that change the functionality of the waste management features of the toilet. This was designed with feedback collected from W4W’s pilot programmes.
Through the pilot programmes, approximately 100 people in Georgia, 50 people in Kenya and 20 people in Zambia have benefited from innovative toilet options designed to meet their community’s needs. Other key outcomes include meaningfully engaging over 100 young people to lead vital and socially impactful work. They have also reached more than 1,000 people directly through educational reports and workshops and over 14,000 via digital educational content.
Jasmine has also been the formative member of several other global social enterprises. She has served as a communications/marketing and technical advisor of the gender equity startup Equilo. She also manages the world’s first Toilet Accelerator Program and leads social inclusion initiatives within the Toilet Board Coalition. Lastly, she is a health communications specialist in the Division of Global Health Protection at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is a division that is largely supporting the Coronavirus response.
CLEAR RIVERS - Netherlands
Iris joined CLEAR RIVERS (formerly called Recycled Island Foundation) in 2019, a non-profit founded five years ago, to tackle plastic pollution in oceans at the source. Plastic disposed of in rivers forms 80% of all that which is found in the ocean (1).
The foundation implements “litter traps” which are passive floating devices that use no energy other than the tide, wind and current to collect plastic from rivers. It has an international scope, but the initial implementation was a 140m2 floating park in Rotterdam which provides a habitat for biodiversity.
This trap, along with another in Brussels, and regularly organised clean ups, has collected over 30,000kg of plastic (a conservative estimate) of which approximately 50% can be recycled.
All traps are installed along an education and awareness programme including workshops in schools, companies and universities. In 2019, CLEAR RIVERS reached an estimated 300 students through this initiative.
The organisation is also branching out to South-East Asia, Africa and Central America to target the world’s most polluted rivers together with the Audi Environmental Foundation, improving local recycling with more newly developed recycled products from the retrieved plastics such as furniture, Litter Traps and building materials.
Iris is personally responsible for establishing international partnerships, PR and online media efforts, and works with her team on education and awareness programmes.
As part of the Shell Scholarship for the London Summit, Iris is delighted to access a great network of potential partners and fellow Ambassadors working in her field around the world.
Involúcrate - Guatemala
Emerson identified the issue of youth disenfranchisement with the political system. To tackle this, he founded Involúcrate, a youth-led organisation to foster citizen participation amongst their peers.
The organisation fosters youth participation in politics through three main avenues. The first are education workshops run in schools and universities. They host them in different towns around Guatemala about citizen participation, the importance of voting, the electoral process and a simulation of voting activity. They have reached 700 young people from over five towns.
Additionally, they ran forums during the election campaign called #TuVotoCuenta to provide direct contact between prospective candidates and young voters, educating and informing them about the political system and situation. These events attracted 900 participants all together, as well as 2,900 virtual attendees who joined via social media live streams.
The most recent project the organisation has launched is an internship in the Guatemalan congress. The first iteration was launched in January 2020, and 13 interns have been selected for the placement. This was made possible, in part, by Emerson being awarded with the Resolution Project’s prize and funding at the One Young World Summit in London.
Green Venture Tanzania
Green Venture Tanzania - Tanzania
Edgar identified a solution for the damage caused to houses by flooding in Dar es Salaam. By creating durable housing materials from recycled plastic, the material responsible for pollution which exacerbates floods, he could deal with the cause and the consequence of the issue.
Aged 15, Edgar founded Green Venture Tanzania in 2015, to offer plastic shredding and extrusion services. They shred different types of plastics at a large scale, which are then melted into a form to be upcycled.
The organisation creates construction materials including paving blocks, lumber, roofing tiles and interlocking bricks from the recycled material as alternatives to wood, sand and cement which are more susceptible to rain and flooding. Through this operation, Green Venture Tanzania has recycled over 40 tonnes of plastic waste.
The plastic is collected by approximately 110 free-lance plastic collectors who Green Venture train to remove plastic pollution from the environment, categorise it, and then sell back to Green Venture or an alternative recycling organisation.
To tackle the source of pollution, Green Venture Tanzania has also educated 5000 students in 6 hour sessions on waste management. The young Tanzanians are challenged to innovate and create their own recycling solutions.
The next step for Green Venture Tanzania is to build a relationship with the government with the aim of scaling up the organisation’s vital work as effectively as possible throughout the country.
