Impact Report 2019

One Young World is proud to share the fifth Impact Report produced for the Ambassador Community, based on the Social Return on Investment methodology inspired by Social Value UK and devised in discussion with PwC.

Fifty Ambassador-led initiatives were chosen for evaluation to represent the diversity of the One Young World Ambassador Community. They were selected to represent all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and eight geographic regions – Europe, Asia, MENA, Africa, North America, Caribbean, Latin America and Oceania.

The average Social Return on Investment ratio for the One Young World community is 1:15, meaning that an investment of $1 delivers $15 value in terms of positive social impact.

In addition to the Report and in celebration of the organisation's 10th Anniversary, One Young World produced a short film highlighting a decade of outstanding impact by the Ambassador Community.


people directly impacted by projects measured in 2019


people directly impacted by Ambassador projects since 2010

sroi 2019

In 2019 for every US $1 invested, One Young World Ambassadors deliver US $15 of social value.

Search the entire project database

Upcycle Africa - Uganda

Johnmary Kavuma
Ambassador-led Initiative



Johnmary was 19 when his Grandma’s home collapsed due to flooding caused by plastic pollution, killing her in the process. This inspired him to find a solution to the causes of this personal tragedy. Having acquired experience in construction and explored solutions to plastic waste pollution through his participation in the Social Innovation Academy, he founded Upcycle Africa.

Formally established in December 2015, the organisation has four key processes which act as the foundation for the organisation’s work. One primary aspect is sensitising local communities on dangers of plastic waste and practical solutions. Since foundation, they have educated an estimated 20,800 students in 52 different schools. 

The second is a waste pickers programme which recovers plastic waste to ensure a safe and clean environment. The team has recovered over 3,000,000 plastic bottles.
The third is waste compaction, whereby after categorisation, plastic is used in construction of Upcycle’s buildings or sold to recycling companies. As a result, over 100 tonnes of plastic has been sustainably repurposed. 

The final aspect of their work is the construction of affordable housing. The organisation empowers marginalised communities through training them in sustainable construction. The organisation has built 117 houses for families including 11 from marginalised communities. In total, over two million people have been sensitised around Upcycle Africa’s slogan “waste is not waste until it’s wasted”. 

In 2020, Johnmary aims to spread the range of Upcycle Africa’s impact to two more countries in East Africa.

Anti-human trafficking awareness and empowerment of survivors in the Philippines - Philippines

Emmanuele Marie Parra
Business for Social Good



Emmanuele Marie has worked with Thomson Reuters since 2015 and won the Thomson Reuters Foundation Ambassador Challenge in 2016, through which she was invited to attend the Trust Women Conference in London. This process and event raised Emmanuele’s awareness of the issue of human trafficking, and established her relationship with Voice of the Free, an NGO that rescue survivors in the Philippines.

She used her role as the Thomson Reuters Global Volunteer Network Manila co-lead to continue her advocacy against human trafficking and to support Voice of the Free. She organized an Anti-Slavery Forum, roadshows, and leveraged social media for awareness campaigns. She also led her colleagues to organise numerous volunteer activities as part of the healing process of the survivors. Their most favourite activity was the Muay Thai self-defense workshop which she organised in partnership with the Thomson Reuters Muay Thai Club. This activity is a way for the survivors to regain their self-confidence, protect themselves when they’re out of the shelter and empower them so that they can achieve their dreams and goals.

By mobilising Thomson Reuters employees in Manila to use their two days of paid volunteer leaves and their volunteer programmes through which the company matches their donations, Emmanuele and GVN Manila have logged over 3,833 volunteer hours and fundraised over 2,000,000 pesos for Voice of the Free. This support has helped Voice of the Free to build a ‘Healing Farm’ for around 300 survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery. 

Emmanuele Marie has been rightfully recognised for her advocacy and leadership and was rewarded by the Global Institute for Youth Development with a 2019 Young SDG Champion Award.

