September 2015 update
Emilia has just returned from her visit to Borneo and the following is what she said :
The first three weeks of my expedition was spent in the breathtakingly beautiful Imbak Canyon. Living there for three weeks with a team of ten and four on hand rangers. My group worked relentlessly, carrying heavy bags of cement, sand and rocks in order to mix concrete to secure the anchor of the suspension bridge. This project, which was started by previous Raleigh volunteers will help to provide researchers and scientists access to a vast unexplored area of this native rainforest.
My new group and I set off from base camp on Tuesday, 22 July 2015 to start working on our community phase in a place called Sonsogon Magandai, a small village nestled away in the Pitas region in northern Sabah. We worked on a WASH project (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) picking up from where the other group left off in Phase One, and worked on pulling and connecting all the pipes from the gravity fed water system to individual houses around the village. The moment the first tap was turned on and seeing clean water coming out from it was probably the most touching moment I’ve experienced as an individual. To be able to witness and feel the massive effect it will have on this village was just amazing.
Volunteering with Raleigh has been hard work but the sense of achievement makes it worth it. Seeing the difference it makes to people is really rewarding. I am extremely happy to have been given the chance to complete an expedition in Borneo.
November 2014 update
Unfortunately, whilst on her first phase with Raleigh in Borneo, Emilia suffered an accident meaning that she will no longer be able to continue her placement. She is safe and well, but her injury means she will be flying home as soon as there is a suitable seat on the plane for her. Emilia is incredibly upset about this, but understands that she will not be able to continue. Raleigh have agreed that they will happily take her away again next spring at no additional cost if she is fully healed by then.
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This year we are giving a bursary to Emilia Lawless who is 18 and lives in Ainsdale, Merseyside. She’s the second eldest of five children and has taken on the role of full time carer for her mother since her parents split up in 2011. The Myles Trust is supporting her in an expedition to Borneo in the autumn.
She’s driven to give something back to the global community and this is the main reason she chose to travel with Raleigh International, their mission ‘To drive sustainable development through inspiring young people to be the agents of change’ resonates with her and is something she feels really passionate about. Primary education and clean water are two things taken for granted in our everyday life and to be able to bring this to underdeveloped communities is something she aspires to. She’s currently undertaking her NVQ level 3 in Health and Social care as well as working in Aintree University Hospital as a Healthcare Assistant, whenever possible, to be able to obtain a place at university to study nursing. Her long term aim is to do a midwifery post graduate degree after obtaining her nursing degree and her ambition is to work in under developed countries to improve maternal health and infant mortality.
Her circumstances have made it difficult to effectively fundraise and her mother isn’t in a position to help so it means so much for her to gain a bursary from The Myles Trust because without it she wouldn’t be going to Borneo.