Out of the thousands of Ambassador-led initiatives, One Young World chooses 50 projects for evaluation each year. They are selected to represent all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 8 geographic regions – Europe, Asia, MENA, Africa, North America, Caribbean, Latin America and Oceania.
One Young World also monitors the action of Ambassadors working in the private sector, as young entrepreneurs work to create impact in sustainability-focused startups and young professionals work to embed social purpose in their workplaces and companies' actions.
The final selection of 17 Ambassadors featured in Annual Impact Reports are the 'Ones to Watch', outstanding initiatives tackling each Sustainable Development Goal predicted to create significant social impact in the coming years.
For every $1 of value invested, One Young World Ambassadors deliver $16 of social value, based on a Social Return on Investment analysis of 50 Ambassador-led initiatives addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2020.
SDG Impact Tracker
Interested in supporting impactful initiatives led by young leaders? Search this database of over 200 projects from the One Young World Community to find out more.
Search for projects by the following case study categories:
- Ambassador-led Initiatives: qualitative and quantitative analysis of the social impact of organisations or projects which are led by young leaders in the Community.
- Business for Social Good: written case studies for initiatives ran by Partner organisations, led by young professional Ambassadors, or entrepreneurs in the Community.
- Ones to Watch: brief summaries of some of the most exciting new initiatives working to achieve a particular Sustainable Development Goal.
- Covid Young Leaders Fund: detailed case studies of a selection 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.
To explore projects featured in the 2020 Annual Impact Report set the 'year' filter to 2020.
Fundación Aspirantes - South America [coordinating region]
Felipe Calvo Cepeda
Felipe co-founded Fundación Aspirantes in 2010, with the aim of increasing access to higher education for underprivileged young people in Colombia. Fundación Aspirantes has a network of more than 16,000 people, with 100 people having enrolled in the programme over the past year. The foundation helps individuals to develop their emotional and social skills, as well as their academic capabilities. Fundación Aspirantes focuses on teaching academic skills in preparation for college, with a curriculum covering mathematics, critical reading, social sciences, natural sciences and abstract reasoning. Students are also given socioemotional training to develop their soft skills through activities such as community service, art projects and other extracurriculars.
Due to the visibility provided at the One Young World 2017 Bogotá Summit, Fundación Aspirantes was profiled by a range of media and news outlets within Colombia. As a result of this, more than 500 young people reached out and expressed interest in enrolling in their college preparation programme. Felipe and his team have partnered with other social enterprises to design the syllabus of a course for the reintegration of ex-combatants in order to boost their academic skills and help them access higher education.
Felipe also joined forces with other Colombian One Young World Ambassadors to design Lidera el Cambio, a new platform to inspire, boost and connect initiatives of emerging leaders in Colombia.
Casa Voluntaria - Mexico
After the devastating earthquakes that shook Mexico in September 2017, Estefania co-founded Casa Voluntaria.
Along with fellow architects and engineers, they formed a network of voluntary designers to help vulnerable people reconstruct their homes. Their aim is to reach populations in places affected by disasters, focusing primarily on elderly people and those with mobility issues. Casa Voluntaria primarily works in the small town of Asunción Ixtaltepec, in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region.
Casa Voluntaria initially consults the families in need, and then matches them with an architecture studio that has registered its interest in participating in the project. They design the house based on the family’s needs, make final arrangements with a structural engineer, and then build the home with a team of volunteers at a fraction of the cost the family would have otherwise paid. This helps families to build structurally sound, well designed properties that will be more resistant to similar natural disasters in the future. The organisation also helps local businesses to reconstruct their premises by helping to rebuild and repair damaged brick manufacturing units after an earthquake.
Casa Voluntaria has also helped to make useful connections for institutions in the local community, such as connecting a large organisation with a school in Asuncion Ixtaltepec, which resulted in an investment of 16 million pesos to rebuild the school. The school was completed in January 2019 and welcomes children from five nearby communities.
Estefania has also been involved in a project to design small temporary shelters in Mexico for immigrants from Central America travelling to the United States. Casa Voluntaria built and designed a small module of bathrooms in a base along the travel route, helping to provide safe facilities and to protect the privacy of migrants during their stay in Mexico.
