Ong Ling Lee

I was bored barely into a year working as a network engineer. I chanced upon an article by Dr Tan Chi Chiu about his Raleigh International expedition to Mongolia and responded to the call for selection. One muddy weekend and six months later, I was part of 93D Siberia. After I returned from Siberia, I volunteered with the locally organised Operasi Raleigh Batam in 1997. Later that year, while waiting for a doctor's appointment, the idea of doing something simple yet challenging for a good cause came to me. With a group of like-minded Raleigh folks, we started “Let's Take A Walk” (LTAW), with the aim to raise $36,000 by walking 36 hours, 100km around Singapore. While I missed some major action when I was away in the US to further my studies, I quickly caught up with Raleigh’s activities when I returned to Singapore. My love (for community and adventure) affair continued with Operation Mingalaba 1999, Operation Tashi Deleg 2001, Project Climb On 2002, and more LTAWs. Raleigh gave me a break when other adventure possibilities turned me down. Raleigh opened my eyes and heart to the many possibilities to learn and to give. Raleigh brought me to many of you, whom I am proud to have as friends and privileged to do meaningful things together. I'm inspired to do this so that we can continue our love affair together.

Vice President

Pinky Leong

I joined Raleigh International expedition in 2004, it was in Borneo (04B). Mum won’t let me go at first because I was only 19. After watching a beer commercial (yes back then was still showing), the slogan was “someone’s gonna do it, why not you”. I made up my mind and I’m glad I didn’t take no for an answer. I did it because I want to contribute something to the society, to the world. Now that I’m far from being 19, the Raleigh blood is still running deep and hot in me. And I want to shout about that. I want young and likeminded people to experience what we did. And to pay it forward. 


Chan Peng

My first encounter with Raleigh was as a volunteer in the 2001 Operation Tashi Deleg expedition to Song Duo village, in Tibet. The next year, I participated in Project Climb On, which paired up youths from ITE with younger boys from the Boys Town to learn rock climbing. In 2005, I volunteered with local project Rakan Raleigh, a mentoring project with Jamiyah Children’s Home between April and October. The 15 of us were paired with 30 teens from Jamiyah and we mentored them through a series of adventure-based activities, such as dragon boating, adventure treasure hunt, rock climbing, obstacles courses and an outdoor camp. In 2008, I helmed the LTAW organising committee. That year, we attracted 907 walkers who helped to raise $55,000 for the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and for Raleigh Society’s upcoming expedition Operation Vannakam 2009. When I volunteer or help without motive or money, I feel happy and fulfilled. It’s a different kind of joy that one gets from achievement at work. Happy and fulfilled, that’s what volunteering is to me.

Exco Member

Pooi Choon Poh

When I first heard of Raleigh International in 1999, I was past the qualifying age of volunteering in a Raleigh International expedition. Nevertheless, I signed up for the first challenge of enduring the Selection Weekend and convincing the selection team why a not so “youthful” person like me should be chosen. In less than a year, I was off to Chile, trekking in the Southern Patagonia, building trekking paths at Tamango Reserve and constructing a fire station for a small village that was devastated by fire a year ago. I personally benefitted from the expedition and also witnessed the developmental effect that the projects had on some youth-at-risks. I will never forget how one of them (who earlier told me stories of how he stole cars and got caught) defied instructions to sneak out to work at the construction site at night to ensure that the project could be completed on time. He was beaming in pride when we celebrated the completion of the project with the locals at the end of the Expedition. Upon return, I organised the 2001 Selection Weekend and helped out on ad hoc basis on some of the projects that came along the way. A friend recently reminded me that it was perhaps high time I paid back to the organisation from which I benefitted so much. Hence my decision to be involved again. I am now inspired to embark on this journey to continue the legacy of Raleigh and do something good for the society.

Exco Member

Rae Wong

The first project I helped to organise as a staff member was Operation Mingalaba in 1999. I was in the advanced party to prepare the ground for the volunteers. Unexpectedly the Myanmar government canned the original expedition site. We were shocked but with the help of our partner YMCA Yangon, we managed to get the expedition going by falling back on our contingency plan. That’s what Raleigh is about – learning to deal with the unexpected. After that, I joined the organising committee for Operation Tashi Deleg 2001. Again, I led the advanced party for Phase 1. Through the various Raleigh expeditions, I have made many lifelong friends. I have been inspired to try out different adventures and also to be involved in local community projects. I believe my Raleigh experiences have broadened my perspectives in “Character and Citizenship Building” as a teacher. As to why I’ve stepped up to join the exco (even as I grapple with being a new parent), it’s really a question of “Why not? If not now then when?” 

Exco Member

Bridgette See

I was an unathletic 18-year-old when I heard my then PE teacher Naomi Tan recount her exciting Raleigh International expedition. Curious, I researched Raleigh and became really fired up about the 3-month expedition to a foreign land (think snow holes people!). I set my mind to “change” my lifestyle and became very active in sports during my four years in varsity. Once I graduated, I signed up for a Selection Weekend – made up of 48-hours of no sleep and all kinds of physical and mental torture – that till now sends shivers down my back. Unforgettable was the casevac through a muddy mangrove swamp (did you know there’s a special technique to prevent sinking in?). Late 1998, I was off to Chile 98H where I built snow holes and helped to create a sliver of a national park trail. The experience of sleeping next to crashing glaciers, while howling winds threatened to rip my one-man tent and me off a cliff, will stay with me forever. Upon return, I helped to organise Operation Mingalaba in 1999 and Operation Tashi Deleg in 2001. I was also involved in Project Climb On 2002, before dropping off to do international voluntary work. In 2007, after the birth of my son, I decided to get back in touch with my Raleigh mates and began helping out on an ad hoc basis. Now that my son is older, I have decided to get involved again with Raleigh. Hopefully, we can do something good with the 2 years we have! 

Exco Member


Why do I volunteer? Itch to do will get satisfaction out of doing something to give back to the community that you never get in any other way. 

Exco Member

Yap Lu Yi

I first heard about Raleigh from a childhood friend. She showed me a photo of Prince William digging long drop in Chile. So I thought if Prince William can do it, it shouldn't be too tough for me. I joined Introduction Weekend during my final year in university and it turned out to be one of the most amazing weekends I have ever had. I decided to sign up for expedition right after I completed internship and departed 2 months later. I celebrated my 23rd birthday in the jungle. Having team mates and project staff singing birthday song over radio during sit-rep. I got my open water diving license and I actually cannot swim! I built a kindergarten and taught English in a remote village. Worked in a forest reserve and organised a tea party for scientists. I have ticked most of the items on my bucket list, which I thought I would need years to complete them! Raleigh has changed my mindset of what a successful life should be. I learnt that I'm happier contributing to the society than climbing the corporate ladder. Thus, I have been an active member participating in local and international projects since my expedition in Spring 2008! 

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