Expedition volunteer

Daniel Razlan was a Host Country Venturer in Borneo, Spring 2013.
Being able to help communities and the people in his own country in any way possible was very appealing to him.

Daniel is a medical student and is currently on a 9 month break before he continues clinical school in the UK in September.

“I decided a Raleigh Expedition would be the perfect opportunity for me to build on my own personal character as I will be dealing with different patients and I need to learn to be able to see things from their perspective.

As part of our community project we built a kindergarten in the beautiful village of Bonor Sook. The village was previously teaching children in a small church hall which was not suitable as a permanent base and not big enough. The new building will enable pre-school and school children to receive an education and also double-up as an adult learning centre.

We did the foundations of the whole building and completed this at the end of 3 weeks. We stayed in the community hall they offered to us, it was so spacious and cosy even though we slept on the floor. For the whole 3 weeks the team were in high spirits and doing very well. The community were amazing and made us feel part of the village, we had very good relationships with them.

My most challenging moment was on one of the days on phase 2 at Imbak Canyon where we were required to construct a second suspension bridge in the area, increasing access to the region ensuring that important scientific research could take place. It also means that illegal activities such as logging and hunting can be better controlled. Raleigh International has been working with partners on Imbak Canyon Conservation Area for years, helping it to achieve Class 1 protection which prevents logging and deforestation from occurring.

We were working hard and solving problems on the winch and the pulley on the winch broke. This was within our first week of our time at Imbak Canyon so knowing the fact that we couldn’t fix it and couldn’t do any work at all on the suspension bridge as planned and it brought down the group morale.

We instantly got into communication with the rangers at Imbak Canyon and asked them if there was another project in the conservation area we could work on. They gave us work and the team took charge and we worked and completed the tasks given to us really quickly and with full focus. We repainted the suspension bridge that was already there, repaired the observation deck and did some trail maintenance. The group’s morale really increased after we realised that we were in such an amazing place with such natural beauty and we realised we should enjoy ourselves while we could.

One of my best moments on Expedition was trekking into the village of Long Pasia after 12 days of trek. The feeling of coming out and looking back at where we came from was amazing, thinking of what we achieved and the distance we trekked was really incredible.
I have learnt a lot about myself on the Raleigh programme. I have become a lot more confident and a better leader. I realised that I am stronger, both mentally and physically, than I thought I was before I got here. We’ve met people from all over the world from different backgrounds, we’ve learnt about where they’re from and working with people from other cultures.

I raised funds for my Expedition by selling brownies to friends and family for about 2 months and the word spread, so many people were contributing to my funds. My highlight would be telling everyone what I’d be doing and them feeling proud of me.

Raleigh has been an amazing experience. The whole experience, making a difference to the community, the challenges, the scenery, it was spectacular. I have learnt a lot about myself on Raleigh and grown in character in the last 10 weeks, it has been a brilliant experience.”

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