#PayingItForward What's beyond Raleigh?
Since 1984, Singaporeans have taken part in Raleigh International expeditions as volunteers to remote parts of the world. As more of us returned with international volunteerism experience, we began organising our own regional expeditions in the mid-90s. Many also continued volunteering overseas with other organisations. We asked three Raleighians to share their experiences as international volunteers.
Eileen Goh, Operation Tashi Deleg (Tibet), 2001: “I started volunteering (giving tuition pro bono to low income family children) in my junior college days. But Operation Tashi Deleg was my first overseas volunteering experience. After I left my job at Singapore Airlines, I joined Yuen Lik (OTD expedition leader) for Operation shangrila (OSL) in 2007 to Napa hai (Napa village) to refurbish a local school. I also led a small group of educators on OSL II the subsequent year.
Jowyn Goh, Operation Amar Sain (Mongolia), 2019: "“Since young, I have loved to do good, and also travel. So, combining both came naturally to me. For the past 10 years, I’ve mentored youths in Thailand and Bhutan, taught English in rural China (pictured), and built eco-toilets in Mongolia amongst others. All these experiences were precious and fulfilling. COVID-19 may have impacted travel, but we can still contribute our time and efforts via remote means. And that’s the spirit of international volunteerism - a lending hand beyond boundaries!”
Johann Annuar, Operasi Ya'ahowu (Nias, Indonesia), 2006-2008: "My love for travel has given me perspective, that we are a fortunate bunch, and few of us know it. Coupled with an illogical need to make this place better than when I found it, both Raleigh and Doctors Without Borders (medecins sans frontieres) have provided me platforms to give back to the world in my missions in Indonesia (post tsunami work), Kenya (working with internally displaced people), China (Szechuan earthquake relief) and even Malaysia (logistics support for MSF Penang). I feel humbled to have experienced the lives of others and partnered them to further the potential of their future.