Village Health Action
Village Health Action - Burundi
Egide co-founded Village Health Action in 2012 to help prevent the spread of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) through education and empowerment. Village Health Action provides clinical services to drug users, helping the rehabilitation process and facilitating social reinsertion. Village Health Action has treated 2,800 drug users to date and conducted sensitisation and education training sessions with a further 6,000 people. Many of these drug addicts are young people, so Village Health Action helps them to overcome their dependency and return to school to complete their education. The organisation also conducts mobile education sessions, where the team travels to communities with high rates of drug abuse to educate locals about the dangers of drug use and how to minimise the risk of spreading HIV. The rate of HIV infection in Burundi remains high and can be easily spread through the improper use of needles. Village Health Action thus works to increase education and minimise the risk of spreading NCDs whilst also helping people to overcome drug dependency and become active members of society.
Egide also works on a project called Empower Youth through Vocational Skills to help young people to develop their skills and become productive participants of the national economy. Burundi is one of the 15 countries in the world with the highest unemployment rates, according to the UN International Labour Organization. Therefore, it is critical that young Burundians are trained to be competitive internationally, as well as having the skills to create their own jobs. Young people are taught skills such as English language and computer literacy.
The Youth Empowerment project started off as an initiative to help medical students to learn medical English to help them access opportunities abroad. From this, Egide saw the need for students in other faculties to have access to language and development skills to improve their competitiveness both domestically and abroad. Egide also co-founded the Burundi Medical Journal to help young doctors to publish their work with a view to improving the quality of research.
Wheeling Happiness - India
Devika co-founded Wheeling Happiness to promote inclusion and to advocate for better access to opportunities for people living with physical and mental disabilities. Wheeling Happiness has impacted more than 10,000 people through advocacy work, sports inclusion programmes and providing accessibility aids.
As an international para-athlete with eight national & three international medals, Devika and her team work to encourage people with disabilities to take up sports by connecting them with accessible facilities and providing sporting aids when necessary. People with disabilities have a difficult time finding sporting facilities or equipment that is inclusive, and so Wheeling Happiness has built a network of local providers and sports players who are willing to help. Almost 40 people have been introduced to the world of inclusive sport, with 500 accessibility items having been provided to people unable to fund their own specialist equipment.
Wheeling Happiness also works to facilitate greater societal change in India through outreach and advocacy programmes and consulting projects. Devika works with major corporate entities across India to advise them on inclusive hiring practices and customer service. One example of this is working with Indigo Airlines for over a year to train all ground staff and porters nationally on how to best interact with disabled passengers. This sensitivity training is crucial to ensuring that all passengers receive the same level of customer service, regardless of their disability or mobility issues. Wheeling Happiness also conducts accessibility audits for corporate offices to show businesses how to make spaces more inclusive for staff and customers.
After attending One Young World 2018 The Hague Summit, Devika’s foundation has started a campaign to educated people with disabilities about the Sustainable Development Goals. The Disability Awareness Outreach Program in Rural North India aims to acquaint over 5,000 rural people with disabilities with the SDGs as well as their rights and provisions as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act India 2016. The pilot workshop has already impacted 200 individuals.
Project FUEL - India
Deepak founded Project FUEL as a way of recording and sharing life lessons in an impactful way. Project FUEL has collected more than 100,000 life lessons, sharing them with more than 300,000 people so far. Humans learn a great deal through lived experience, but this knowledge is not formally written or taught anywhere, so Deepak started Project FUEL as a way to collect and share the knowledge that people have gained throughout life. Project FUEL has both collected and given lessons to people around the world, including those living in refugee camps in France, Germany and Greece. Wisdom learnt from life lessons is often transferable and can benefit all learners. Project FUEL seeks to build a community of young adults who live, learn and share to make meaningful psycho-social and emotional contribution to themselves and to society at large.
