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Live in and protect the rainforests of Borneo with Raleigh
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Live in and protect the rainforests of Borneo with Raleigh

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The greatest challenge

I loved every single moment of my 10 weeks in Borneo with Raleigh International! Even when I was being ravaged by leeches and soaked through to the bone. I can honestly say that it was the most challenging thing I have ever done but also the most worth while. It is very cliché to say, but I definitely came back with more confidence having learnt so much about myself and about leadership as well as creating bonds with people that will last a life time!
Malaysian Borneo is a spectacular place and I am so grateful I got to explore the unexplored with Raleigh.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Raleigh Borneo... what a place, what an adventure

I went with Raleigh as a project manager and a medic. I had an amazing, challenging, enjoyable and fulfilling experience. The country staff and fellow project managers became my family for three months. I learnt lots of new skills, faced physical and mental challenges. I feel I made a difference to the young venturers and to the local communities. It is impossible to get such a life changing experience anywhere else. I have fond memories of the good times and the tough times. I still stay in touch with fellow project managers and I have since helped out last minute as a medic for Raleigh Tanzania too. Some say I can't get enough of Raleigh.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    0

  • Program Administration

    0

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Community Engagement

    0

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Day to Day Life

    0

Lifetime experience!

It all started about a poster at college. Later someone presented the opportunity and a speaker from Raleigh was there who presented the opportunity and answered many questions students asked. After application, very few students were elected to go to the expedition and we were the first group from my college who went to different countries with Raleigh and the rest story to be told. My first choice was Borneo, but luckily I was told that I got Costa Rica for 10! weeks!

The ten weeks I have spent in Costa Rica in 2013, there is nothing on earth I would substitute them. It changed my perception of reality. It made me who I am today which is someone different, far different from who I used to be. And I have made a lifetime friendship with different people around the world. I have gained leadership skills which later benefited me in my work place. The Trek, the environmental project and the people I have met always come to my mind every single day. The experience I had and all the challenges I have come across, made me different person which I am really very proud that I had taken the opportunity to have filled that form while I was in college.

I would do anything to go another expedition with Raleigh, though I am struggling to balance work and life which is really hard. But I am sure that I will do another expedition with
Raleigh soon.
Love you all :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Would recommend In a heartbeat

Raleigh Borneo was an incredible experience. I met people from all walks and backgrounds, was challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally, and learnt a whole new set of skills. I would recommend Raleigh to anyone without hesitation. You will grow as a person, see landscapes straight from National Geographic, and learn about cultures so very different from your own. Raleigh has been doing gap year expeditions for decades. They're the best in the business, they put their money where their mouth is, and any expedition with them is guaranteed an unique experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Making an impact with Raleigh volunteers

I've done two Raleigh Borneo expeditions. The first thing that struck me - a Raleigh International volunteer experience is 100% no-frills authentic. They are long-term stationed in their country regions and had built an excellent community groups network, so the projects have real value. We could see the impact, and whether it was a village community building effort, or an environmental project, the locals we worked with were totally committed to getting the outcome, to working alongside us. That was a really heart-warming experience, to know how much value we were bringing, to see in their eyes the appreciation and enthusiasm for working with us. By half-way through a couple we were inviting the local people to share a dinner, or they were inviting us, and ending was often a send-off celebration. We bonded with them, with each other, we worked hard to bust the goal, to show ourselves and our community supporters we were there for them.

And as a project manager it was so rewarding to see volunteers develop skills they didn't know they had, we all did. To get confidence, to make new friends, ones that stay friends for life, and for many of us we found a path to goals that really mattered, and learned a lot about how to make good things happen. The bugs, the rain, the trekking, the work, the cooking, the camping - even the radio comms - all became part of our daily life, we adjusted & helped each other as real teams do (doing your bit without expecting anything in return).

