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South Africa Expedition Information for Family and Friends

This page contains important information about how to contact volunteers while they are on Expedition in Costa Rica. Due to the remote nature of our project sites & our No Phones on Project Policy, you volunteers will NOT have access to the internet or their phone for up to 19 days at a time.

Before you attempt to contact a volunteer on Expedition, please refer back to this document so you use the most appropriate contact method.

General Messages and Updates

News and updates on our work in South Africa
Follow Raleigh South Africa on Instagram and Facebook to see photos and updates from our programmes. Our staff will update these as frequently as possible, however due to the remote nature of our project sites, we do not always have phone signal to share photos effectively.
You can also see updates of our work by reading our blogs. The country blogs are written by volunteers to keep our alumni, donors and the wider public up to date with our work. Our team and the volunteers in the Hoedspruit will be very busy over the coming months so please be understanding if these are not updated as frequently as you’d like.
Volunteer Contact Form
Volunteers may not always have access to their phones or phone signal to be in touch with you back home… get in touch with a volunteer now.
This is for non-urgent messages of support or encouragement, and updates from home that don’t require a response. Once you complete the details on the form and click submit, your message will be sent directly to our staff in South Africa and be delivered to volunteers on a regular basis during project site visits or changeover.
Sending Post
Due to constraints with the South African postal system, please do not attempt to send anything via post. If you do need to post something to a volunteer on Expedition, please get in touch with the Volunteer Journey Team via volunteerjourney@raleighinternational.org and they coordinate with the team in South Africa to put a plan in place for you.

Enquiries or Important Messages

Important messages could include flight information, exam results or important updates on family. If your message is important and needs a response, please send it directly to the Volunteer Journey Team using the following details:

volunteerjourney@raleighinternational.org

The Volunteer Journey Team is based in Raleigh UK Office and would have supported the volunteer with their pre-departure preparations. Once they receive your message, they will be able to pass it on and arrange for a response in the most appropriate way. Usually this will involve sending it straight to the Raleigh South Africa team, who will then deliver your message to volunteer the next day via radio/phone call. Please expect a couple of days delay in us responding to you.

If you phone outside of normal working hours (09:00 – 17:00 GMT Monday to Friday), please leave a voicemail or send an email and a member of the team will return your call.

In cases of Emergency

EMERGENCY INCIDENT SUPPORT
In the case of a serious emergency which cannot wait until normal working hours (9:00 -17:00 GMT Monday to Friday), you can contact the Raleigh International Emergency Incident Number to speak to the Duty Manager:

+44 8081753870

If your call is not an emergency, you will be redirected to other members of the team who will be able to assist you during normal office hours.

Raleigh Phone Policy & Keeping in Touch

Raleigh has a ‘no phones on project’ policy. This means that volunteers will not have access to their phones for up to 19 days at a time whilst they are out on project sites. We will ask all volunteers to place their phones in the safe at Fieldbase for the duration of each phase. This will encourage them to fully immerse themselves in the project sites, communities and building relationships with their fellow volunteers. It has also been proven to enhance the experience volunteers can achieve in the communities and environments.

This does not mean there will be no ability to communicate with home. All volunteers will have the opportunity to get their phones back at changeover and get in touch with loved ones at home. Fieldbase also has significantly better access to signal and wi-fi. Our team will ensure they facilitate some time during changeover for everyone to get in touch with home.

The Volunteer Managers will have radios and phones to ensure they can keep in touch with our Fieldbase staff team 24/7 to ensure the safety of the groups.

There will also be a Raleigh Photographer visiting all the project sites to gather content and capture the experiences of all individuals. VMs will also have access to phones to capture real life, in the moment content. However, we encourage volunteer to bring digital cameras to capture some Expedition moments.

The Raleigh team will share photos of the Expedition on social media a, so family and friends should follow Raleigh’s social media channels to catch any possible updates. However, due to the remote nature of our project sites we don’t always have access to photos, so a stream of updates should not be expected.

Family and friends can also keep up to date by sending messages via our contact a volunteer form.

Further Information

The volunteers will be collected at Hoedspruit (HDS) airport, before being driven to Raleigh’s base on the outskirts of Hoedspruit, about 30 minutes away from the airport. As soon as they arrive at the base, induction will begin. We will email the registered Emergency Contact to inform them that the volunteers have arrived safely. This email will be sent within 24 hours of the volunteers’ arrival in South Africa.

It is unlikely that they will be able to call home in the first couple of days because of the busy induction schedule. The first four or five days will then be spent undergoing training in various skills including camp craft, first aid, health and safety and cultural awareness. They will also receive in depth briefs on South Africa and the projects the groups will be undertaking. Following this, the volunteers will be allocated into their project teams before then deploying to their project sites. Office-based Volunteer Managers will immediately get stuck into their roles!

You should assume that no news is good news throughout the Expedition as volunteers will have very little or no access to the internet or phones for up to 19 days at a time. Should the need arise, teams can get in touch with Fieldbase (our office in Hoedspruit) by phone or radio at all times, supported by the UK team where necessary.

Safety is at the heart of everything we do at Raleigh. For more details, please visit our website’s section on Information for Parents.

If you do have any questions or queries, do not hesitate to get in touch.