The Project has four main pillars: education, art, media and events. The education strand crafts modules and curriculums out of life lessons to pass on in a more structured fashion. One example of this is using the experiences of sex workers to teach business students about the art of negotiation and bartering. Project FUEL also uses art to spread messages through life lessons. One such project, coined ‘The Wise Wall’, brings abandoned villages to life by painting brightly coloured motifs on empty buildings. This has the double effect of both spreading the lessons learnt by fellow man whilst also bringing media coverage and external support to the few families left in these abandoned villages. The media and film element of the project showcases personal stories through film documentaries, shows and written and spoken blogs. Deepak believes in the power of unconventional educational methods to keep the stories in the minds of the learners. The fourth strand consists of live experiential events where the concepts of life lessons are shared through conversational dialogues and guided discussions.
The Clothing Collective
The Clothing Collective - South Africa
Daniel Machlup, Natalie Bentel
Daniel founded The Clothing Collective in late 2018 as a way to both recycle unwanted clothes and help provide unemployed women from underprivileged areas with opportunities to generate income. The Clothing Collective has received 100,000 South African Rand worth of donated clothing in five months. Daniel, who was later joined by Natalie, was inspired to start the Collective after seeing the effective use of large clothing banks in public places across other countries.
Second-hand clothing is donated into large collection containers, which is then sorted and redistributed, for resale, to unemployed mothers in the informal settlements in Johannesburg, South Africa. The women that receive the clothing are trained and guided with the appropriate business skills so that they are able to create businesses for themselves. The goal is to empower these women with sustainable businesses. Daniel and the team decided to place these collection containers in prominent public spaces such as shopping centres and workplaces so that the scheme would be visible and attract donations. The containers feature posters that show the benefits generated by donating used clothing. The Clothing Collective has installed one collection container to date, with plans to expand to new locations in local businesses and public buildings over 2019. The Clothing Collective partners with The Clothing Bank, an organisation that trains unemployed mothers on how to start a business and manage finances. The Clothing Bank collects the donated clothes and sells them to women at a competitive price, allowing these women to sell these items in the informal economy to make a profit. The money generated by the Clothing Bank is then used to train more unemployed mothers in business management, whilst the women are able to use the money that they generate to manage their businesses and homes.
Chicas en Tecnología
Chicas en Tecnología - Argentina
Chicas en Tecnología is closing the gender gap in technology by inspiring teenage girls to become creators and problem solvers instead of just consumers of technology. More than 1,600 girls are part of the Chicas en Tecnologia community. Some projects have been selected for corporate or government sponsorship, while others have been featured in the broadcast media.
Co-founded by Carolina, Chicas en Tecnología runs intensive ‘hack’ style events, as well as longer term after-school programmes. In both cases, girls team up to form groups of three to identify and execute a technology solution to a social problem under the guidance of a mentor. One example of a successful app created through the programme is 5ntar. The 5ntar app aims to reduce street harassment by allowing users to record instances of harassment on a map to identify unsafe areas and increase visibility of the crime. This app was incubated by the Argentine Government and received an award from the Buenos Aires Congress, resulting in substantial media coverage. Other successful projects include the app StopBull, aimed at helping victims of bullying, and InstaStudy, a productivity app that blocks access to distracting applications on your phone. Chicas en Tecnología currently operates 134 weekly clubs in 14 provinces, impacting 1,420 girls. There have been seven editions of the intensive Programming a Better World hack with a total of 192 participants.
Members of Chicas en Tecnología attend regular community meetings where students learn programming, leadership and entrepreneurship with help from the pool of mentors. The older members of the club often return to mentor the younger members once they have become university students. Chicas en Tecnologia is set to expand its programmes to reach more regions in Argentina. The organisation plans to create an ecosystem of schools, mentors, companies and institutions that want to close the gender gap in technology, by providing both the knowledge and tools to close the gap
Men Na Nekk
Men Na Nekk - Senegal
Brice Dier Koue
Brice leads the Men Na Nekk project to reduce the risk of violent extremism spreading into Senegal. Men Na Nekk has taught 900 school children and 450 school leavers about countering violent extremism, and equipped them with practical skills that will help them to be financially independent in the future. Senegal is a relatively peaceful country, but neighbouring states including Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali have experienced political unrest and terrorist attacks in recent years. Brice’s work focuses on cities bordering Senegal, such as Kedougou, located near the Mali border. Mali suffers from violent extremism, thus this work acts as a preventative measure to ensure young people in these border communities have access to opportunities and resources which can support a sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. As a result, young people in the region are less susceptible to being radicalised, and this contributes to the prevention of extremism in Senegal.