Armenian Progressive Youth - Armenia

Grigor Yeritsan
Ambassador-led Initiative



What began as a student initiative in 2007, and was officially registered in 2009, has developed into one of the leading youth organisations in Eastern Europe. Grigor co-founded the organisation, and currently sits as Executive Director of Armenian Progressive Youth (APY). It has run a variety of projects in the fields of non-formal education, volunteerism, gender equality, women rights, environmental protection, youth participation and active citizenship, human rights protection and youth work.

In 2019, one of the main projects APY ran was the “Employment & Entrepreneurship Shuttle” project in the framework of GIZ-led “Economic and Social Participation of Vulnerable Displaced Persons and Local Populations in the South Caucasus” programme, also known as EPIC. This was a five month, bi-weekly mentorship and training programme to get young people, specifically displaced persons and refugees, into employment and foster their entrepreneurship. Of the 80 participants, an estimated 27 found jobs, while 16 have established and expanded their own businesses. The 16 entrepreneurs who emerged from the initiative received 300 to 1,000 EUR grants.

Another core programme is “Wind of Change: Empowering Student Activism” project. This initiative recruited 50 students in universities across Armenia and gave them 500-1000 EUR micro grants to launch campaigns in order to transform the higher education system. 

Together, they reached around 5,000 students. Another initiative of APY is the “Armenia-Azerbaijan Youth Dialogue” program, which takes 10 young people from each country and convenes them in a neutral nation where they discuss hate narratives and online abuse. After a second meeting, the participants form activist groups to work in both countries and unite young people around positive messages. 

During the last year, APY has also trained 500 youth workers, supported 20 local youth initiatives and start-ups, hosted 500 young people from all around the globe, facilitated 400 young Armenians to study and work abroad and provided around 400 hours of capacity building training activities to young people.

This is only a snapshot of Grigor’s organisation, which has facilitated the education and empowerment of over 40,000 young people with the support of 300 international partners. He also has worked with fellow One Young World Ambassadors on initiatives, including TeachSurfing with Miganoush Magarian and Youth to Youth Initiative with Saida Ibrahimava.

Agents of Change

Agents of Change trains young people to use journalism to educate Zambians about climate change.

Agents of Change - Zambia

Brighton Kaoma
Ambassador-led Initiative



Brighton developed his first radio show aged just 14 in Kitwe, in the Copperbelt province. Amidst visible consequences of pollution from the mining industry, Brighton identified the medium of radio as the most suitable platform to educate people across Zambia about the negative impacts and potential solutions to climate change; it does not exclude the substantial illiterate population, the technology is cheap and it can reach people in their native dialect.

The programme swiftly became the most listened to show in the province, as it reached an estimated 3,000,000 people. The show communicated the science of climate change with an intimate but educational style, speaking informally with experts in the field. From this, Brighton became a UNICEF climate ambassador. 

Brighton wanted to promote other young leaders and “Agents of Change” became a formal organisation in 2015. It provides vocational training to young, budding broadcasters and connects them with opportunities to experience work in the industry. He has also run workshops globally, in countries such as Hong Kong and the UK. 

However, Brighton’s focus remains in Africa, where he has trained over 400 young Zambians, providing experience in six different radio stations, broadcasting in five languages. Each participant received experience writing, producing and presenting to cover all aspects of radio production, and produce a portfolio to support their future career. 

Participants in the course not only receive work experience and improved employability, but 70% demonstrate exceptional leadership skills outside of the programme in their schools. Brighton prides himself on the education being holistic as well as specific to the vocation.

Brighton has connected with a global network of young leaders since attending the One Young World Summit in 2018, and since studying at Colombia University is pursuing a new initiative providing a sustainable transport and logistics solution in Zambia with a fellow One Young World Ambassador.

Instituto Verdeluz

Instituto Verdeluz is a non-profit which engages young Brazilians with conservation initiatives, including sea turtle conservation, waste management and conservation units.

Instituto Verdeluz - Brazil

Beatriz Azevêdo de Araújo
Ambassador-led Initiative



Beatriz is the Founder and President of Instituto Verdeluz, a non-profit which engages young Brazilians with conservation initiatives, including sea turtle conservation, waste management and conservation units. Brazil has a vast coastline, spanning over 7,000 km, and supporting diverse ecosystems (1). 

