Raleigh Bermuda continues operations despite UK charity’s closure
One of the island’s top youth development programmes remains running despite the shock announcement last week that the charity Raleigh International UK was shutting down.
Instead, Raleigh International Bermuda could partner with other Raleigh societies around the world, local officials told The Royal Gazette yesterday.
Dany Pen, executive director of Raleigh Bermuda, and chairwoman Tasha Jones said the charity had been left “saddened” at the news that the UK wing of Raleigh was going into receivership as of last Thursday.
The British sustainable development charity, which has sent tens of thousands of young people to remote communities globally, blamed cuts in aid and funding along with the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After two years of travel restrictions, and delayed and cancelled programmes, Raleigh UK said it would cease operations at the end of this month.
But in a statement, Raleigh Bermuda heads said the Bermuda charity was exploring links with “other similar organisations” to provide its recruits, known as venturers, with “an expansive array of options for overseas expeditions”.
They said Raleigh Bermuda, charity 710, “continues to fully operate its existing and planned programmes”, and was preparing venturers to take part in expeditions this summer where Bermudian recruits “may still have the opportunity to participate”.
Options are Raleigh UK Costa Rica, and expeditions in the Scotland Re:Green programme restoring the environment in remote areas of the Scottish highlands.
The adventure training group has also put nearly 100 Bermudians aged 14 to 17 through its Bravers programme since summer 2020.
Ms Pen said Bravers brought high school students from across the island together to address violence, learn about healthy relationships and become community advocates.
She added: “Raleigh Bermuda is also working to launch its Local programme this summer, for young Bermudians between the ages of 17 and 24.”
The programme will focus on “creating safe spaces in the Bermuda community by reclaiming abandoned lands and dilapidated ruins to restore them to their significant cultural heritage value, to further empower Bermudians, and to educate the community on the Bermudian identity and history.”
Raleigh Bermuda said the two programmes demonstrated their mission to grow and reach a wider Bermudian participant community, while also bringing in more of its network of alumni network for operational support.
“We at Raleigh Bermuda continue and will continue to meet and exceed our core mission of `challenging young Bermudians to harness their full potential and develop skills for life using overseas expeditions, local training, and continued coaching’.”
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