Men Na Nekk focuses on education and employment training to ensure young people in South East Senegal have access to economic opportunities that can provide a stable income. This region is rich in natural resources, however, the local population lacks the access to them as they are often sold to foreign companies. Many of these jobs and opportunities are then granted to foreign employees, restricting locals from reaping the economic advantages that these companies offer. Men Na Nekk seeks to bridge this gap by providing local young people with the knowledge and experience they need to survive in the local economy, reducing the risk of recruitment to extremists groups through promises of money and opportunities. Brice attended One Young World 2018 The Hague as a Peace Ambassador, where he was able to learn how different people define extremism in their own countries, and about alternative approaches to CVE which he later implemented in his work
WSV - United Kingdom
Bradley co-founded WSV as a sustainable approach to international development. With the support of Enactus and the University of Southampton, WSV has developed three main business models that have enabled people with low economic prospects to generate income, whilst providing a service that benefits the community.
The three ‘business in a box’ models have impacted more than 30,000 people to date. Right Light aims to provide low income families with solar lighting solutions that reduces their dependence on kerosene. Solar lamps, for example, are often too expensive for low-income households, so Right Light works on a rental system where families can temporarily rent out lamps. This allows them to benefit from access to clean renewable energy without having to put forward funds they cannot afford. Currently, 2,000 Right Light lamps are in circulation, preventing more than 2,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere through the use of kerosene. The second project, Roots, converts human waste into liquid and solid fertilisers, helping farmers to increase their crop yields by three-fold. Through this project, toilet cubicles are constructed in areas without adequate access to sanitation. The waste is then collected and converted into fertiliser, which is later sold on to farmers. This helps to address hygiene and sanitation needs whilst also increasing agricultural productivity. The Petal initiative enables budding entrepreneurs to make their own reusable sanitary pads which can then be sold. Petal entrepreneurs have sold 35,000 packs of reusable pads to date. WSV also has plans to roll out a new business initiative called Jua Maji, that distills drinking water from fish pond water, purifying water through the passive distillation process.
After attending One Young World 2017 Bogotá, Bradley joined forces with The Circle of Young Intrapreneurs and Enactus to organise the Action Accelerator programme at the Enactus World Cup in October 2018.
Casa de Aak
Casa de Aak - Guatemala
Anderson founded Casa de Aak in 2015 to preserve and protect the endangered populations of sea turtles in Guatemala. Casa de Aak has rescued almost 16,000 sea turtle hatchlings to date.
The organisation runs three main programmes to preserve the endangered sea turtle population. The first programme is the hatching and incubation programme. This is where turtle eggs are rescued from the market and then incubated until they hatch, at which point they are released back into the sea. Turtle eggs are a local delicacy and so fisherman will often collect the eggs from the beach and take them to the market for consumption. Casa de Aak steps in to buy the eggs so that fishermen sell 80% of the eggs and donate the remaining 20%. The organisation has chosen to work with the existing market system rather than around it, to re-educate the local fishermen and to advocate for greater care and sea conservation across Guatemala. This relates to Casa de Aak’s second programme, which is a formal education programme for fishermen to learn about the importance of sea turtles and ocean conservation. So far, 47 fishermen have been educated through this programme. A study by the WWF found that sea turtles bring greater economic benefits when they are alive than when they are consumed. Through this programme, Casa de Aak works to educate locals about the realities of the economic and social benefits of conservation.
The third programme aims to promote tourism to the local area by arranging public viewings of sea turtle hatchings and their release back into the ocean. Casa de Aak volunteers make projections on the estimated hatching period of the incubated eggs and then tourists are invited to come and observe the releasing activities. This encourages tourists to spend money in local businesses. So far 3,117 tourists have visited the project since it began in 2015
ForUsGirls Foundation - Canada
Aminka founded the ForUsGirls Foundation as a platform to develop the leadership skills and capacity of young people living in Canada and Jamaica. Since 2015, ForUsGirls has positively impacted almost 5,000 girls. The Foundation provides mentorship, leadership, empowerment and skill-based development for marginalised girls, helping them become a community and aspire to be global feminist leaders in all areas of society. It does this through a weekly 13 unit mentorship and leadership programme in local schools and community spaces. This programme covers a wide range of topics including entrepreneurship, digital literacy, career planning and web development. ForUsGirls tailors its programmes towards helping girls from underprivileged backgrounds, empowering them with knowledge and skills that are otherwise difficult to access.
