For the second year, volunteers recruited by environmental regeneration charity Groundwork East London will participate in the Learn Global Act Local project. After three months of team building, volunteering and leadership training in London the group will go on challenging ten-week expeditions in Borneo and Costa Rica and Nicaragua with education charity Raleigh International. The expeditions will involve community projects and environmental studies in remote areas of all three countries. Once back in East London in late December, the volunteers will put their learning into practice by volunteering with local community organisations with the support of Groundwork East London. They will also make radio programmes to share their volunteering experiences with other young people.
The Learn Global Act Local project has already proved to have long-lasting positive benefits for its participants. Last year, Groundwork East London supported 15 young people who volunteered in Ghana with Raleigh International. The majority went on to employment and training - two even secured jobs with their volunteer placement - and three are continuing to volunteer through mentoring the new group. Chloe Lukeman, a volunteer on the programme said: "I wanted to come back and support this years participants because the programme turned my life around, and as a mentor I can help give other young people the same opportunity."
This time, nine young people will be exploring the Central American countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, while six will be off to the mountains and rainforests of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
The unique partnership between the two charities is designed to facilitate the development of young people in socially disadvantaged areas of East London, and help them to build their local communities. Raleigh International facilitates the young people's development while on expedition, helping them to deal with and learn from the challenges that they face. Groundwork East London selects the volunteers, helps them prepare for their adventure, facilitates local volunteer programmes in East London and provides practical help with job searches and college places in the UK.
Duncan Purvis, Raleigh International's Partnerships Programme Manager commented on the scheme, saying; "Learn Global Act Local shows how charities working together can produce great results. Our research has shown that a combination of supported volunteering locally and overseas can help change young peoples' lives for the better. This programme has given participants a greater sense of purpose, more confidence and the determination to succeed. We are really looking forward to welcoming our Groundwork East London participants to Costa Rica and Borneo and following their progress."
Zoe Goss, Community Team Manager at Groundwork East London added, "This is an exciting opportunity for disengaged young people to make a positive input into their local community. The project has demonstrated that the volunteer programme not only raises young people's aspirations, but also teaches them new skills and improves their employability."
The Groundwork East London/Raleigh International partnership has been funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation, and match-funded by V'.
For more information about Raleigh International, visit www.raleighinternational.org.uk
For more information about Groundwork East London, visit www.groundwork-eastlondon.org.uk
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