Raleigh International is a youth development charity. Their main activity is sending volunteers aged 17-25 to developing countries on expeditions. Most expeditions last three months and have three phases. The community phase might involve building a school or a demonstration ventilation improved pit (VIP) latrine so the local people can then build more of their own. The environmental phase might include building tourist facilities in wildlife reserves or helping in a wildlife study. The adventure phase might be trekking up a mountain or through jungle, or it might be something like sea kayaking or scuba diving.

The majority of volunteers are 'fundraising venturers.' These people come from the UK and have to raise about three thousands pounds before they can go on expedition. There is also a large number of venturers who are recruited through youth at risk schemes and through Millennium award programmes. Large numbers of venturers also come from the host country and from a range of other countries.

Raleigh International started as Operation Drake in 1978 and was founded by HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Colonel John Blashford-Snell and ran youth projects circumnavigating the globe by ship, following in the footsteps of Sir Francis Drake. This was then followed up by the much bigger Operation Raleigh from 1984-1988.

Raleigh then became a permanent project and changed to land-based activities. It changed its name to Raleigh International in 1992 as it aimed to widen the diversity of its participants.

Raleigh International runs 11 expeditions a year to Belize, Chile, Costa Rica & Nicaragua, Ghana, Namibia and Sabah-Borneo

Raleigh International Trust is a registered UK Charity No. 1047653. Their website is http://www.raleighinternational.org

Source: Some information adapted from Raleigh International website raleighinternational.org. Accessed 6/08/02

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