Volunteer abroad in 2020: 5 week Expeditions in Nepal and Costa Rica

Find out more about our 5 week Expeditions potentially taking place in Costa Rica and/or Nepal from November to December 2020 – select a question to jump to the section. 

 

 


Why are Raleigh thinking of running shorter Expeditions this year?

Unfortunately, due to the impact of Covid-19, we had to cancel our 7 and 10 week Expedition programmes taking place from October to December in Costa Rica, Tanzania, and Nepal.

However, now more than ever, the communities and partners we work with need our support. So, we are exploring the potential to run 5 week programmes from November to December in Costa Rica and/or Nepal, provided it is safe to do so.

While the global context is currently uncertain and complex, there are signs of improvement. We believe that these later date programmes will give us extra time to prepare and review the situation, whilst the world adapts. Providing us with the knowledge and insight needed to deliver safe programmes for our volunteers.

What will I be doing on the programme?

As you can imagine, there is a rapidly changing picture in the countries and communities we work with. So, we are reviewing what the needs of these communities may be post-Covid to ensure that the work that our volunteers contribute to is impactful.

This programme is designed for volunteers to maximise their impact in a short period of time. During the 5 weeks volunteers will have the opportunity to contribute towards sustainable projects in rural communities in Costa Rica and/or Nepal and to take part in an exhilarating Adventure Leadership Trek. All project work will contribute to achieving the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs).

Some of the projects will be adapted to both enable safe working and help respond to the coronavirus pandemic at a local level. As a general indication (subject to change), the itineraries in each country will likely include:

COSTA RICA

  • Induction (3-4 days): On arrival take part in an orientation, induction and training programme which includes safety procedures, team building activities, first aid and preparing you to undertake your projects.

  • Adventure Leadership Trek (4-7 days): Experience Costa Rica’s stunning scenery on the Turrisantos Trek. Negotiate steep inclines and declines, oversee endless hills, valleys, and landscapes. Self-navigate testing newly learnt skills and develop your leadership, communication and teamworking skills. The trek offers the chance to test your mental strength and resilience, as well as providing time for personal reflection. The trek will be followed by a short rest and debrief period at field base.

  • Environmental or Community Project (19-22 days):

    • Environmental Project: Live within a national park amongst incredible sub-tropical rain forest. Work alongside park rangers and local partners building trails or planting native vegetation, helping to conserve the habitat and biodiversity, as well as promote sustainable tourism.

    • Community Project: Stay in the heart of a remote rural community with other volunteers and work with local indigenous communities in the Alto Chirripo district to improve educational infrastructure by building and improving school facilities. Helping to increase educational opportunities for the community and allowing them to secure government funding for teaching staff. Please note the Community project in Costa Rica will only go ahead if safety protocols can be enforced in a remote environment.

  • End of Expedition debrief and review (2-3 days): Take stock of your achievements and learning. Celebrate your Expedition experience with your team before returning home and becoming part of our global alumni community.

NEPAL

  • Induction (3-4 days): On arrival take part in an orientation, induction and training programme which includes safety procedures, team building activities, first aid and preparing you to undertake your projects.

  • Adventure Leadership Trek (6-8 days): Trek through the Manaslu circuit route, passing through local villages and beautiful farm terraces. Explore Nepal’s incredible scenery and take in the stunning views of the Central Himalayas. End each day cook with your team and sleep under the stars. Self-navigate, build strong friendships, develop your leadership, communication, and teamworking skills. The trek will be followed by a short rest and debrief period at field base.

  • Community Project (18-22 days): Live and work alongside a local community in the Gorkha district (in Gandaki Pradesh) on a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) project. Help to improve access to safe drinking water, handwashing and toilet facilities and raise awareness of these issues within the community.

  • End of Expedition debrief and review (2-3 days): Take stock of your achievements and learning. Celebrate your Expedition experience with your team before returning home and becoming part of our global alumni community.

What will I learn on the programme?

You will be part of an experiential and immersive learning experience that will include team reviews, debriefs, journaling, 1-2-1s, leadership opportunities and active learning sessions. These activities will help you develop skills in teamwork, leadership, intercultural learning, and active citizenship.

Volunteers who have been on Expedition have reported that their programme broadened their horizons and outlook, helped develop their character and resilience, enhanced their employability, raised their aspirations, and inspired further volunteering and active citizenship.

Who are these programmes for?

Do you have unlimited passion but limited time? If you want to make a meaningful impact while traveling abroad during a short school or career break, then this programme may work for you. Even a few weeks of your time can be incredibly beneficial to the communities we work with while giving you the opportunity to explore a new country and culture and to start building the world that you want to see.

If you do have more time and want to do a longer programme, in 2021 we will be running 7 and 10 week Expeditions in Costa Rica, Nepal and Tanzania that you can apply for now.

Where will the programmes run?

Costa Rica and/or Nepal. However, this depends on the safety situation in each location.

When will they run?

  • Costa Rica: departures between 9-18 November / returning home between 9-17 December

  • Nepal: departures between 13-23 November / returning home between 16-26 December

Please note these are indicative dates only. All dates will be confirmed in early September.

When will you decide if the programme goes ahead?

You can reserve a provisional place on the programme now without paying a deposit.

Once we have undertaken a thorough review of our criteria to run safe Expeditions, we will let you know by 7 September 2020 (at the latest) if the programme will go ahead.

What steps are you taking to keep volunteers safe on these programmes?

We are constantly monitoring and assessing the situation, here and in our countries of operation. We have permanent staff in each country that are in contact with local governments, embassies, and other authorities. We will only go ahead with these 5 week programmes when we know that we can maintain our high standards of safety and risk management. We will be working to review and update our operational protocols in the next few months to ensure we can work safely. Although these changes have yet to be confirmed, they may include:

  • Enhancing our strict medical screening protocols to ensure those more vulnerable to the virus are not unduly exposed to health risks.

  • Testing pre-departure and on arrival.

  • Implementing our own enhanced mitigation protocols if we do not believe the government requirements where we operate are sufficient.

  • Maintaining social distancing during our programmes and forming group ‘bubbles’. This will reduce the opportunities for different volunteer groups to mix with each other.

  • Enhancing our already stringent medical response protocols so we can respond to any suspected cases of Covid-19 in a locally appropriate, responsible, and effective manner.

  • Continuing to run with high standards of hygiene and handwashing.

  • Reviewing the way we work with local communities to ensure we do not put them at any risk.

I am interested – what do I do next?

Right now running the 5 week programme is provisional and we will confirm whether it will go ahead in September. If you’re excited by the prospect of joining the programme, get in touch and we will add your name to our list of volunteers interested and keep you updated:

  • Send us an email with your name, best contact phone number and country of interest (Nepal or Costa Rica).

  • Or, call us on +44 (0)20 7183 1270 or +1 833-660-9738 if calling from the US.