Instituto Verdeluz engages with young people in Fortaleza to protect and restore the biodiversity on which nature relies. One of the organisation’s core initiatives is the protection and monitoring of endangered sea turtles, animals which are essential to maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem. Turtles maintain healthy seagrass beds and coral, provide a habitat for other marine life, and facilitate nutrient cycling from water to land, among other essential services (2). 

Since 2015, the organisation has registered 75 nests and 231 stranded turtles, and rescued 16. In 2018 and 2019, the programme educated 4,732 young Brazilians on the environment, inspiring them to be advocates and activists themselves.  Instituto Verdeluz also engaged the students in beach cleanups, which collected and catalogued 23,361 pieces of plastic. 

The research from these operations also contributed to the banning of the use of plastic straws in Fortaleza. This is accompanied by an educational campaign which will change consumer behaviour in the region. 
Instituto Verdeluz also sits on the management boards of six conservation units, through which they guarantee the protection of 9,281 hectares of marine and coastal areas.




Polycycle - Germany

Lena Kupijai, Anna Goldhofer, Julia Graf
Business for Social Good



Lena was a BMW Delegate at One Young World 2017. She had many ideas of how to revolutionise her company but soon realised that she needed to start with her direct area of responsibility – purchasing. She teamed up with two interior developers, Anna Goldhofer and Julia Graf.

This bottom-up initiative began in the short-term with increasing the use of recycled material from old fisher nets and industrial waste, as an alternative to crude oil. Polycycle managed to implement recycled materials in the carpet of two million future BMWs.

The next development they have driven is towards not only improving the creation of plastic-fibre car mats, but to remove the negative environmental consequences of their disposal. The mats are made of composites which are very difficult to separate and therefore normally burned. With help from BMW Accelerator and suppliers, the team has developed new floor mats, consisting of materials, that are 100% recyclable.The vision is to make new floor mats out of old floor mats.

This simple but effective innovation not only decreases the footprint of floor mats, but it also led to other circular economy projects and inspired many colleagues to act likewise. Therein lies the benefit Lena, Anna and Julia see in working within big business, as the smallest chances can end up having a significant impact.

Girls Education - Pikinini Kisim Save Project

Megan's project for CARE International educates community leaders to tackle gender inequality in Papua New Guinea.

Girls Education - Pikinini Kisim Save Project - Papua New Guinea

Megan Iha
Ambassador-led Initiative



Megan is a Project Officer for CARE International, running and delivering gender-equity and diversity workshops in remote areas of Papua New Guinea. The project targets communities where traditional gender roles are often enforced. In 2014, Papua New Guinea ranked 140 out of 155 on the Gender Inequality Index, and in rural areas men often hold onto traditional cultural practices where tribal discipline, power and authority lies with the men (1).

Megan’s workshops enable women to have increased power across economic, political and social spheres at their community level. The research aspect of the “Girls Education – PKS Project” has identified that in remote regions, girls are less valued by households and communities, given more household chores, and less impetus is placed on completing education. It has also identified that the priority is to deal with the cause, and tackle prejudice among parents and community leaders. 

Thus, the team designed a training which raises awareness of gender inequality, identifies barriers to female empowerment, and explores practical solutions which can be introduced into the communities. It engaged approximately 40 community leaders, parents and guardians in the three provinces and six rural communities the pilot programme was rolled out in.

To date, 499 people have been educated consisting of 300 women and 199 men, mostly community leaders, parents and citizens. There have been almost 2,000 beneficiaries, primarily made up of elementary students, boys and girls, and community members.

Through this, it has changed the landscape and attitude towards gender equality for young women in rural Papua New Guinea. The initiative used International and National Observatory Days with the primary focus of advocating for and promoting girls’ education. 

Despite uncertain funding in the project, Megan continues to promote these values in her own community, and distributes solar lights to provide clean, renewable energy to 70 women and girls in her own remote community over the winter period.

