6th June 2014
Welcome from Borneo Advance Fieldbase team 14E&F!
Hello and welcome to our very first blog post from here in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo! My name is Victoria and I am the communications officer for Raleigh Borneo 14E (our 10 week expedition) and 14F (our 5 week expedition). Over the next three months, alongside our photographers Ben and Tanya, I will be bringing you all the latest news, views and updates on each project phase. Through words and pictures we will keep you informed on the challenges and experiences our volunteers will undergo, giving you a unique insight into expedition life. Stay tuned, it’s going to be an unforgettable ride!
The Raleigh mission...
Raleigh Borneo has been in operation since 2002 and over the past 12 years there have been more than 200 projects and over 30 expeditions. Through environmental, community and adventure phases the volunteers will be provided with a unique opportunity to really make an impact out here in Borneo. Our volunteer managers will be supporting our volunteers to challenge, inspire and create leaders for the future. Raleigh International believes that young people are at the heart of sustainable development, and the volunteers are at the heart of everything we do here in Borneo.
Advance Fieldbase team arrive!
On Sunday 2nd June the advanced Fieldbase team touched down in hot Kota Kinabalu. Despite the jetlag and balmy temperatures, we have been quick to set up and get to grips with our new roles as well as being provided with vital safety instructions from the in-country permanent staff team. This week the focus is on preparing for the next 13 weeks and getting ourselves ready for the arrival of our fellow volunteer managers, before deploying to the jungle for further training.
Now, without further delay, let me introduce you to the Fieldbase team.
Mac – Country Director
Mac’s work focuses on external relationships, working to maintain relationships with all project partners as well as planning and funding. Mac first completed an expedition in 2005 as a volunteer manager in Borneo. He then returned to Raleigh in 2007 as Deputy Programme Manager in Costa Rica & Nicaragua before becoming a permanent member of the Raleigh Borneo in-country team in 2008, first as Country Programme Manager and then Country Director in 2010.
Phili – Country Operational Manager
Phili is in charge of the operational delivery of the expedition. Together with Mac she ensures that the projects are sustainable, and they are delivered safely and to a high standard. This will be her sixth expedition with Raleigh Borneo and she brings a wealth of experience of life on Raleigh expedition.
Dickie – Country Programme Co-ordinator
Dickie is another of our permanent in-country management team and will be working with project partners to identify community and environmental needs that can be met by Raleigh. He will also be monitoring and evaluating these projects to measure their impact and ensuring sustainability. He brings with him an array of knowledge of community development and has completed two expeditions with Raleigh in Borneo.
Jess – Deputy Operations Manager
Jess is our Deputy Operations Manager and works alongside Phili to ensure the smooth running of every project from an operational angle. Jess is also responsible for delivering the volunteer management training. She will be ensuring that we are all in tip top shape and ready for anything that expedition life will bring!
Tom – 5 week co-ordinator
Tom is our 5 week co-ordinator and will be working to prepare everything ready for the arrival of the 5 week expedition volunteers. He will also be assisting in the delivery of the volunteer management training. Tom previously completed a Raleigh expedition as a venturer in 2009 in India and was a project manager in Borneo with 14C.
Christian – Host Country Co-ordinator
Christian works specifically with host country volunteers, from recruitment to in-country assistance. He also works with the Raleigh Sabah Society providing support and ensuring the relationship with Raleigh Borneo continues. Christian was a volunteer manager in 2010 and has now worked across a total of 13 expeditions.
Victoria (me!) – Communications Officer
Through the blog, social media, the end of expedition Raleigh magazine and creating in-country press coverage I will be documenting the trip as well as ensuring all lines of communication are open. Your messages, blog posts and letters of encouragement will all be delivered directly to our volunteers, no matter how remote they are. I am very much looking forward to visiting the project sites and having the opportunity to document those ‘eureka’ moments that make life on expedition so worthwhile.
Tanya and Ben – Photographers
Ben will be documenting the 14F (5 week) expedition and Tanya will be documenting the 14F (7 and 10 week) expedition. They will both visit the project sites, taking photographs for the blog, the end of expedition magazine and DVD. Together they will bring the expedition to life and provide the venturers a document of their time on expedition.
Sue – Admin Officer
Sue will be helping to ensure that the expedition runs smoothly. She will be making sure that all paperwork, forms, volunteer diaries and project packs are ready before expedition starts. She will also be responsible for our ID cards, visa applications and safeguarding our possessions. She has confessed to loving lists, so we are in good hands!
Emily, Alicia, Stuart, and Kirsty – Logistics
Our logistics team, headed by logistics manager Emily, have been busy taking stock checks and making sure everything is in good order and ready for expedition. They are responsible for making sure that every team on each phase has the correct equipment and rations and will be on hand to re-supply at a moment’s notice. They are a vital cog in the Raleigh wheel and are currently undertaking an off-site road safety training as they will spend a lot of time on the road delivering to the project sites.
Joanne – Advance Medic
Joanne is our advance medic who has arrived early to make sure that everything is organised and ready for project deployment. She has been ensuring that all the medical kits are stocked and checked for expedition and will be meeting with local doctors at the nearby hospital later this week. She will also be providing the Fieldbase team with their vital health checks.
Loli - Fieldbase Cook
And last but definitely not least is Loli, our incredible masterchef who has already been spoiling us with her amazing Malaysian cooking.
The remaining project managers and medics will arrive next week and we will be departing Fieldbase to base camp for the all-important jungle training, in-depth safety briefings and vital radio exercises.
I will be updating the blog as often as possible and with the help of my fellow volunteer managers and volunteers we will take you with us along the Raleigh Borneo journey.
Leave a comment....
The aim of this blog is to keep you updated with how we are getting on but also serves as a way of communicating with your loved ones. They will have no access to internet whilst out on expedition so the blog is often the quickest way to get in touch and send messages of support. Receiving a message from home is a real boost for the venturers and we will ensure that every single message reaches its intended recipient.
If you would like to leave a message, scroll down to the bottom of the post you’d like to comment on, click in the “Comments” box and leave your message. Easy as one, two, three! If your message is for someone in particular make sure you include their full name and project group, then click post. Not all blog comments will appear on the blog, unless it is directly related to the blog post in question or the general issues/topics faced on a Raleigh expedition or in Borneo. If it’s a message directly from friends and family it will be passed directly to them and will not appear as an open message.
Remember…if your message is for someone in particular it will not be published publicly on the blog. General messages of encouragement are welcomed and will be posted publicly so please keep them coming.
I am looking forward to hearing from you!