Raleigh International

We connect communities that want to improve their lives and their environment with passionate people from around the world who want to take positive action.

With our local and international volunteers, project partners, local communities, funders, and 40,000 previous volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.

Find the courage. Open to discovery. Never give up. Act with integrity. Create impact together. What do these all have in common? These are not just values on a website. They are values lived and breathed by our volunteers, project partners, community members and supporters. They define our unique way of working and help us to create a global community working to build a sustainable future.

If you share these values, then why not get involved by volunteering with us. We’ve got two different programmes and a variety of roles. To ensure safe and impactful delivery of our programmes we also need volunteer managers and leaders to lead and support our programmes. We have a variety of roles available depending on your age and experience.

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Raleigh International Reviews

An incredible opportunity to build confidence and gain life skills!!!

I went on a 10 week expedition to Costa Rica and Nicaragua with Raleigh International in February 2014 and the experience undoubtedly made me the person I am now!

Prior to going on expedition I was quite shy and lacked confidence, I had gone through school with only a small group of friends feeling like I didn't quite fit in- I was in no way ready to start university so I decided to take a gap year and volunteer with Raleigh International. An expedition with Raleigh will push you out of your comfort zone and give you the chance to experience cultures and customs that you are unlikely to experience in any capacity as a tourist.
I had the chance to do some conservation work in a national park in the north of Costa Rica before travelling to one of the poorest parts of Nicaragua to build a gravity water fed system for a local community. I finished my expedition with a 350km trek through all kinds of landscapes in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. Every phase of my expedition taught me vital life skills such as team work, communication skills, problem solving and resilience to name just a few! I returned from expedition a far more well rounded and confident person!
3 years after my expedition I look back on my Raleigh expedition as one of the best experiences of my life and I know I will do so for years to come! I am now an alumni speaker at information events for the charity and my academic tutor at university has told me that my Raleigh International experience makes my CV stand out head and shoulders above that of my peers as Raleigh is viewed very highly by employers.

If you are considering applying to do a Raleigh expedition don't hesitate any further- APPLY NOW!!! You will absolutely not regret it!

(On a side note they also do expeditions to Nepal, Tanzania and Malaysian Borneo)

By: Sophie Rhodes
Nationality: British
Age: 22

'Life-changing' is not a exaggeration for this experience

First off I want to explain that Raleigh is not voluntourism. It's volunteering abroad in rural areas where you will live like a local, and that can sometimes be tough, but mostly be humbling and eye opening. I did two expeditions, Nepal and Borneo as the Expedition Photographer and Volunteer Manager role.
I would recommend Raleigh to anyone who wants to genuinely make a difference whilst also developing as a human being. It has its challenges but you overcome them with like-minded wonderful people who you will be friends with for life.
Don't second guess yourself if you're debating on doing it. Sign up, enjoy fundraising for it and go have an experience you'll cherish for the rest of your life.

By: Saoirse C
Nationality: Irish
Age: 27

precious experience,new skills and life changing

i went for 10 week and can say that wasthe most fun and challenging 10 weeksfor me.i've had done so much for past 10 week,i start with the trekking known as the leadership adventure,during this phase we travelled around the crocker range for 17 days..during this time you will learn how to be a leader of your team,in term of leadership this will really help you because you need organise everything for team including time management,job allocation for each member.And one thing this phase is pretty challenging because you need to deal with leeches,river-crossing,insects and the hot weather as well,but its will give the most precious experience of your life.
Other than that i also worked in environmental project in merisuli lahad datu,where we help them to plant a new trees,build a eco-toilet, from this project you will learn about the importance of nature for the human being,from this phase i think that i had learn alot of facts about nature that had change my perspective about nature.
On my last phase,i worked on community project we help to build a clean water dam and toilets in one of rural village in sabah,maybe some of may not know that there still a place in sabah that doesn't have clean water source,so we are trying to help them through the this project,during this project we live in the village fr about 2 and a half week..during my stay i learn alot about their cultures and what they're doing for income.at the end of this project,its bit hard for me to leave this village because it feel like'this is my home',but after all it feel nice because i had contribute something to them that can make their live better..so for your guys out there,what you waiting for..sign up now and get the most precious experience of your life..

By: willjonson J
Nationality: malaysian
Age: 22

A wonderful and uplifting experience!