The Rainmaker Enterprise

The Rainmaker Enterprise initiative installs clean water systems in rural South Sudan to tackle health-related and economic problems.

The Rainmaker Enterprise - South Sudan

James Thuch Madhier
Ambassador-led Initiative



James launched the Rainmaker Enterprise at the One Young World Summit in Ottawa, back in 2016, supported by his award from the Resolution Project. The initiative installs clean water systems in rural South Sudan to tackle health-related and economic problems resulting from poor sanitation and hygiene.

Rainmaker Enterprise provides water systems for communities without access to clean water, and additionally provides education for community members to become leaders on sanitation and hygiene. The systems provide the remedy, and the education makes the project more sustainable as it teaches members of the community to support and maintain the installations.

The first installation was completed in June 2019, and serves over 3,000 people with clean and safe drinking water. The project’s installation also benefited the community in terms of labour, as it provided employment for 50 people within the local economy. The initiative has instantly born fruit, as the walking time to collect water has reduced from two and a half hours to 15 minutes. This heightens productivity of agriculture, and allows children more time for school. There has also been a reduction in resource conflict.

A second installation has provided the same solution to a further 4,000 people in a different local community. In both these projects a selection of women in the communities have been educated in good hygiene, and taught to be community leaders to ensure best practice and prevent the degradation of the installations.

The next stage for Rainmaker Enterprise is to install solar-powered water pumps to support local agriculture and improve food security, beginning in Spring 2020.

The initial funding which James received at the Summit has since been supplemented by substantial support from the UK government’s Department for International Development through the Humanitarian Grant Challenge Fund. He has also received priceless mentorship from, and access to the network of, Lord Michael Hastings, One Young World Counsellor.


Escuelab gives the next generation in Spain access to better STEM education, through workshops, day camps and summer camps. 

Escuelabs - Spain

Cristina Balbas
Ambassador-led Initiative



Cristina is a staunch advocate for STEM education and vocations. She was troubled by the fact that intervention was being taken at such a late stage in childrens’ development, and so co-founded Escuelab to provide better access to quality STEM education for the next generation. In 2015, encouraged by the One Young World Summit in Bangkok, Cristina took the leap to pursue this project full-time.

The project comes in four formats: one-off workshops, extra-curricular programmes, day camps, and summer camps. Since founding, they have provided education to 12,000 children with 3,824 participating in Escuelab’s 2019 programmes. Of that number, 808 are participating in the “Robin Hood Programme’’ which provides the service free-of-charge to children considered to be at risk of social exclusion for a variety of reasons. Based on academic research, 5.6% of the children will pursue a STEM vocation as a direct result. For children at risk of social exclusion, this number rises to a staggering 9.5%(1). 

Additionally, Escuelab has begun to train teachers in primary schools to teach STEM subjects, broadening the teachers’ skill sets and improving the education for their pupils. For its first five years, Escuelab is committed to reinvesting all its revenue into the programme and scholarships, and even once this time has lapsed it has committed to dedicate 15% of profits to reinvestment into scholarship programmes.

As it grows within Spain, it has also launched a pilot programme in the Dominican Republic. The project continues to expand, and the benefits rise exponentially, but most promising is Cristina’s commitment to ensuring Escuelab remains self-sustaining and driven by its principles of better STEM education for all.





Through preventative care, HealthSetGo reduces health issues among children in India with education, insurance and check-ups, for just 7$ per child.

HealthSetGo - India

Priya Prakash
Ambassador-led Initiative



Priya founded the social enterprise HealthSetGo in 2016, after a year of research and planning. Her aim is to address damaging cultural attitudes towards health and offer preventative healthcare for children. India has the second highest number of obese children globally (1), but also a third of the world’s stunted children (2).

HealthSetGo offers three primary services to children in schools across India. The first is preventative care in the form of four yearly check-ups from a team of senior doctors hired from a network of partnered hospitals. A recent addition to this offering is the digitalisation of medical records, allowing families to monitor their childrens’ medical history. 

