Saturday, 18 December 2010

The community projects are complete, and so is Expedition 10J!

After 10 weeks of very hard work, 10 diverse projects have been concluded and Expedition 10J is officially complete. 

With the venturers winging their way back home where a cold winter awaits our Dutch, French and British friends, it’s a good opportunity to look at the progress they made on our community projects.

Alpha 1 had the task of building a kindergarten in Kampung Rumantai over all three phases.  Work started in Phase 1 with the digging of foundations, and progressed over the next two phases to the final completion of a fine looking building, complete with kitchen and vibrant decoration.
This structure is one which will make an enormous difference to life in Rumantai.  Not only will it improve education for their youngest residents, but will also allow serve as a wider learning centre, for example by allowing the adults to have more structured English lessons.

The work of the Alpha 1 team has been firmly supported by the villagers throughout this project, and they joined together earlier this week to celebrate the formal opening of the kindergarten.

Alpha 2 have been no less busy.  In Kampung Pakagaya, teams from the past two phases worked hard installing a dam and laying pipe to provide water to 18 houses in this remote village.

Having running water available to each household will transform the lives of Pakagaya’s inhabitants, who currently rely on gathering water from stagnant pools, rainwater and streams over a kilometre away.  This heavy work cannot be undertaken by the elderly, so younger villagers must continue to live with their parents in order to support them.

On Tuesday, the taps were turned on, and there was relief and joy from the Alpha 2 team, villagers and project partner Asian Forestry Company alike, as the water flowed out.

Alpha 3 have spent the past two phases in Kampung Vunui Lokos, building a community hall.  In a community with no focal point, this structure will provide a dry location where villagers can hold meetings and ceremonies.

Having started the project by clearing the ground and sinking the foundation posts, the team finished by applying the finishing touches to the internal and external paintwork.

Delighted with this important addition to the village, the JKKK (village head) presided over a ceremony to formally open the building, attended by the Raleigh team, project partner Asian Forestry Company and village residents.

Congratulations to all three teams for their fantastic efforts on these worthwhile projects, and thanks to our project partners, without whom, these results could not have been achieved.

And with that, Expedition 10J comes to an end.  With achievements such as those described here, the important progress that has been made on our environmental projects, and the skills that have been learned during the adventure phase, this has been a truly memorable ten weeks.  Many congratulations to the venturers and volunteer managers for all their efforts and achievements, and a big thank you to Raleigh Borneo’s permanent staff, for making this such a successful, fun and rewarding experience.