What role does trek play in eradicating poverty?

23rd October 2016

Ending poverty around the world is a goal close to Raleigh’s heart. The current group of venturers have travelled to Nepal from Holland, Israel, Germany, Belgium, America and Great Britain, lending their efforts to make lasting change a truly international flavour. In partnership with the host country venturers and volunteer managers, they’re seeking to promote sustainable development in Nepal, a country which currently ranks 145th out of 188 countries on the Human Development Index. This tool uses the parameters of life expectancy, education and income per capita to identify countries which may benefit from initiatives such as those run by Raleigh International.

So what role does a 15 day trek play towards contributing to the eradication of poverty? Raleigh places a strong emphasis on youth leadership and each day one of the venturers will take on the role of Day Leader within their trek group. They will be responsible for planning the day, delegating the roles of cook, navigator and ‘health monitor’ (don’t forget your suncream and hat everybody!) and running team meetings. By providing leadership training and supporting venturers as they step outside their comfort zone, Raleigh is equipping a group of young people from around the world with the skills and the energy they need to make lasting change.

Trek group 1 during practice trek.
Trek group 1 during practice trek.

To prepare the venturers for their role as Trek Day Leader, the volunteer managers held a short practice trek two days before deployment. Josh Strauss, who is volunteering for Raleigh International in his gap year before studying Business Management in South Africa, found this helpful to identify the qualities of a good leader.

“You have to make people feel they have a purpose, that they’re part of a team,” he said. “I think it’s the same if you’re trying to tackle conditions of poverty – communities have to feel that they’re part of that process, rather than on the sidelines watching foreigners coming in and imposing change.”

By developing their leadership and teamwork skills, venturers will be ready to work alongside communities, together identifying opportunities and taking initiative, playing their part in working towards eradicating poverty in their lifetimes.

Youth In Civil Society Nepal