The second service is a “care box”, providing educational information and activity cards on topics including nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. HealthSetGo educates teachers to pass on the knowledge and enforce a habit-based learning system. Schools are incentivised to be vigilant by governmental certifications for high achievement. The third aspect is health insurance covering $1,500 per year per child. 

All this is provided for $7 per child (that number varies from state-to-state, but averages out across India. For disadvantaged children, this fee is sponsored by the government. In the year cycle from April 2017 to March 2018, 84,500 children were signed up to the programme. Priya believes in a market-driven approach to enact social good, and the revenue she raises from this fee covers all the operational costs of HealthSetGo.


Venezolanos en Barranquilla

Venezolanos en Barranquilla is a non-profit organisation supporting Venezuelan populations of migrants and refugees in the Caribbean region of Colombia. 

Venezolanos en Barranquilla - Colombia [coordinating region]

Juan Carlos Villoria
Ambassador-led Initiative



Juan is the Vice-President of Venezolanos en Barranquilla, a non-profit supporting migrants, refugees and returnees from Venezuela who are residing in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Venezuelan refugees are predicted to exceed those who have fled Syria, and yet have received only 1.5% of the international donations which the Syrian situation had received at the equivalent stage of its crisis (1).

The humanitarian assistance Juan’s organisation provides is comprehensive in its scope. They have delivered over 7,200kg of food, 11,780 units of medical supplies, 3,100 items of clothing, and served more than 8,100 hot meals to the community to name a few. 

Additionally, the organisation increases the opportunities for this community by supplying access to seed capital, work orientation workshops, education, and recreational activities such as sports. 

Alongside all this, Venezolanos en Barranquilla defends the human rights of Venezuelans by raising their issues on an international level through participation in global networks, and by facilitating participation in Venezuelan elections.

Direct recipients of support include 9,700 people who have been supported with food security, and 11,780 people who have received healthcare from the above mentioned provisions. A further 90 young Venezuelan refugees have been provided access to the education system in Colombia, and over 5,000 have received legal advice.




FoodCloud finds a valuable purpose for surplus food by redistributing it to vulnerable people in Ireland.

FoodCloud - Ireland

Iseult Ward
Ambassador-led Initiative



Iseult Ward is Co-Founder and CEO of FoodCloud, a non-profit social enterprise with a vision of a world where no good food goes to waste. Launched in 2013 with Co-Founder Aoibheann O’Brien, FoodCloud has created two food redistribution solutions that tackle the enormous issue of food waste by connecting food businesses with local charities and community groups.

In Ireland, FoodCloud has two food redistribution solutions: a technology solution that connects supermarkets with surplus food directly to local Community Groups and a warehouse solution that redistributes large quantities of surplus food from the supply chain to Community Groups all across Ireland.

Both solutions provide an environmentally-sensitive, socially-responsible, and economically-viable alternative to throwing away food. FoodCloud works with more than 800 Charities and Community Groups in Ireland and more than 6,400 internationally. Combined, they have redistributed more than 32,000 tonnes of surplus food to date, which is equal to approximately 76.8 million meals and approximately 103,206 tonnes of CO2-eq avoided. FoodCloud is also the partner organisation for the nationwide availability of the food element of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) Programme in Ireland.

FoodCloud is responsible for the procurement, storage and charity collection of FEAD products for this programme, which supports individuals to take their first steps out of poverty and social exclusion. Through FEAD, FoodCloud have distributed more than 4,700 tonnes of food, which is equal to approximately 11.2 million meals.


TODXS empowers the LGBTI+ community and advocating their rights in Brazil with solutions including the TODXS mobile application.

TODXS - Brazil

Willian Mallmann
Ambassador-led Initiative



Willian is the Co-Founder of TODXS, a non-profit association empowering the LGBTI+ community and advocating their rights. In May 2019, the country criminalised homophobia and transphobia after an outbreak of crimes and the murder of 140 LGBTI+ people in the wake of Mr Bolsonaro’s inauguration at the beginning of that same year (1).