After attending the One Young World 2016 Ottawa Summit, ForUsGirls Foundation became international, bringing the programme from Canada to Jamaica. ForUsGirls sponsors five primary schools in rural Jamaica to help increase the opportunities available to the children studying there. Graduates of the ForUsGirls leadership programme have gone on to receive academic excellence awards and win higher education scholarships. ForUsGirls also runs a Tech Summit in New York City called ‘A NEW REALITY’, where girls from marginalised communities are encouraged to think innovatively to solve problems. The 2018 Tech Summit was attended by 200 girls and the second edition is due to take place in May 2019. ForUsGirls also runs summer camps to develop the leadership capacity of young girls, and to encourage them to take up STEM subjects at school.
Little Voice Books
Little Voice Books - Canada
In 2014, Amanda co-founded Little Voice Books to create a platform that would leverage the power of literature and illustration as a means to develop a meaningful experience that would create a dialogue at home and in the classroom, as well as create awareness for causes and initiatives across Canada.
After attending the One Young World 2016 Ottawa Summit, Amanda committed to using her platform to support the conversation on mental health. A year later, on World Mental Health Day, Little Voice Books published The Lighthouse on World Mental Health Day in 2017. The Lighthouse is a story that aims to educate, support, and remind all those affected by mental illness that they are not alone. The Lighthouse followed the company’s first self-titled book Little Voice, which teaches its readers about a growth mindset. Both books touch on the importance of mental health, and directly targets children, recognising that most mental health issues tend to start in childhood or adolescence. As well as raising awareness, each book sale supports fundraising efforts across Canada, including in support of the National Canadian Mental Health Association with each sale of The Lighthouse and the Alzheimer Society of Canada with each sale of Little Voice.
Today, you can find The Lighthouse in every public elementary school in Ottawa and Little Voice in every Catholic elementary school. Over 2,000 copies of the book have been sold since October 2017, reaching an estimated 110,000 children across Ottawa. The books are also available online and have found their way onto shelves across North America. Students find the books easy to read, with engaging illustrations that help keep their attention. The Little Voice Books team has received positive feedback from parents, teachers and book stores across Canada and continues to work closely with their community to leverage their platform to inspire others to make a difference. Little Voice has been translated into French and The Lighthouse is in the process of being translated as well. Little Voice Books has plans to work on a third title in 2019, with a wider goal to broaden outreach across Canada.
Moomken - Libya
Ahmed founded Moomken in 2013 to teach young people basic skills in technical media, and has trained more than 600 people to date. The organisation aims to grow the design and technical skills of young people so that they can work as freelancers in Libya following the 2011 uprising.
Moomken teaches young people how to use design software, shoot and edit videos and how to capture stories of interest through different media. Many NGOs and international organisations began working in Libya after 2011, but many would bring their own media specialists from abroad to report on local news. By developing the next generation of homegrown media specialists, Moomken enables these foreign organisations to recruit local young people into these media roles. This internally developed pool of talent is then able to earn an income through freelance work, whilst reporting on the situation in Libya with a deeper understanding of the local context.
Journalism is at risk in Libya, with many journalists fleeing the country to escape persecution. Libya was ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Over time, Ahmed has noticed the need for homegrown specialists in both conflict analysis and in monitoring and evaluation, since these have become areas of increasing interest for international organisations. Moomken thus expanded its offering to include practical training in conflict analysis and monitoring and evaluation.
Moomken then facilitated connections between these young people and international organisations to both fill a skills gap and to enable young people to access lucrative employment opportunities. Moomken has worked on several other projects such as establishing a national schools registry, a campus-based anti-harassment campaign and a debate competition for high school students. Moomken is also set to open a coworking space to encourage enterprise and innovation from its office in Tripoli.