Being a Project Manager in Borneo for Raleigh International was a beautiful, fulfilling experience. I was responsible for the care and well being of 12 young adults, all of whom I still keep in contact with today! I am a graduate in Environmental Biology, and was really looking forward to share my knowledge and field experience with my venturers. These kids were from all around the world, sharing their different stories and backgrounds and cultures, so it was a learning experience for everyone!

I was so excited to embark on this journey, not only in order to add experience in my field, but also to live out of my comfort zone for two months. Trekking and camping in the jungle for a week straight, living off nature and the few things you bring in your backpack is such a rewarding experience. You learn a lot about patience, empathy, leadership, and discover new things about yourself that you can bring to a thriving team.

I was fortunate to have worked on a project in partnership with the Asian Forestry Company Sabah (AFCS) in Coupe 1 in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia, an area composed of 70% sustainably logged forest and 30% conservation. We were working to conserve biodiverse areas and further scientific research into the benefits of biodiversity, conducting bird, mammal and amphibian surveys to monitor the level of
biodiversity currently present, and created and maintained the infrastructure of Coupe 1 in order to create better accessibility to visitors, stockholders, and potential supporters. We were lucky to have witnessed the return of a few species of animals after the intense logging back in the 70s, which is a clear indication that all of the effort and work put into these projects portray an amazing outcome!

All in all, if you are looking to do something new and exciting, get your hands dirty, meet new people and make lifelong friends, give back to mother nature, lend a helping hand, build your knowledge base, attain experience in your field, travel, gain some leadership skills, learn about who you are, and find peace, then Raleigh International is non-profit for you!

By: Samantha Dimitraki
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 27

An unforgettable experience

Voluteering for 7 weeks in Borneo with Raleigh was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Prior to voluteering with Raleigh I'd never really travelled much, let alone been completely immersed into a different culture. So during my gap year I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and to really make a difference in the world. Raleigh offers all this and more; the range of phases (community and environmental) give you a chance to make an impact in your host country while developping your skills. I helped to repair a kindergarten - which gave me a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the impact a Raleigh project makes upon a community and to ensure that that impact continued on. I then trekked through the jungle, a challenge that pushed me to the limited and showed me that I can do anything I put my mind to. That's what Raleigh is all about, pushing you past your preconceived limits. Going on expedition with Raleigh will never be a mistake. Do it.

By: Lottie Middledith
Nationality: British
Age: 23

"The experience of my life"

At the end of the volunteering, one of the leaders told us "when they ask you at home, how it was, I assure to you that you will not have words to describe it", at that moment they seemed to me like simply words in the air; but today I can say that he was completely right.
Being a Raleigh volunteer is not just volunteering and helping, is learning to find yourself, to be a better person, to value everything you have at home and to realize that you can be happy living with a few things, there you will find people; who are from a different culture from yours, but you will love them as a family and this family will support you in good and bad moments. When you miss home, they will try to get you a smile, regardless of the language barrier, and when everyone is back in their country, you will miss the simple gesture of daily embrace.
My cycle was ICS 17T Nicaragua, the project was water and sanitation; so we focused on the construction of compost latrines, water filters and community training on the aforementioned and of course the hygiene itself, my community was called David Tejada and was located in Paiwas, in the department of Matagalpa; I found a second home there; I don’t know if it was because Spanish is my first language or the fact that our cultures are so similar respect the family; but without exaggeration I felt at home. Like everything in this life, we had our ups and downs; many times we didn’t know what to do for the community to attend our meetings, but at the end everything went well and just seeing the children's smiles we were satisfied.
Anyway, as the title says it was "the experience of my life", and without a doubt I would do it again.

By: Paula Seas
Nationality: Costa Rican
Age: 18

Do it!!!

I spent 10 weeks in Nicaragua during the summer of 2016 and i don't regret one second of my experience.

At the beginning, i was a nervous wreck as i hadn't ever left the country on my own but i was so excited to get to work and make a difference out there. Although i didn't get the type of practical skills i expected (i.e build latrines), we did so many other alternative things alongside our wonderful community members such as building a plant nursery and helping 2 locals create a business building/selling latrines etc.

I came to Nicaragua with just myself and left with a new family, a new group of friends from all over (Nicaragua/Costa Rica/UK/Lithuania/Croatia), a new sense of confidence in my abilities and a bigger thirst for travel. If you're delibating about going, stop and just apply!