The targets of TODXS are to facilitate the social inclusion of LGBTI+ people in Brazil, and to integrate diversity and inclusion principles into the state, companies and wider society. To achieve this, the organisation operates a variety of initiatives, the flagship of which is the TODXS mobile app. 

The software categorises 700 Brazilian laws protecting the LGBTI+ community in an easily accessible format, to improve users’ understanding of their rights, and also connects them to over 80 supporting organisations around the country. 

Additionally, users can report LGBTI-phobic abuse through the app, using a partnership they have with the Controladoria Geral da União, to form the foundation of new public policy.

Another aspect of this is the mapping of LGBTI-phobic abuses to inform users of the locations of reported cases of aggression and abuse. Over 10,000 users have been protected and educated by this innovative platform.

The other primary direct consequences that the organisation has generated includes connecting 250 young Brazilians with socially impactful projects, educating 90 public school teachers on LGBTI+ issues, training 200 young leaders through a six month programme, and reaching over 50,000 people through their social media campaigns. 

Beyond that, they have distributed a Diversity & Inclusion booklet to over 1,500,000 people in a variety of Brazilian companies and institutions.



Coexister - France

Samuel Grzybowski
Ambassador-led Initiative



Samuel started a movement promoting better living together through interfaith cooperation in reaction to the politicisation of France’s “La Laicite” law on secularism, which was being used as justification for Islamophobia targetted at Muslim women (1). It began in 2009 with Coexister which he established along with four Co-Founders. Coexister is a grassroots non-profit encouraging interfaith cooperation in French high schools.

Coexister uses the tactic of youth-led training, to teach young leaders to tackle their own diversities and in doing so provides them with ownership over the process. This makes the learning experience more deeply-rooted. It has about 50 local shelters on the ground. Each shelter runs approximately 30 activities a year. Each activity takes the form of a “chapter” which forms a safe space for approximately 50 young people. These young leaders are facilitated to design a peacebuilding curriculum, and through doing so develop an awareness and understanding of interfaith values. 

Supplemented by three national events, over 2,500 young French people have participated in Coexister’s activities and events. The organisation also runs workshops which implement the peacebuilding curriculum, which have reached over 25,000 students in over 500 high schools. 

Coexister is an organisation within an interfaith movement. It runs alongside an academic research group exploring solutions to interfaith conflict globally with a team of researchers from different faiths. 

Additionally, it is supported by Convivencia, an interfaith consultancy for big business, charities and public institutions. This is a social enterprise which funnels any profit into the movement, and the work of coexister.

Samuel participated in the Interfaith Dialogue at the One Young World Summit in London in 2019. In doing so, he had the opportunity to interact with other young leaders in the field, as well as a selection of the UK’s most senior religious figures.



All We Are - Uganda

Nathan Thomas
Ambassador-led Initiative



Aged 16, Nathan established a relationship with a charity in Kampala to provide basic technological products to support a school in the city. This relationship, his studies in engineering and the fact that Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of electrification in schools encouraged Nathan to found All We Are, providing free solar energy installations to schools and public institutions across Uganda.

Since 2015, the organisation has installed solar electricity systems for 30 institutions in Uganda. Primarily installations have been in schools, but All We Are has also reached two health centres and three boreholes. 

This operation is driven by two teams. Nathan heads up a select group of volunteers in the USA, young professionals providing their time for free. The team on the ground is made up of three, full-time Ugandan employees who provide engineering and digital marketing support. The organisation is eager to develop this branch of the organisation to contribute to the local economy.

As a result of their work, they have provided clean energy to support the education of approximately 30,000 students, and provide energy for teachers and community members in Uganda. Electrification of schools is proven to have significant impacts on improving productivity of students, reducing absenteeism and increasing completion rates of schools. In addition to the environmental benefit of clean energy, it reduces recipients’ reliance on dangerous heating sources. 

The organisation has also established a partnership with the University of Santa Clara and North Carolina State University to build a programme providing practical engineering experience to their students, and 60 students have benefitted from the programme. All We Are aims to have provided 50 solar energy installations by 2025.