Social Action Projects: Success all round!

11th November 2017

In spring 2017, five Host Country Venturers (HVCs) joined Expedition 17A as the first group of United States Embassy funded Sabahan Youth Development Programme volunteers.

Over an amazing ten weeks, they developed their leadership skills, as well as building a strong understanding of sustainable development. They’re now putting all this learning into practice by undertaking social action projects that aim to create positive change in their own communities. The venturers decided to split into two teams in order to support each other and make the most of their skills.

Their projects are now fully completed, and both have had their opening ceremonies. Here’s a final wrap-up of how both the teams got on.

Team 1: Eve, Efsie and Cheelcy
Project Focus: Zero Waste Recycling Centre

Eve, Efsie and Chleecy aimed to create a tyre recycling project in Kampung Papar, Tambunan. They wanted to work with the community to recycle old tyres into new handicraft products that they could then sell to create extra income for the village. They saw this as a good business opportunity for the village, including young aspiring entrepreneurs. They’ve now got their project up and running and have had great success so far.

This project improves the environment of the village by reducing pollution, and boosts community spirit between villagers of all ages as they work together towards a shared goal. It’ll benefit many community members, including young people, those who are unemployed and those wanting extra income. It will also benefit the wider community as the environment of the village is improved.

The team have overcome the challenge of getting the community involved and on board with the project in a variety of ways. The team have used posters and flyers to inform the village about the project, as well as involving their friends and family to encourage people to join in. Through this, community awareness was raised about the project’s benefits – which created a lot of support.

The opening ceremony of the project.

The team are now just about to start the handicraft lessons with an outside teacher, and hope to go on to sell their products through a sustainable seller. This will ensure that the project delivers, both in terms of sustainability and as an alternative income for members of the village. By mobilising a group of young people, combined with guidance from the head villagers, the team hope that this project will be sustainable in the long term and will continue to benefit the community.

Ivy, Raleigh Borneo’s National Volunteer Coordinator, has worked with the team since their Expedition. She says: “The project has been highly successful, and you can see the effort the young Sabahan team has put in. Their teamwork has been excellent, especially their communication – they’ve discussed exactly what they need to do, even when some of them have been away from the village. I hope their project continues to be a success as they go on to sell their handicrafts.”

Team 2: Arvin, Azmie, Apay and Chilichon
Project Focus: Community Sports Facilities

Arvin, Azmie and Apay aimed to improve sports facilities in their village by constructing a new volleyball court in Kampung Tinutan, Ranau. As well as promoting healthy lifestyles through exercise, they also aimed to strengthen village communication and overcome religious divides through shared sports activities. The volleyball court is now open, so they’re looking forward to getting some matches organised.

They really enjoyed the challenge of their project, especially when it came to teamwork. Arvin says, “Being able to work with the whole village towards our goal was really good. The successful teamwork was the best part of the project.” Apay agrees: “I liked working together with everyone, especially when the end result will benefit the whole village.”

Raleigh Borneo Alumni Arvin and Apay.

During their social action the team also continued to build their leadership skills. They brought the youth of the village together to work on the project, and discussed their plans with the JKKK to decide on the best location for the volleyball court and ensured that everyone had their voice heard. This made sure it was in a central position which would be the most beneficial for the whole village,. Through enabling conversation throughout the community, the team built their communication skills and also proved that their project was helping to bring the whole village together.

Arvin sums up the success of the project: “The volleyball court will be good for the village to build bridges. We’ll organise matches and we hope sport will help to improve communication between everyone.”

The volleyball court has a central location within the village.


Words by Emily

Photos by Emily and Ivy

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