By: Najma Salan Hassan
Nationality: British
Age: 22

Once in a life time

I did ICS program with Raleigh International Nepal more than a year ago in June 2016. Through out the placement period of three months I learned a lot about my self. I had a great experience working in a community with volunteers from Nepal and UK. I won't say I had a smooth ride during the placement period there were different challenges in different situations which helped me learn and overcome any challenges. If I had not done this program I would not have been a person I am today. I feel confident and able to take on any challenges that lies ahead of me. I would really encourage the youth to take part in this program as you can learn and gain so much life skills through out the period. I really value the experience that I had with Raleigh I won't say everyone will have the same experience but I would like to see people taking up these challenges and explore different possibility.

By: Samir Baidya
Nationality: Nepali
Age: 27

Raleigh is for everybody, everyone’s skills can contribute to the projects success.

In 2016 January I was accepted on a ICS (International Citizen Service) programme with Raleigh International. My 10 week project was based in Nicaragua, Central America but there is many other places that you can choose to go to like Tanzania and Nepal. Visit Raleigh International to find more information about these destinations and their work.

There is several reasons I have chosen Raleigh for my ICS; one of them is the wellbeing of volunteers and the locals, everything they do they ensure everyone who is involved is safe. Another most important reason for myself was that you could clearly see and have access to resources/ information on work that they have done. There is continues blogs that are posted on Raleigh's website that are written by volunteers, who are on current programmes. It's real life work that is shared with everyone openly.

My experience with Raleigh was amazing and tough at the same time. I loved how Raleigh works in partnership with community, local partners and volunteers to meet the goals of the project. You get the support of the local partners who really understand the communities and have the local knowledge; you work collaboratively with the community members to create inclusive environment in the development of the project. This is vital in international development for the locals to understand the change so they could adapt it and for it to be successful long term, after project closure.

We had to deliver training sessions on hygiene and sanitation; we organised several actions days like movie night in rural community, which was very special considering there is one or two TV's in the whole community. We supported the locals in building their business skills, so it would decrease their dependency on agriculture. You also get to be a team leader, which was something scary for me,as I have never done it but you get lots of support and it's a great opportunity to write weekly plans, get some advice from managers and deliver the plan to your team.

Raleigh was full on working 5-6 or even 7 days a week with limited resources, lack of language knowledge and access to internet, at times it was difficult but I would go back and do it again. Raleigh has increased my confidence, I'm more open about my opinion and can say it out loudly, which has been noticed by many people around me. Before I would never consider going on a trip solo but with Raleigh experience, I realised I can do anything I want to, so this year I went on my solo trip to a Turkey and it's very busy capital Istanbul.

I would recommend Raleigh to everyone as everyone’s skills can contribute to the projects success.

You can find more information about my Raleigh journey on my blog, which was written as part of my action at home project:
https://rimantezagreckaite.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/nicaragua-raleigh-international/

If you need some advice or information please feel free to contact me. :)

By: Rimante Zagreckaite
Nationality: Lithuanian/British
Age: 22

Costa Rica & Nicaragua - An experience of a lifetime!

Going to Nica Ragua & Costa Rica with Raleigh International was by far one of the best experiences ever!

I got to meet people from around the world - locals and also fellow volunteers from China, Russia, Bermuda, Europe and more.

Through Raleigh I got to live with locals and build a community centre in a small village in Nicaragua which provided a communal place for people to meet.

In Costa Rica I also spend over 2 weeks literally living in the jungle, sleeping in basher beds and working with park rangers and my group to prepare and convert the natural reserve in a national park.

Finally I also trekked from coast to coast, crossing rivers, experiencing the greatest sunsets, breath-taking turquoise waterfalls and natural hot springs. And after 2 weeks of trekking where we made our own food and relied on mother nature for shelter, we were rewarded with a beautiful beach.

If you get the chance to take part in a Raleigh expedition, just go. You won't regret it!

