Why I Chose to Join Raleigh South Africa?
From Raleigh South Africa Country Director, Stacey Isham
This June the first Raleigh Volunteers will arrive in South Africa to experience an adventure with purpose on our FIRST Raleigh South Africa Expedition! Behind the scenes the Raleigh South Africa team are working hard to create an unforgettable and impactful Expedition.
We spoke to Stacey Isham, the Country Director at Raleigh South Africa, about why she has joined Raleigh International and how we are preparing to launch our new Expedition.
Hi Stacey! Can you give us an introduction?
I’m Stacey, I am the Country Director for South Africa. I will be overseeing all Raleigh operations on the ground in South Africa.
I started my professional life studying Interior Design and Project Management, followed by a 10-year career in corporate design projects in Cape Town. I then did a massive career change and started working for African Impact as a Project Manager based in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Since then I have been managing volunteer projects for African Impact for the past 8 years, focussing on the Greater Kruger area. I have established new project locations and built a successful project base that is still running. I have hosted thousands of volunteers over the years and feel proud about what I have achieved with my team!
Why have you decided to be part of Raleigh South Africa?
I love the ethos of Raleigh International and its impressive history and legacy. I strongly believe in the power of adventure travel. When I was 23 I backpacked the length of Africa and that adventure changed the rest of my life. Being able to provide the same opportunity for young people today is an incredible gift.
How has Raleigh South Africa been preparing for launching its first Expedition?
I have recently visited Raleigh Costa Rica and witnessed those projects in action. This has helped us get a good understanding of what we need to create in South Africa. It was incredible to see such a well-established project! Since then, we have created plans for the setup of our South African project base.
Utilising my connections within the communities and reserves we have identified projects that our volunteers will work on and can provide valuable support. I have also been recruiting for our exciting new team and starting to get all the equipment we need together. We can’t wait to show future volunteers this beautiful part of the world!
What can Raleigh Volunteers expect from their projects when they join a South Africa Expedition?
For our conservation projects, we have identified a reserve that needs a lot of support with restoring their ecology. These are large areas of the reserve where the soil has eroded and needs to be repaired. There are also invasive plant species that need to be removed. Another project we are working to set up is to set up searches for any snares in the reserve that could potentially harm endangered species. All this work will help to better the environment for the animals that live within this reserve.
As for our community projects, we have partnered with a community neighbouring the Kruger National Park where there is a need for playgrounds in schools where there is currently very little infrastructure. This will help create a better learning environment in these schools and improve access to education. We will also be assisting with farming projects to assist in providing sustainable food sources for communities needing this support.
Find out more information on our Raleigh International Expeditions
What are you most excited about for the launch of the Raleigh South Africa Expedition?
I am most excited to share my beautiful country with our future Raleigh volunteers. Creating life changing experiences in a safe environment is a dream come true. I am also very excited about the trek we are planning. Set in the iconic Blyde Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world, it boasts beautiful forests and waterfalls. Personally, I believe the views on this trek cannot be beaten!
Why is South Africa Perfect for an Expedition?
A word you will hear a lot in South Africa is Ubuntu. It means I am because we are. South Africans are all about people and how we can all work together. South Africa has a special place in my heart. I believe through the Raleigh Expedition we are planning, volunteers will see the true, real South Africa.
In the Community phase, you will be in the heart of the rural communities where you will be welcomed by friendly faces, while being based in a reserve open to the Kruger National Park will allow you to see all the animals, but without the tourists.
This Raleigh Expedition in South Africa will take you to the heart and soul of South Africa, and it will change your life forever.
Learn more about our brand new South Africa expedition and sign up to join us today!
Need more information about Expedition?
Whether you have a specific question or want to discuss which Expedition is right for you, schedule a call with a member of the team at a time convenient to you.
Join an info event
On our monthly online info events, we’ll tell you all about Expedition. Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.
Download a guide
Find out all about Raleigh International and Expedition in our helpful information guide.