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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Raleigh International

Do you want to make a lasting contribution to the lives of rural communities? Explore some of the most spectacular and remote landscapes on earth? Live, learn and work with people of different nationalities and backgrounds? On Raleigh International expeditions, you can do all this and more in the space of just 3 months.

I know because I had the grand opportunity to be a venturer on Expedition Sabah 02L in 2002. Initially, I joined the expedition with a mission to "help those poor villagers in rural Sabah!" How wrong I was! In the end, I was the one who gained the most from the experience. Expedition opened my eyes to the fact that I'm a lot stronger than I think I am. That most of the barriers I see rest solely in my head. This newfound awareness has helped me achieve a lot more in life and opened many doors for me in my career. I’d like to share my experience with you to encourage you to take advantage of the same.

What is Raleigh International?

Founded in 1984, Raleigh International is a UK-registered youth charity, which aims to inspire young people from all backgrounds to realise their full potential via sustainable environmental and community projects.

What are Raleigh International expeditions?

Raleigh International runs 3-month long expeditions in countries as varied as Costa Rica & Nicaragua, Chile, Namibia, Ghana and Malaysia. Each expedition brings together 120 volunteers (called “venturers”) from around the world to live and work together on projects in groups of 12.

As a venturer, you will work on 3 projects in rural areas over the course of 3 months. An Environmental project, a Community project and an Adventure project. Each project lasts three weeks long.

These projects vary from expedition to expedition due to the changing environment, seasons and needs of the local community. Whichever project you work on, you can be sure that it is sustainable and run with the full support of the local community.

Examples of Environmental projects
  • Plant dipterocarp seedlings to rehabilitate rainforest
  • Help scientists track and tag endangered animals
  • Conduct reef checks on scuba dives
  • Build animal hides in nature parks
Examples of Community projects
  • Build a kindergarten, clinic or community hall
  • Develop eco-tourism programmes together with the local community
  • Build a gravity water feed system
  • Teach English to rural communities
Examples of Adventure projects
  • Trek through tropical rainforest and cutting trails
  • Kayak along unexplored coastline
  • Cross icy plains of vast mountain ranges
  • Scale Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia
Do I need to be super fit to join?

The short answer is no. On Raleigh expeditions, you will face physically and mentally challenging situations. Therefore, a decent level of fitness and a prior health check is necessary. However, Raleigh International is not about finding the strongest, the fittest or the fastest venturers but about inspiring you to rise to the challenge and discover skills, strengths and abilities you didn’t know you had.

17-25 years old?

Join a Raleigh expedition as a venturer. Venturers over 25 may be accepted on a case-to-case basis.

Over 25?

Join a Raleigh expedition as a volunteer staff. Administrators, accountants, medics, mountain leaders, logisticians, divers, drivers, builders, artists, photographers and project managers are just a few of the many positions available.

How much does it cost to join?

If you are Malaysian and want to join a Malaysia expedition as a venturer, you are required to fund raise RM1500 as your expedition fee. This sum is significantly lower than what non-Malaysians pay. It is to cover your food, board, transportation and insurance for the entire three-month long expedition. There will be other aspiring venturers fundraising as well, so you can team up with them and work together on a common fundraising project.

In addition to that, you'll need about RM1000 to purchase personal expedition gear and your return air tickets to Kota Kinabalu to join the expedition.

If you'd like to join an international expedition (Costa Rica & Nicaragua, Chile, Namibia or Ghana), you are required to fund raise £2600.

Do check Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur for the latest fundraising targets because they may vary from expedition to expedition.

Where can I get more information?

1) Visit the Raleigh International web site for further info.

2) If you live in Peninsula Malaysia, get in touch with Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur (RIKL). RIKL is a registered society run on a 100% volunteer basis by past venturers and aspiring venturers. RIKL works closely with Raleigh International to help recruit, advise and facilitate applications to join a Raleigh expedition. RIKL also runs environmental and community projects in and around KL all year round.

Come for one of RIKL monthly meetings.

Date: Every first Monday of the month
Time: 8 – 10pm
Venue: Rakan Muda Clubhouse, Jalan Dato Onn, Kuala Lumpur.

You are also welcome to email the Expedition Officer at expedition@raleighinternational.org.my with any questions that you may have.

Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur Introduction Weekend 2004

3) If you live in Sabah, get in touch with Rory Hall, Country Director for Malaysia at raleigh@streamyx.com

Information correct as of 18 January 2006.


Adriene Leong, former President of Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur, is a copywriter, explorer and idealist.


Anonymous William Chan Expedition 06A said...

Raleigh Rocks!!!! Go for it! It'll be the best thing you ever did! trust me.

11:16 AM


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