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Raleigh International is a sustainable development charity.
They work in remote, rural areas to improve access to safe water and sanitation, build community resilience, to sustainably manage natural resources and to protect vulnerable environments.
Established in 1984 as Operation Raleigh, 40,000 young people have been part of a Raleigh expedition.
Raleigh International's work
Raleigh International operates in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Nepal and Tanzania, with permanent offices in these countries. Long-term partnerships have been established with local communities, NGOs and government departments, ensuring projects are needed and sustainable. Past countries have included Chile, Ghana, Namibia, Malaysia, Mongolia and Fiji.
All volunteers are trained and supported to work alongside communities living in poverty. They work in remote, rural areas to improve access to safe water and sanitation, build community resilience, to sustainably manage natural resources and to protect vulnerable environments. This is carried out in a number of ways, through raising awareness of health and hygiene, sustainable farming methods, as well as construction of early childhood development centres, community buildings, rocket stoves and other infrastructure.
Raleigh International runs expeditions in Costa Rica, Tanzania and Nepal for individuals aged 17–75, of any nationality or background. Volunteers (aged 17–24) work on community and environmental projects as well as undertaking a tough adventure challenge, and are supported by volunteer managers (aged 25–75). Expeditions are 5, 7 or 10 weeks for venturers and 8 or 13 weeks for volunteer managers.
International Citizen Service
Raleigh’s International Citizen Service (ICS) programme is funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development and led by VSO in partnership with other respected development organisations. The programme comprises two opportunities, ICS and ICS Entrepreneur. UK volunteers aged 18–25 spend 10–12 weeks in Nepal, Nicaragua or Tanzania working alongside local volunteers on community development projects.
Colonel John Blashford-Snell and Prince Charles launched Operation Drake in 1978, running youth projects from ships circumnavigating the globe, to develop self-confidence and leadership through adventure, scientific exploration and community service. In two years 414 young people took part in the round the world voyage, working on land-based projects in 16 countries.
Following the success of Operation Drake, the much more ambitious Operation Raleigh was established in 1984, and ran for five years until 1989. Two renovated ships - Sir Walter Raleigh and Zebu - carried 4,000 volunteers and almost 1,600 staff to take part in expeditions around the world.
The success of Operation Raleigh saw it continue on a permanent basis in 1988, with an emphasis on land-based expeditions. It became Raleigh International in 1992, reflecting the growing diversity of expedition volunteers. Today over 40,000 people have been part of a Raleigh programme, and Raleigh continues to work with young people alongside communities living in poverty across the world.
Notable Raleigh alumni include:
- The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton - Chile, 2001.
- The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William - Chile, 2000 
- Tim Peake, astronaut with European Space Agency - Alaska, 1991.
- Kate Silverton, BBC News presenter - Operation Raleigh, 1990.
- Ray Mears, TV Bushcraft Instructor - Operation Raleigh.
- Simon Chinn, double Academy award-winning film producer - Panama, 1988.
- Claire Bertschinger, Nurse and activist - Operation Drake, 1978.
- "Rallying Together: Summary of a research study of Raleigh's work with disadvantaged young people" (PDF). Institute for Public Policy Research. January 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Evaluation of the International Citizen Service" (PDF). Ecorys. December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Revealed... how Kate followed William on his Chile mission". Evening Standard. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Gap Year". The Duke of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Timothy Peake". European Space Agency. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- Smith, Andrew (17 February 2002). "Interview: Ray Mears, 'I will survive'". The Observer. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Nurse and Humanitarian Honoured by Robert Gordon University". Robert Gordon University. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2017.