Borneo Expedition

Raleigh International is a youth and sustainable development charity. It runs expeditions and volunteering programmes abroad for people from a wide range of backgrounds, nationalities and life stages. Raleigh’s aim is to increase the leadership and employability skills of participants whilst also raising their awareness of their role as active global citizens. Since Raleigh was established in 1984, the charity has supported more than 35,000 people through its expeditions.

What does Raleigh offer?

Expeditions: Raleigh runs expeditions in Borneo, Costa Rica & Nicaragua, India and Tanzania for individuals aged 17 – 75, of any nationality or background. Volunteers work on community and environmental projects and take part in a tough adventure challenge.

Raleigh International Citizen Service (ICS): A community volunteering experience in India, Nicaragua and Tanzania. Raleigh ICS is funded by the Department for International Development, and is open to British citizens aged 18 or over to apply.

Bespoke programmes: Raleigh also provides bespoke programmes for corporate organisations and school groups. The programmes are tailored to fit the aims and objectives of the organisation.

In 2011, Raleigh worked with 860 young people and 232 volunteer managers on its core expeditions

  • 68% were from the UK and 32% from abroad
  • They spanned 23 different nationalities
  • 32% received financial support from Raleigh in the form of a bursary
  • 46% were male and 54% were female

2011 project achievements

In 2011, our volunteers built:

  • 75 eco-sanitation units
  • 56 sanitation units
  • 20 bio-gas units
  • 15 gravity-fed water systems
  • 9 schools
  • 9 houses
  • 5 community centres

Positively benefiting 10,652 people in the communities in which we worked

In Borneo, our volunteers:

  • Implemented 9 gravity-feed water systems in remote villages in Sabah, benefitting over 600 people
  • Built 3 kindergartens in remote villages
  • Constructed 7 eco-sanitation units
  • Completed two community centres
  • Built 15kms of boardwalks, bridges and fences to improve capabilities of 4 conservation areas
  • Carried out 3 wildlife surveys and discovered a new species of frog
  • Helped prepare the Sun Bear Conservation Centre to open to the public in May 2012
  • Began a new biodiversity research project to survey an area of secondary rainforest

In Costa Rica and Nicaragua, our volunteers:

  • Constructed 6 water projects, installed 9 km of water pipes, 8 water tanks and provided fresh drinking water to 855 people.
  • Built 5 multi-use community centres that can be used as training centres, places for meetings, as a pre-school, for social functions and as a hurricane shelter.
  • Built 4 primary schools, 1 secondary school and 1 kindergarten, directly affecting 439 students.
  • Constructed 6 houses for farmers with low financial resources in the Miraflor area which had been damaged by hurricanes in 2010
  • Installed 2 bio-gas units as an alternative energy solution and income generating project.
  • Worked in nine different national parks, building 8km of trails, 2 water systems for ranger stations, 3 observation platforms and protecting the eggs from over 1,500 turtles.

In India, our volunteers:

  • Built 75 eco-sanitation toilets benefiting 375 men, women and children by providing a safe, convenient and private sanitation facility. Indirectly impacting 1,300 people from surrounding villages with improved ground water and the associated health benefits.
  • Constructed 3 tribal houses improving the health and security for families who suffered attacks from elephants and lived in sub standard conditions.
  • Created 56 standard toilets, directly benefiting over 280 men, women and children and indirectly benefiting 1,850 people from the wider communities
  • Built 18 bio-gas units, improving the health of 90 people by removing the need to burn firewood in the home.  Families can now sell milk and earn the equivalent of £9,250 per year. Indirectly saving 130 tonnes of illegal timber use each year and reducing carbon emissions by 300 tonnes.
  • Erected 2km of elephant proof trenches and solar powered electric fences, directly protecting the homes and livelihoods of 1,713 men, women and children.
  • Launched a turtle conservation project, aimed at increasing community participation in marine turtle conservation and livelihood generation.

How do people benefit from volunteering with Raleigh?

One of Raleigh’s priorities is to help people realise their potential. By working together, Raleigh venturers and volunteer managers can:

  • Benefit from improved confidence and self esteem
  • Develop a pride and satisfaction from helping others through worthwhile and sustainable projects planned in partnership with NGOs and local communities
  • Enhance their education and career prospects by building key skills such as team working, leadership, planning and problem-solving
  • Become more socially, environmentally and globally aware, enabling them to become active global citizens
  • Learn to work in groups of people from all backgrounds, making lifelong friends in the process
  • Get a rare opportunity to experience remote off-the-beaten track locations, which very few tourists get to see

In 2011, volunteers agreed or strongly agreed that the Raleigh expedition had a positive impact on their:

  • Leadership and Team working 92%
  • Intercultural awareness 90%
  • Global Awareness 89%
  • Personal Aspirations 89%

Researching the impact

Raleigh has independent evidence of the impact of its expeditions on both former participants and the communities which it partners. Research includes:

  • Institute of Public Policy Research (ippr) on how Raleigh overseas youth expeditions make a long term impact on participants from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Dr Andrew Rothwell from Leicester Business School has investigated the employability enhancing potential of Raleigh’s expeditions (International Volunteering as an employability enhancement strategy).  Dr Simon Beames from the University of Edinburgh and Dr Tim Stott from Liverpool John Moores University on the impact of our work on our volunteers
  • The impact of our work on the communities we work in by Bryan Michell from the University of Birmingham

Raleigh works with corporate partners

Raleigh works with many employers who understand the benefits of sending their employees on a Raleigh expedition. For example, UBS offers their interns a 5-week expedition with Raleigh. Raleigh also works with corporate clients such as Airbus and Green & Blacks to offer their employees or customers the opportunity to work on ethical projects.

Raleigh is for life

Raleigh’s alumni (36,000 in 96 countries) are always challenged to make a difference to their local community on their return. As a result Raleigh has societies all over the world including China, Malaysia, Ghana, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.