Raleigh Expedition 17O Volunteer Managers: Meet the team

1st October 2017

You might be wondering what an energiser is. An energiser is a game which encourages everyone to get moving, get talking and most importantly get to know each other. The DOMs (- acronym alert! – Deputy Operations Managers – to whom the Volunteer Mangers report) handed the us their Book of Spells, full of energiser tips to get ideas flowing. Soon the team became very creative, making treasure hunts, videos to introduce themselves to the venturers (which you can check out here) and even improvising sports games with fruits in the garden!

Home Country Volunteer Manager Gandip, who is on his second Raleigh Nepal placement. Here he is being welcomed to Expedition 17O by Country Director, Ram Risal. Photo by Expedition 17O Photographer Jake Rowles.

We’re all about creating leaders here at Raleigh. By creating a hands-on learning environment like the one the VMs (Volunteer Managers) have been immersed in over the past week we can inspire and empower young people as well as local communities to create lasting behaviour change. It’s important to all of the VMs to make leaders out of the venturers so they’re spending a significant proportion of the training programme working on their own skills, doing things ‘the Raleigh Way’. One of our key Raleigh values is to create impact together. As one of our HCVMs described today, “by myself I cannot help them because I need some team. With Raleigh team I can reach vulnerable people. I can fulfill that desire.”

Volunteer Managers Essie, Gandip and Sophie between training and briefing sessions. Photo by Expedition photographer Jake Rowles.

*Acronym alert!* Home Country Volunteer Managers are often referred to in-country as “HCVM’s”.

Fancy meeting the team? Communications officer Rebbie has been making her way around the full Volunteer Manager team who arrived after the Advance Team, asking them about what they’re looking forward to and why they signed up to be a VM for Raleigh Nepal Expedition 17O.

Essie, Volunteer Manager:
“I came on Raleigh not only to help those less fortunate than me in Nepal but to become a mentor and a friend to the venturers. I feel society nowadays sadly focusses too much on material possessions and we have forgotten how to live a life without social media. I hope this journey will make me a better, more caring person and truly open my eyes to the wonderful world we life in.” (… But please do follow us on Facebook and Instagram before you arrive…!).


Essie, Volunteer Manager. Photograph by Expedition 17O Photographer Jake Rowles.

Sean, Volunteer Medic:
Sean joined Raleigh seeking experience in remote medicine. He’s a qualified GP and well-travelled.

Sean, Volunteer Medic. Photograph by Expedition 17O Photographer Jake Rowles.

Felix, Volunteer Manager:
Like many of the volunteer managers across all Raleigh programmes, Felix started out his Raleigh journey as a venturer in India in 2011 and, in his own words, “I decided then that one day I would return as a VM. I’m here for the challenge, the culture and the TANG!”
Do you know what Tang is? Let’s just say within a few weeks the  venturers will be loving it!

Felix, Volunteer Manager. Photograph by Expedition 17O Photographer Jake Rowles.

Gandip, Home Country Volunteer Manager:

This is Gandip’s second experience with Raleigh International. He completed the ICS programme in Apr/ May 2017: “I am highly motivated to work in the development sector because of my experience with Raleigh”. Gandip sees his role as a Home Country Volunteer Manager to be unique with regards the cultural adjustment the venturers experience, “I am not sure what the expectations of the venturers are before they come over here  in terms of the cultural process. That’s where my role comes in. I want them to feel comfortable and when they go back they’ll feel like they did something good. They’ll feel connected to the country.”

Gandip, Home Country Volunteer Manager. Photograph by Expedition 17O Photographer Jake Rowles.

Andrea, Volunteer Manager:
Andrea is a primary school teacher from England and has joins the Raleigh Nepal expedition as a Volunteer Manager. “After seeing the devastating effects of the 2015 earthquake, I feel that volunteering with Raleigh International will give me the opportunity to make a real difference in the communities affected. I was inspired by Raleigh International’s ethos to empower communities to develop sustainable practices and focus on youth development.”

Andrea, Volunteer Manager. Photograph by Expedition 17O Photographer Jake Rowles.

Sophie, Volunteer Medic:
This is Sophie’s first expedition with Raleigh. She is a doctor in the UK and has experience in acute medicine, working in the UK and New Zealand and has travelled widely. She is soon to commence specialist training. “I have always wanted to visit Nepal and I’m so excited to immerse myself in its fascinating culture. I signed up to Raleigh International for many reasons, not least the opportunity to practice medicine in a remote environment, but also to contribute to rural communities in the aftermath of the earthquake”.

Sophie, Volunteer Medic. Photograph by Expedition 17O Photographer Jake Rowles.

Andrew, Volunteer Manager:
Andrew joins Raleigh Nepal as a volunteer manager and this is his second-time volunteering with Raleigh International, having previously worked with Raleigh Borneo in 2011. In the UK Andrew works for the University of Manchester as a Learning Technologist. “After seeing the effects of the earthquake, I felt volunteering with Raleigh Nepal was the perfect opportunity to help towards making a lasting change in the affected communities. In Borneo I was a logistics coordinator and am looking forward to being a volunteer manager this time round in Nepal.”

Andrew, Volunteer Manager. Photograph by Expedition 17O Photographer Jake Rowles.

The Volunteer Managers are back into training Sunday 1st October after a short break from the training programme for Dashain, the national festival of Nepal. The image accompanying this blog is from tika day which was celebrated with the VMs host family in Patan, Kathmandu. Tika day involved a of dancing the night before a ceremony in which each of the VMs had their foreheads marked.

With just over a week before the venturers arrive, the VMs are receiving allocations for each phase of the expedition. Stay tuned and following the blog for more updates from the Volunteer Manager 17O Expedition team!


Youth Economic Empowerment Nepal