A great insight I got - how to get everyone, no matter what skills or personality working together. Something academic life doesn't each is how to get great things done with whoever and whatever you've got to work with. In business, in community work, in life, that's a valuable learning. Thanks Raleigh for knowing how to get people to bring the best out of themselves. When that happens it's life-changing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Got back over a year ago and still think about it every day!

I loved my time away with Raleigh International. It really was life changing, I still think about it on a daily basis and find myself bringing it up in conversation even though it was a year ago. I have to say I was a bit sceptical about going abroad with a charity as I worried about how sustainable it would be. However after some research I found that Raleigh really is a sustainable charity. I was a program manager and I went to visit the community and find out about the project before it took place and it was great to see how much thought and effort had been put into finding a good project and a solid local charity to work with. The experience was really rewarding as a result! I felt that everything was well organised and that health and safety was a real priority for Raleigh. We received very thorough training as project managers and the policies and procedures in place were very rigorous. I felt that I gained from this on a personal level to, when I think about acheived when I was there I feel very confident.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

New people, new experiances.

Raleigh Borneo is definitely an adventure that I will remember for the rest of my life as I have a lot of memories, met a lot of people of different backgrounds as well as learn a lot of new and important things that can be applied in my day to day life. This 10 week expedition has definitely made me more aware about what is happening around the world and make me realise that we need to change our life styles in order to preserve our planet in order for future generations to continue inhabiting this planet without having to suffer from environmental problems.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

10 weeks to remember.

I'm going to be completely honest and whilst I was there I didn't have an amazing experience but that was because of my own mentality and and not because of the actual charity. A piece of advice for anyone who is thinking of volunteering abroad it's important that don't take yourself with you but instead you go with a completely open mind, that way you'll get the best experience.

A part from that I met some really amazing people and now when I go travelling I know people from all around the world who I've shared this amazing experience with and there's nothing like seeing them after a year and just sitting down and having a full blown conversation about the time when you didn't shower for 7 days because of the rain or the time a ferret was stealing your food. It's an experience you'll never forget.

I stayed in Danum Valley which is a primary rainforest and I was so lucky to get to spend one of my phases there, it's an amazing rainforest and we even got to swim in waterfalls which is an experience I'll probably won't to get experience for a while. Whilst also getting to work on a suspension bridge which was very intense labour in the extreme heat, walking 20 minutes to our work place everyone wasn't the greatest experience but after a long days work you get to go back to camp have a very cold shower and be thankful you didn't run into any leeches for the day. Another memorable moment was waking up at 4 in the morning to go and watch the sunrise which was absolutely incredible. I think something I will always miss about living in the rainforest is falling asleep to the sound of nature and sometimes the intense rain pouring down onto your shelter.

In my community phase I was working in a extremely rural village building a solar panel workshop, another charity that was working with sent Grannies from the village to India in order for them to learn how to fix solar panels (the village is very reliant of solar panels) and the workshop is where they did work. I think this had to be my best phase as we were able to interact with the community and they were so kind as to supply us with fresh fruit and we were able to buy fruit and vegetables on the way which meant were able to have fresher food for dinner. There were also community shops where we were able to buy noodles and whatnot which we had at lunch. Definitely the best phase.

And then there was trek, 17 days trekking through the jungle, sleeping in hammocks, getting caught in the rain, being absolutely soaked and not washing for 7 says straight because of the rain, non waterproof tarps, waking up in a wet hammock and leeches for days on end. Definitely the hardest phase of them all but the most intense and maybe something I'll consider doing again xD I loved it though, I had a really supportive group and supportive volunteer managers.

Great break from the polluted, crowded city!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    6

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

An ressourcefull and life changing experience

Ok, in order to make it short and tedious I'll be straight forward,I was very dubitative about the group activities that were aside of the voluntary work, nevertheless the experience is enchanting and the indigenous people of borneo are touching, plus if you take time to make bonds with them you might learn some important life lessons.
For anyone interested in discovering the south-asian islands and especially borneo, I highly recommend the experience.