Volunteering in the Rainforest - Borneo
This is a trip orientated toward the achievement of a specific International Development project. It therefore seeks to recruit a group of motivated people who will carry out fundraising up to the project capital cost and then to travel to the project location to implement stages in the realisation of the project.
We welcome interest from individuals and groups to make up the project team. There is a specific project cost that that the team will need to raise by a certain cutoff date for the project to be practically viable.
This is an International Development project primarily aimed at compatting the effects of deforestation in the rainforests of Borneo. Moving Mountains Borneo has established a tree planting programme and also an initiative of cataloging the indiginous plants and their properties. This will involve further developing relationships with the local Penan people and recording their knowledge of the flora and fauna. Groups will also assist with the tree planting programme by acting as volunteer staff in the nurseries.
As this is a large project it will be broken into a series of project stages to make it more manageable for each group in terms of fundraising and time spent in the country.
Dates and Itinerary
The project is likely to involve a two week working stay in the village. However the fundraising and preparation work will take place over an extended period of 6 months or more leading up to the in-country phase.
As this is a large project it will be broken into a series of project stages to make it more manageable for each group in terms of fundraising and time spent in the country. Initially there will be 3 different group blocks but of course an organisation may choose to take on more than one project block and make the project an ongoing interest. We actively encourage this as it fits in with our overall organisational ethic of sustained, long-term strategic objectives. It also helps to build up a very rewarding relationship between the group members, organisation and local community.
Volunteering in the Rainforest cost: £1,195.00
- Personal in-country trip cost
- Internal air fare
- Group project fundraising target; estimated total £10,000 split between 3 project phase groups - £3,340 per group
- International air-fare
You do not need to be super-fit for this trip as it is focussed more on social interaction and team work than physical exertion. Having said that, you will enjoy the trip all the more if you are in good physical shape having exercised regularly and eaten nutritiously over at least the 6 months leading up to the trip.
You do need to be in good health as we will spend some time in locations that are many hours from professional medical care. Any pre-existing medical or dental conditions should be fully appraised by a doctor and their nature fully disclosed to your insurer and to ourselves.
For this trip you don't need to be experienced in foreign travel or experienced in building techniques or working with children or in schools. The programme is designed so that you are the one getting the experience, while at the same time allowing you to interact with our professional staff who can show you their job. We are not expecting you to be experts in any specific or even related fields, but we will expect you to come back with a great deal of knowledge at the end of it.
The most important characteristics you need are openness, willingness to learn and take part, enthusiasm, initiative and a sense of curiosity. Your experience simply as a person from another culture will give you an enormous amount to share with local people who perhaps have less opportunities than you. The trip is very emotional, and you will meet people whose lives seem almost impossible to live, but your interaction with them will help in ways you can't measure.
Without doubt you will witness the strong links between Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and the communities that you are placed in. As such, you will be an ambassador for both Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and there will be many young people looking up to you as a role model. You need to appreciate what responsibility you are taking on in this respect and to conduct yourself in an appropriate way. Don't be afraid of this, it's simply something to be aware of. Most cultures in developing countries are naturally conservative and traditional, but they are also fun-loving and naturally demonstrative and curious, so you might be surprised by just how much they fit in with our culture.
Also, don't forget that they will be a role model to you, this is not a one way process where you get to do all the giving! Actually, you may be surprised to find that the person benefitting the most is you. The staff who work for MM and AA are all inspirational and motivated people, highly educated and passionate, and many of them came from very difficult backgrounds. Their life story will amaze you, and their natural positive attitude to life will mean that they will almost certainly become a role model to you as well.
The Promise to Moving Mountains
Moving Mountains started as a small charity in 1991 when Gavin Bate was teaching in the slums of Kenya. Some of the children he taught are now adults and working for the charity and the company. Along the way Gavin has put into action a set of beliefs in how a charity should best be run. This is nothing to do with helping a single poverty stricken child, but a way of running a community which can break free of poverty and not become reliant on others for handouts. It defines the way money is spent, how it is distributed, and how it fits in with the wider needs. It doesn’t focus on the child, but on how the child is brought up in the family and the community. It’s taken nearly twenty years of experience to get to the point where Moving Mountains is now a big charity which has such a successful ‘business model’ that the communities themselves love it.
We want you to be a part of it, but we ask that you respect our system. We have rules, which include not giving ‘things’ to children and not making private arrangements for personal sponsorships or gifts or money. We have seen this happen before, and it has never worked. The local communities respect a system that doesn’t just hand it out, but gives them a chance to become owners of something successful and long-term, like any self-respecting person. It’s easy to fall into the trap of responding to an emotional response and just handing over money, but that isn’t aid and it doesn’t actually help. What helps is clever expenditure of money, a strategy to spend it properly, and the realisation that money is hard to come by in any society.
Your trip is enough to make a difference. It’s part of something successful and inspiring, and it’s part of a vision that somebody had a long time ago. Your promise to us is to let that vision continue.
- Rucksack or duffle of no more than 20kgs as luggage, 65-90litres.
- Small day pack, approx 40 litres
- Sun glasses with good UV protection
- Sleeping liner - keeps your bag clean and you can sleep in it if the night is too warm.
- Sleeping bag - a synthetic 3 season bag is fine
- Water proof jacket, but also take an umbrella for showers
- Wash kit and Travel towel
- Good walking shoes or boots
- flip flops
- Walking poles (optional)
- Camera - plus charger unit
- Mobile phone - an old model which is unlocked
- Head torch - LED are best
- Money belt - to conceal your money
- Medical pack / first aid kit
- Any contact lens solutions
- Sun cream - with a high UVA protection
- Water bottles 2x1 litre
- Water purification tablets
- Insect repellent
- Small padlocks with security code
- A good guide book
- Local language phrasebook
- Notebook, stationery, pens
Additional Kit Info
Females will have to dress conservatively in public and especially in schools and the childrens homes. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and maybe cause offence if revealing clothing is worn.
Also don't forget:
Your passport - valid for at least six months beyond the return date.
Insurance - comprehensive travel and medical insurance cover.
Immunisation booklet - with details of all the jabs you've had.
Passport photos - take about six of these to be used as identification
List of emergency telephone numbers - to cancel/call insurers, credit/debit cards
Tickets and itinerary - remember to leave copies of these with friends or family
Money - a mixture of some cash, travellers' cheques and credit cards.
List of useful contact numbers - such as British Embassy/Consulate, insurance company and credit card 24 hour emergency telephone number.
- We are driven by good intentions and not just good practise; our trips work with professional bodies that work full time in the field of international development.
- We do not contract out our trips, we employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits.
- We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company has promoted sustainable development since 1995, and it is still growing!
- We work with Moving Mountains which is tightly linked with the company, and provides relevant long term programmes and projects that benefit the host communities.
- Financial security guaranteed as we are AITO bonded.
- We are members of Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
- Our staff only work for Adventure Alternative.
- We use low cost sustainable technologies and a business model which incentivises a local NGO.
- We have independent research to evaluate and assess the projects we run.
- We deliver value and an informed choice to our clients, through a highly comprehensive communications network that you can access, and we can provide that evidence to stand behind everything we say.
- We have credibility because our projects are not all self-regulated, but assessed in a collaborative process that involves many stakeholders such as the community leaders, the NGO staff and the regulatory bodies in-country.
- We have progressive ideas about the structural determinants of poverty and the implementation of 'clever aid' to create sustainable benefits.
- We don't take people's jobs, we use these trips to invest in people.
- We fulfil the criteria of Fair Trade Volunteering.
- Our projects and programmes determine the trip, not the other way around.
- We believe in what we do, and we have the experience to carry it out.