Bean Voyage - Costa Rica
Abhinav is the co-founder of Bean Voyage, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides training and market access to smallholder women coffee producers in Costa Rica.
Bean Voyage has worked with 112 women and more than 500 community members, with plans to impact more than 700 community members in the coming year.
Abhinav and his team support smallholder women coffee producers to turn their pre-commercial coffee cherries into commercial products, ready for the market. Typically smallholder women in Costa Rica sell coffee cherries to processors and end up with around 5% of the final coffee sale price. Bean Voyage works with smallholder coffee farmers, enabling them to process and package the coffee and sell it online so that they end up with a significantly greater share of the sale price. Abhinav and his team manage the sales and marketing side of the operation, so that the finished products can be sold at a fair price and the producers earn as much as 40% of the final revenue from coffee sales. The training that Bean Voyage runs focuses on the coffee journey from bean to cup, and has three main pillars of economic development, environmental protection and gender justice. The economic pillar consists of teaching farmers how to improve crop yields, increase coffee quality and making the final product globally competitive. The environmental pillar complements this training by ensuring growth methods minimise reliance on harmful fertilisers and use climate smart agriculture techniques. The gender justice pillar focuses on agency, enabling women to learn business and conflict resolution skills in a stable and supportive network. Bean Voyage also attempts to have conversations with men in the community to ensure that they are aware of the work the women are doing, and that they engage with them as allies.
Abhinav was selected to attend the 2016 Ottawa Summit as an Emma Watson Scholar. Bean Voyage has received support from partners of One Young World such as the Western Union and Firmenich, in the form of financial support and opportunities to present its work around the world.
In 2018, Bean Voyage won the grand prize in the Facebook Social Entrepreneurship Award of $55,000 worth of advertising credits, access to a Facebook marketing expert, and executive mentorship from Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook. The Award helped Bean Voyage to develop its online marketing strategy through advanced strategic advice as well as hands on training on how to maximize return on investment of digital advertising. This resulted in Bean Voyage reaching over a million potential customers, thus increasing sales, and enabling more services for more female farmers.
Positive Society - Netherlands
Abdelhamid founded Positive Society to help children in underprivileged areas to access educational and psychosocial support in their own neighbourhoods.
Positive Society hosts study sessions for 600 children each week in 24 Studiezalen centres across Amsterdam. Studiezalen are study rooms that are set up in low-income neighbourhoods to provide students with a quiet place to study and access to tutors and mentors when required. The Studiezalen are located as centrally as possible in each neighbourhood to ensure they are accessible to any child in the area. Coaches are often adults from the children’s personal networks that they have identified as people they look up to. These coaches develop personal relationships with the children while encouraging them to develop academically, personally and socially. Studiezalen also promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing fruit to the students in attendance, donated in-kind by Albert Heijn. Coaches also work with the parents to develop a relationship of trust and mutual understanding. Positive Society has also set up a weekly support group for fathers of children in the Studiezalen, to fully understand the needs of their children and to provide a safe space for fathers to voice concerns and share experiences of fatherhood. Currently 80 fathers attend weekly group meetings.
Positive Society prides itself on developing each of its programmes through building relationships with and understanding the needs of the communities it wishes to serve.
Positive Society also runs a programme for children who are bullied both inside and outside of school. The PEST life coaching programme works with both the victims and perpetrators of bullying, teaching them about self confidence, self awareness and the impact of negative actions. PEST life coaching has helped 100 children so far.
Additionally, Positive Society runs a summer school for children before they enter high school, teaching them about the challenges that they may face in their new school. The summer school covers topics such as cyberbullying, periods and feminine hygiene, puberty and grooming. To date, 180 children have been educated through these schools.
Abdelhamid attended One Young World 2018 The Hague as a Shell Scholar. Attending the Summit hugely enhanced the exposure and visibility of Positive Society, contributing to Abdelhamid winning Amsterdammer of the Year in 2018. Since then, Abdelhamid has been approached by a variety of news outlets, further boosting his profile which has spread awareness of Positive Society’s mission.