By: Cee @mynativeplane
Nationality: British
Age: 25

A unique experience that offers career developing opportunities

I spent 10 weeks in rural Nepal in the autumn of 2017 with Raleigh International on their ICS programe. The programe was great as it’s government funded, so is open to everyone from all backgrounds who may not be able to require the funds for the pricier expedition programe. One of the requirements for the programe was to fundraiser £800, money which is spent in country on your project. I thoroughly enjoyed the fundraising, it was both fun and allowed me to gain really relevent work experience for future charity employment.
Whilst on project, I experienced a range of different emotions towards Raleigh, ranging from frustration to great fullness. On project, you are partnered up with in country volunteers, and I often felt that sometimes the programe was more catered to the UK volunteers than it was for our in country counterparts, meaning that all information packs were in English as well as the paperwork and reporting.
One this ICS offers over Expedition though is being able to live in a host home for such a long period of time, because of this I really bonded with my host family, something I will never forget.
On project, we rehabilitated a water system (lots of digging) as well as carrying out awareness raising sessions on general hygeine and menstruation. I wasn’t expecting to be doing so much manual labour, so get fit before you go! The awareness raising side of the programe was my favourite part though and I feel like I not only made a massive difference in community, but I gained more worldly knowledge myself that I hope to apply in a future career.

By: Lydia Stephens
Nationality: Welsh
Age: 21

Outstanding

When I did raleigh I had nothing i was homeless, did nothing but a politician saw somethinf within me and offered a bursary for my trip. I can say hand on heart I Would not be the person I am today without Raleigh. Thank you.

By: Ross Craig Gibson
Nationality: scottish
Age: 21

A truly remarkable and life-changing experience.

If you read nothing more of this review than this; the experience is totally amazing, totally worth it, totally life changing and definatly makes a difference to the place in which you'll be living and working.

Raleigh operates in Nepal, Costa Rica, Borneo and Tanzania on seven and ten week expeditions. There is also an ICS expedition to the same destinations.

I did a seven week expedition in Nepal over October / November 2017 with Raleigh International. While on expedition there are three phases for Nepal; Trek one phase and Community two phases. In other countries (Borneo and I believe Costa Rica) there is also an environmental phase in place of one of the community phases. Seven week expeditions in Nepal consist of one community and one trek phase, Ten week expeditions consist of two community and one trek.

Community was, for me, the most rewarding and enjoyable phase of the two. On it, volunteers will spend 3 weeks living in a fairly isolated rural community, staying in a village house with other volunteers. During the 3 weeks there, we organised and executed several community focused activities and events with a focus on sanitation and hygiene which are main focuses of Raleigh. As well as this; we also constructed a 15,000 L tank to collect village water from a local spring, 8 Home toilets and 40 hand-washing stations. As well as this sense of purpose in our work, I also felt that we were integrating ourselves and the project with the local people in a truly wonderful way and the response from them was amazing.

Second to that, the Trek phase allowed us to see the beautiful and natural side of Nepal while also knowing that we were doing so in a responsible manner.

Raleigh International is an exceptional INGO operating both effective and worthwhile projects. You will thoroughly enjoy it, and find it an amazing experience. If you're thinking about volunteering overseas, I would thoroughly recommend Raleigh International.

By: Andrew Waddle
Nationality: British
Age: 18

Amazing experience!

I went on the 10-week Expedition in Costa Rica & Nicaragua as a Project Manager and it was the best decision of my life.

During the 2-week induction training we were told that we will experience the "highest highs and lowest lows" during expedition and, boy, were they right!
But the wonderful thing about that is that you learn so much about yourself and how to deal with difficult situations. I feel like I came out of this experience a stronger and more self-aware person.

I was responsible for up to 14 "Venturers" (Volunteers between 17-23 years) and my projects were the 260-km Trek through Nicaragua and Natural Resource Management in Costa Rica.
The landscapes you get to see are breath-taking and getting to know the locals in the communities is very humbling.

If you want to get to know Central America from a different side and have an impact on the lives of young people, go for it!!

By: Joanna A
Nationality: German
Age: 25

Life-changing experience!!

I cannot believe that it has been over a year since I was in Tanzania. My expedition with Raleigh International was one of the best choices I ever made!!

I spent 12 weeks in a beautiful country working on a community development project while learning about the Tanzanian culture, learning Swahili and making lifelong friends. This is so cheesy, but I really did learn a lot about myself and my expedition really strengthened my passion for working in the international development sector.

After my time in Tanzania I worked for an international development organisation and now in a couple of months I am actually off another expedition with Raleigh but this time in Nepal and I am so excited!!