Espaces Verts du of Sahel
Espaces Verts du of Sahel - Chad
David joined the NGO “Espaces Verts du of Sahel” in 2013 as the head of the educational programmes. Its main purpose is to tackle the climate crisis through early intervention, by promoting sustainable development awareness in schools. David came through this education himself, and with the awareness he gained, he was eager to give back.
Through the organisation, David runs education programmes in 54 schools in Chad, running lessons twice per week over a six month period. Once the course is completed, the five highest achieving children have the opportunity to pass on their learnings to others in their school and community as peer-to-peer educators, checked on once a week by David’s team.
The lessons themselves vary from PowerPoint assisted lectures and theoretical training, to practical education interacting with nature and their environment such as planting trees. This is a highly successful programme, but limited to children in the schools.
As such, David launched an ecological residency in 2015, which is a one-month long summer camp whereby children from outside the school system can access the education. Approximately 3,000 children have received this education, aged from 6-15, and have gone on to spread the environmentalist message throughout their communities.
David is engaged with the One Young World community in Central Africa, and is working towards establishing a group of SDG Ambassadors to collaborate with other young leaders in the region in pursuit of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Timbuktu Youth Empowerment Programme
Timbuktu Youth Empowerment Programme - Mali
Youth unemployment is a staggering 24.4% in Mali, and is particularly high in areas of conflict (1). Bilaly is involved in various ways to support young people in the conflict zones. Bilaly has led two separate organisations.
The first is “Les Leaders de Demain”, a non-profit he founded in 2015. The programme it offers teaches fundamental leadership skills which are necessary for finding a job, but also believes in holistic, personal development, and has successfully helped to develop 200 young Malians. Of the participants, 50 have secured internships, 85 have got a secured job and 35 have created their own employment opportunity through entrepreneurialism.
Bilaly is also the Executive Director at Timbuktu Youth Empowerment Programme (TYEP). They run a 10-day training in Timbuktu for young Malians on the subject of disruptive innovation, followed up by a one-month long mentorship where they pair the participants with leaders in the private sector. There have been 25 people come through the programme, and continually receive support and advice from the team at TYEP. To date, 5 have started their own for-profit enterprises in the city since participating and 5 have been taken on for internships.
During the programme, the organisation uses local goods and service providers, contributing approximately $20,000 to the local economy over the 10 day period. The social impact grows day by day as indirect benefits exponentially increase. One of the enterprises born from TYE has already employed 500 local inhabitants.
Bilaly works on TYEP alongside fellow One Young World Ambassador El Hadj Djitteye. Since the Summit, Bilaly is looking to align their work closer with climate change and the 2030 agenda, as these are present and significant issues in the Sahel.
Let's Step Together
Let's Step Together - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia has struggled to repair the societal rifts wrenched open by the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s. As a result, the country is host to many schools which are home to homogeneous ethnic-groupings of students and teachers alike. Such segregation breeds prejudice from ignorance.
Projects such as “Let’s Step Together” are essential in the nation’s long-term peacebuilding process. Alen serves as Project Coordinator and leads various inter-religious projects for Youth Centre St John Paul II. These initiatives all seek to provide a Bosnian solution for a peaceful society, aiming to erase prejudice by integrating the younger generation across ethno-religious lines.
Annually, the projects reach around 70 students generally aged between 15 and 18. For the first step, the project enters schools, introducing the students to the concept of prejudice through games. The next step is to explore the notion of shared heritage. The final stage of the project is to take three study troupes to a different part of the country, where they engage with a community where they are not the ethnic majority, and meet with local, religious leaders.
Alen also hosts an inter-religious summer camp, where 55 students from schools and universities socially integrate across ethno-religious divides. The project is also beneficial for the 20 youth educators, who in return for their time are provided with training on how to communicate, run workshops, and receive real-life teaching work experience.
Alen attended the One Young World 2014 Summit in Dublin, and credits his recent inclusion as “Ambassador of the Month” for One Young World as providing international recognition to help him forge partnerships and be viewed with legitimacy in Bosnia.
How to use to the SDG Tracker
Search for projects by the following case study categories:
- Ambassador-led Initiatives: qualitative and quantitative analysis of the social impact of projects which are led by young leaders in the Community.
- Business for Social Good: written case studies for initiatives ran by corporate partner organisations, led by young Ambassadors/employees.
- Leadership Stories: short biographies of Ambassadors who are growing into influential leaders for social good in some of the world’s largest companies.
- Covid Young Leaders Fund: detailed case studies of grant recipients from One Young World's 2020 funding opportunity for projects tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Lead2030: detailed case studies of the Lead2030 award winners and how their projects have generated impact from participating in the programme.