Raleigh are in the fourth year of their effort in trying to inspire young Bermudians from all backgrounds, but particularly provide guidance to youngsters at risk of not reaching their full potential, to challenge themselves physically and mentally, in unfamiliar environments to aid in their development of life skills.
 

Using overseas expeditions, they challenge young Bermudians to harness their full potential and develop skills for life by working together on challenging environmental community projects around the world. They go on three month expeditions in developing countries such as Borneo, Namibia, Chile, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica where they live in remote areas and work on community projects, which are a major component of the program.  Typically six to ten Bermudians aged 17 to 25 go off to these three month expedition after a 5 month boot camp in Bermuda where they are exposed to such things as swimming, kayaking and abseiling.

Raleigh International Bermuda works with Youth organisations to identify young people who are at risk.  They do not push youngsters into the programme they allow them to make the choice of if they want to be part of a progressive life, they do not let them use excuses such as they have a problem because of a bad background etc.  The youngsters come from all backgrounds not just unstable environments some come from successful parents, good homes etc.  This shows one should not stereotype, as the bottom line is they choose a life of negativity.  Raleigh maintains a close relationship with the youths, they do not have to be perfect, they need to be able to connect.  Typically they know what to do; they just need help to do it.

Kristen was joined by Nathan Roberts from Raleigh International UK who is on the Island to help set up programs.   Nathan gave us further insight into the work of Raleigh Internationally. One of the situations that Raleigh has seen responsible for youngsters needing this type of help is a combination of the "helicopter mother" who hovers over children trying to make sure that they don't get into anything wrong.  The Father is concentrating on his job and hence the youngster is hungry for adventure.  So they go out into the community and get involved in "adventure and excitement.  Raleigh gives them that adventure and excitement for 10 weeks.  They go to somewhere where they have none of the basics we all take for granted and are used to.  They are sent on an incredible journey, exposing them to what the world is all about instead of being closeted and hence naive Raleigh gets them to ask themselves, Who am I really? What shall I do with my life? Is there any meaning? It allows youngsters to be exposed to real life instead of being told, they actually meet and live the hard life and see the vulnerability of people.  There are now a number of organisations reaching out to youngsters at risk and fortunately Raleigh International Bermuda have many good sponsors locally.