I would recommend Raleigh to anyone and everyone. Whatever your passion is, a Raleigh expedition allows you to see places you might never have the opportunity to see, meet people you might never have the opportunity to meet and work on projects that have a long-lasting impact on both the communities that you work in as well as the volunteers themselves.

By: Saraniya
Nationality: British
Age: 24

Life changing adventure in Tanzania

I volunteered Autumn 2017 as a communications officer in Tanzania and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Personal development is at the heart of it, integrating with rural communities and learning from one another while working together towards positive change. It is challenging and that is what makes it great; I found myself in new, extreme environments which helped me learn more about what I was capable of doing. There was adventure at every turn, and a synchronisation with the powerful simplicity of rural outdoor living, which had a positive impact on my physical and mental disposition.

The friends I made through Raleigh are another highlight - their dedication to the work was inspiring as well as their determination to create a positive change to the lives of others.

If you want to challenge and develop yourself while immersing in another culture, in a different part of the world, working with inspiring like minded people then look no further and embrace a Raleigh adventure - it lasts a lifetime.

By: Miguel
Nationality: Portuguese
Age: 27

Amazing, Invaluable and Life Changing in Tanzania

I usually wouldn't write reviews for anything but Raleigh are amazing so I will.
I went with Raleigh to Tanzania (with ICS) where I undertook a 12 week volunteering programme in a team of both UK and Tanzanian national volunteers. We undertook a WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sustainable development project in a small village called Mgudeni in the Kilombero Valley, about 5 hours away from Raleigh Tanzania's base in Morogoro District. My time with Raleigh and doing the project was of course challenging but doing ICS with Raleigh was the best decision I've ever made (no exaggeration). The organisation itself has fantastic values, ethics and focus that I fully align myself with and I'm incredibly proud that I have worked for them.
The Raleigh team (primarily our in-country team) were so supportive, dedicated and passionate and I think that was key to making our time out there worthwhile, productive and making the whole experience amazing. They made sure we were safe and happy and you could really feel a collective passion and will to make our projects meaningful and sustainable. I would personally like to give special attention to Owen Doel who was our Country Operations Manager (alongside national Deputy Operations Manager Tino Dickson and UK Deputy Alfie Batt) who was so committed and caring for the whole of WASH Raleigh Tanzania. They made sure we weren't doing some whimsical voluntourism trip and we worked SO hard but it was great.
In terms of personal development, you of course learn a lot about yourself and there is a great deal of self-reflection that happens, either whilst you're there or when you return. It is challenging but you develop fantastic bonds with the team around you who become your family and for my experience, where I lived with a host family for the three months, I have made a connection to Tanzania that I will continue to nurture and maintain. My host family were amazing and I wept like a baby when I left them (and also when I got on the plane home). I now have friends and family in the UK and Tanzania and we are united by this common experience.
Since coming home, so many people have developed their interests in international development, sustainable development and community work and every single person I know is working hard to contribute to the world around them. This was encouraged and cultivated by Raleigh. I can't thank Raleigh International enough for giving me some of my best memories and this experience, all the staff and all the volunteers.
I have always been sceptical about volunteering in developing countries but I really felt I made a difference and I felt like that was ensured by the organisation throughout and the in-country team especially.
If you're looking to challenge yourself, learn about yourself and the world around you and make lasting connections...Raleigh International is the one. You will 1000% not regret it.
Asante Sana & Kwaheri!!! (thank you very much & goodbye in Swahili!)

By: Jazz
Nationality: British
Age: 22

Raleigh Tanzania

My main motivation for coming was to contribute to a local community to help to improve the lives of people who have been less fortunate than I have. At home, there’s always a doctor, electricity, running, clean water that’s safe to drink and food on the table. Here, people don’t always have that. I had a very brief experience of this when I was in Uganda.

By: Alex Madge
Nationality: British
Age: 21

Raleigh International- Nicaragua

I completed the 7 week Nicaragua and Costa Rica expedition and loved every second of it. Unfortunately I didn’t do the environment phase but community and trek were both incredible and I’d highly recommend doing those 2 if you choose to do 7 weeks.

Admittedly I was very nervous about the whole experience before getting out there. It was nothing like anything I had experienced before but it truely is a must to do.

Best 7 weeks of my life and wish I’d stayed out to travel with the amazing people I met.

By: Brodie
Nationality: British
Age: 19

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