Youth of today, leaders of tomorrow

13th July 2018

The future of the world is in the hands of the generations who will one day be in charge. Raleigh believe young people are ready to take ownership of what is happening in the world. We believe that, as a generation, young people are full of creativity, innovation and determination and, given the chance, they can be the leaders at the heart of global change. We believe that by investing in this generation and equipping them with the skills and experience that they may need means investing in the future of the world.

The volunteer journey

Every volunteer began their journey of self-discovery and self-development the moment they signed up to a Raleigh expedition. By signing up and getting on the plane they made the first steps to becoming an active global citizen. They have actively chosen to take an interest in the global issues they were concerned about and are trying to contribute towards changing them.

The volunteers on our expeditions prove, again and again, that they hold the ability to be powerful catalysts of change. Throughout the past week of training, they have all engaged in sessions, actively participated in discussions and were locked in debates with one another, passionately expressing their opinions. Returning Volunteer Manager and Expedition Medic Jen explains, “The volunteers have such a voice that I did not realise they had. They are well informed and well connected. They keep themselves abreast of world situations. It is really interesting to listen to what they have to say.”

The journey begins: What does the training week entail?

The first week of expedition is dedicated to inducting and training our new volunteers through a well-considered and intensive programme. The training is designed to equip volunteers with the practical skills they may need for expedition including first aid, jungle survival and incident management. They begin to be exposed to experiences which are designed to develop skills including problem solving, independent thinking and team building.

A significant element of the training involves an overnight trek into the jungle. Prior to setting out on the trek, volunteers are tasked with choosing a Day Leader amongst them who will organise and lead the team, a role which will become a daily part of the Raleigh experience on expedition. They decide as a group which rations to take, who carries which group kit and what order to complete tasks in when they arrive in camp.

This experience is often denoted as one of the most valuable in the training programme for volunteers. Before they enter the jungle, we equip the volunteers with the knowledge and skills they will need. They begin to learn to be proactive members of the group, each needing to support one another on the trek and with tasks in camp. They begin to rely on one another as opposed to relying on the Volunteer Managers to provide direction and answers.

As with all of our training, Volunteer Managers and trek guides step back as much as possible to allow for experimental learning.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein.

At Raleigh, we believe the best way to learn is from experiences created in a hands-on learning environment. Our expeditions aim to provide a safe environment where it is possible for young people to push themselves out of their comfort zones, and be free to make the occasional mistake without judgement.

The journey continues: Expedition and beyond

The whole expedition reverberates the core beliefs of Raleigh to instil positive attitudes in our young leaders of the future. We aim to inspire and empower young people to create lasting change on the programme and throughout their lives.

We engage with young people as partners and equals. We work alongside them to develop and equip them with skills and experiences, and then support them in developing their leadership styles. By the end of expedition, the aim is for them to be confident and ready to plan for the future and create a positive impact locally and globally.

The world needs these curious and courageous people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and believe in the possibility of change. It are these courageous volunteers who, by volunteering, demonstrate they are motivated to act and create change which Raleigh aims to nurture.


“I am stronger. I didn’t have confidence in myself back home. I didn’t really believe in myself but now I believe in myself and I am up for taking on more challenges when I get home.” – Host Country Volunteer, Zakirah.

“The Volunteer Manager’s had really good leadership styles. They let us figure everything out for ourselves. In day to day life you are usually told what you can and cannot do. But this experience meant we all felt so much more accomplished when we finished because it was all on us.” – Volunteer, Cyrus

“Coming on Raleigh is putting yourself up for the challenge. It hasn’t all been easy, but it’s overcoming those challenges which makes you grow as a person. I didn’t want to leave.” – Host Country Volunteer, Shriya.

Words by Communications Officer Rebecca Raab.

Photographs by Photographer Daniel Buttifant.

Contact any of our volunteers by completing the linked contact form. We will pass your messages and words of encouragement on to the volunteers during our project loops.

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