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Raleigh International says thank you to 30,000 volunteers
04 December 2007

London, UK: Raleigh International, the charity that runs challenge and adventure expeditions, is celebrating the efforts of its 30,000 volunteers on 5 December 2007, International Volunteer Day.

Since the charity began in 1984 volunteers from diverse backgrounds and nationalities have joined expeditions in remote regions spanning five continents.  The volunteers have included 16,185 young people between the ages of 17-24 from the UK and 2,325 from other countries; 2,746  volunteers from the host countries, as well as over 2000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. These volunteers have been supported by  7,737 qualified volunteer managers, aged 25 or over.  In total, volunteers from over 80 nations around the world have worked with Raleigh International.

Raleigh’s volunteers have been privileged to work in some of the world’s most challenging and remote locations across a total of 45 countries; from Chile to Mongolia, and Siberia to Botswana. Today volunteers have the opportunity to work in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Malaysian Borneo or, from 2008, the Southern states of India.

The 30,000 volunteers have assisted local people in some of the remotest areas of the world by working on environment and community projects.  The latter includes constructing over 700 schools, building playgrounds, community centres and clinics.  Our volunteers have constructed bridges across canyons and installed gravity water feed systems which have provided rural villages with their first drop of fresh running water.

The environmental projects have seen Raleigh volunteers working with host communities to make a positive and genuine difference to the ecology of the host country.  Projects have included building facilities for scientists and park rangers and constructing infrastructure for eco-tourism, such as nature trails in national parks.  

All of Raleigh’s projects are developed and delivered in partnership with government ministries, NGO’s and local communities to ensure sustainable development.   These have involved establishing facilities which promote employment or vocational skills training, and education or activities that promote alternative means of income generation which do not contribute to environmental degradation.

“Volunteering with Raleigh is not just about giving your time, or professional skills,” commented Stacey Adams chief executive. “It’s also about giving a piece of yourself; the real success of a Raleigh International expedition lies is the personal journey that each individual takes as they tackle their weaknesses and rise to new challenges, supported by the rest of their team.”

“The positive effect that we believe our volunteers have on the host country has been borne out by a recent academic study by Bryan Mitchell at the University of Birmingham,” Adams added.

“He concludes that Raleigh volunteers help rural communities come together working towards a common goal, and this helps those in the host country gain confidence. We always ensure that our volunteers work alongside the local community to provide them with wanted and sustainable facilities that the whole community can benefit from in the future.”