Many of us in #RaleighSingapore are educators, drawn to Raleigh's focus on youth development. Most of us have also been inspired to take part in a #Raleigh expedition as young adults finding our way in the world.
Hear from Khairol, an educator and venturer on Raleigh Malaysia 97C, who aspired to go on a Raleigh expedition since his secondary school days! It truly only takes a spark to get a fire going We speak with Khairol as part of the #RaleighPassItOn series.
Q: How and when did you hear about Raleigh? A: I got to know about Raleigh when I was in secondary school – this was in the late 80s and back then the local newspapers ran stories about young people from Singapore going on 3-month-long international expeditions. I remember reading about the expeditions that Dr Tan Chi Chiu and the Hamid siblings were on. I thought that if I’d ever get an opportunity to be on expedition like that, it would be so exciting. In 1996, I went for a selection weekend and fortunately I got picked to be part of Raleigh Malaysia 97C!
Q. Tell us all about your Raleigh experiences and your motivations. A: I was a trainee teacher at NIE when I passed the selection weekend and was excited about participating in Malaysia 97C. However, I was also apprehensive and unsure if it would work out on the job front since I had just starting teaching. Well, I gathered the courage to speak with the school principal, and explained why I should be taking leave to go for the expedition… He agreed I should go and that the experience would do me good!
On my expedition I had the chance to participate in biodiversity studies of a wetland area (fulfilling the scientific phase of the expedition), build a community hall in a village (community service phase) and blazed a tropical jungle trail for use by biologists (adventure phase). Each phase provided me with a unique and different experience.
Now that I am a teacher, what Raleigh does in nurturing confident and resilient youths resonates with me. I am also thankful for the enduring friendships formed during the expedition.
Q: What are you up to these days?
A: As a teacher, I advocate for adventure and service learning in the schools that I have work in. Presently I’m teaching at North Light School. I count myself fortunate to have embarked on many adventurous journeys with my students, and learnt important life lessons from them. At home, I am a father to a rambunctious primary schooler and a well-adjusted teenager, both of whom I love to bits.