Throughout the week the community and Raleigh team were busy preparing for the event, from writing speeches and creating decorations to cooking an array of delicious local food for the guests. Alongside staff from the raleigh fieldbase office there were a number of special attendees including project representatives from Coca-Cola, PACOS and local a politician. The community were all looking forward to the day ahead, welcoming the guests into their village and celebrating the work that has been completed. For project manager Cheryl, who has been based in the community for all 3 phases of her Raleigh expedition, it was an exciting and emotional day.
“Today everybody is excited about the opening ceremony celebrations, it feels like a present that after all the hard work we can now have fun! The work that has been done has gone faster than I thought and the project has come an end just as I start to feel at home. It has been an absolute pleasure to work in this beautiful community for the past 10 weeks” Cheryl PM
The day started with a traditional Malay dance performed by our volunteer managers and venturers, complete with traditional dress. They had spent the week learning the dance from women in the community who had been eager to teach them and share part of their culture.
After the dance the speeches began starting with Raymond, the local project manager who lives in the village with his family. He thanked everyone for their hard work in the completion of the project. This was followed by speeches from Coca-Cola representatives, PACOS project partners a local member of parliament and finally Raleigh Venturers and Borneo’s Country Director Sue.
It was then time to cut the ribbon, marking the official opening of the tap outside the central community hall and the successful running of the gravity fed water system to the village, an exciting moment for everyone as it means many members of the community will now have improved access to safe water. The community had decorated the tap beautifully
“There was a lot of preparation for today with all of the villages involved, I have really enjoyed the dances, speeches and the energy of all the groups here. Working with Raleigh has shown us the importance of teamwork and planning, it has opened up the minds of the villages, having the international venturers in our village has allowed members of the community to learn and improve on their English.” Raymond local project manager and member of the community