No this post isn’t about a bloke called Pete (although I’m sure it would also make for an interesting entry), but about the Raleigh training event that I attended the other Saturday. The purpose of the event was to further our understanding of the commitment and challenges of going on expedition as well as meeting other venturers who would be going on the same expedition. I learnt a lot and thought I’d take this opportunity to dedicate a post explaining more about what Raleigh is about and, to past and potential sponsors, what your money will be going to.
So, as I mentioned a few posts ago, Raleigh is a sustainable development charity. ‘What is sustainable development?’ you may ask. Although sustainable development can be interpreted in various different ways, the Sustainable Development Commission defines it as ‘development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Something which we, the Western World, didn’t exactly do (climate change, financial crises, etc). And so now we are trying to make sure that those countries that are currently developing don’t make the same mistakes that we did. Along with a host of both governmental and non-governmental organisations, this is where Raleigh comes in.
Raleigh International is a registered charity that aims to harness the passion and energy of young people (of which I will be one!) to effect positive change in sustainable development. They work in remote, rural areas to improve access to safe water and sanitation, build community resilience, to sustainably manage natural resources and to protect vulnerable environments. Their work is delivered through young people who work alongside local communities, partners and volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, nationalities and life stages. They operate in partnership with communities, non-governmental organisations and governments in Borneo, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Nepal and Tanzania. Since their foundation as a charity in 1984, Raleigh volunteers have become a global community of more than 40,000 people committed to building a sustainable future.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I will be joining one of Raleigh’s expeditions in Malaysian Borneo. Previous programmes have included raising awareness of health and sanitation issues, engaging local youth groups, and building projects relating to local schools, libraries and medical centres, sanitation projects, and water supply systems. In addition to this, due to its location in some of the most ancient rainforests in the world, Raleigh also works with both local conservation organisations and the scientific community to help build and maintain vital infrastructure within protected areas to support conservation work and preserve biodiversity. As a zoologist, this is something I am super excited about – I might not be leaving science behind after all!
All participants are asked to fundraise to support Raleigh’s work. Any donations will help Raleigh to continue to create lasting change and to transform lives in some of the world’s poorest communities. But donations and volunteer fundraising aren’t the only thing going into Raleigh’s pot and going on expedition certainly isn’t the only thing going out. As you can see from the infographic above, the money raised goes to all sorts of different things, from programmes to bursaries to research. Just to bust the common misconception that the money raised will fund my individual placement: it goes much further than that. And to all of those who have sponsored so far, I am truly grateful. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s true – it’s certainly something that’s keeping me going through the sweaty affair that is my half marathon training. If you haven’t and would like to donate, you can do so on my JustGiving page, or post me a cheque written to Raleigh International (message if you need my details). Also, if anyone has any questions whatsoever about Raleigh, please do ask, or you can find out more on their website.