Well the time has come, the names are in and the projects have been allocated so keep reading to find out where all our PMs will be going for their first phase and to get a little taster of all the exciting things to come!
Of course in true Raleigh style, Mark and Helen kept the PMs on their seats all day and before the projects were allocated, we had a jam packed day learning about sustainable development as well as some medical training.
Most projects will have a medic on them, but for some with very easy access to hospitals, there may not be one present. As a result of this all PMs and Fieldbase staff have to go through very thorough medical training. Our medics expertly took us through emergency first aid and reiterated the fact that there will always be a medic at Fieldbase who will be on call 24 hours a day for any issues.
Practicing a 'casevac'
So after a day of splints, dressings and slings it was time for Mark and Helen to announce the project allocations and here they are...
Community – Malligalli, eco-sanitation
Ed, Maggie and Jonny
Malligalli village is in the Malavalli Taluk of the Mandya District in South India. Around 250 families live in the village, with just 15 of them having proper sanitation facilities. Lack of sanitation is a massive problem in Malligalli and at the moment, the villagers use the surrounding fields as they have no other option.
Our venturers will help 30 of the families to build their own eco-sanitation units (or toilets to you and me) which are vital to make sure that all the families have basic hygienic sanitation units while promoting health and hygiene awareness. The project team will be living in a school with the locals cooking their meals for them so it will be a great opportunity to learn some Indian cooking techniques!
Community – Mangoda, biogas
Kath and Sian
This project is part of an ongoing initiative begun by CTRD (Centre for Tribals and Rural Development Trust) and Raleigh in 2010 to reduce the environmental impact of firewood consumption by promoting renewable energy through biogas units in tribal and non-tribal villages in the Nilgiris District. This project runs over two phases and will see each group build three biogas units. Each family who get a biogas unit will be given two cows which will fuel the unit and provide them with free gas for cooking, while cutting down on firewood consumption.
The cattle will live in a shed, which the group will build, and the locals will be able to collect the cow dung to add into the digestion dome, which the groups will also build. The amount of methane produced in the dome in one day will be enough for five hours of gas. The families will also be able to get milk from the cow which they can use for themselves as well as sell – giving them a small income.
The venturers will be setting up camp in one of the villagers’ gardens and Sian and Kath are very much looking forward to meeting them this weekend!
Environmental – Gandathur, biogas
Jon and Charlie
Our PMs will be going to Gandathur on the edge of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. Like the group at Mangoda, they’ll also be building biogas units, but as this is an environmental phase our venturers will be sleeping in bashas (jungle beds) and also cooking for themselves. They’ve got a beautiful lake to wash and swim in and may even get chance to do some elephant spotting!
Adventure – Demon Mountain, trek and cycle
Andy and Hannah D
Well after our trek training this week, Andy and Hannah are super excited about this one. I don’t want to give too much away as I want to keep it a surprise for our venturers, but this is going to be amazing! It’s a mix of trekking, mountain biking through rice paddy plantations and a survival camp in the beautiful jungle of the Western Ghats of Kerala.
Adventure – Misappulimala ,trek and raft
Anthony, Rachel and Kim
This one sounds just as amazing as the Demon Mountain trek. This is a mix of trekking, rafting and survival camp also in the Western Ghats of Kerala. Amongst other things, the group will be climbing Misappulimala peak and building bamboo rafts to cross Anaerangal Lake. Again, we’re keeping all the detail pretty close to our chest on this one but it’s going to be a truly memorable experience and we can’t wait to hear what the guys say when they come back from their PPV (Project Planning Visit).
And our Fieldbase medic for phase one is...
We’re all really looking forward to having Clare at Fieldbase with us for phase one and also looking forward to having another ‘roomie’ in the girls tent. Clare will be on call at Fieldbase in case any of the groups have any medical questions or emergencies they need support on.
Environmental - Velas Beach, Olive Ridley Turtle conservation.
There’s one final environmental project that will be starting during phase two and running through phase three. This is two and a half day’s train ride from Fieldbase in the coastal village of Velas in Maharashtra state. As this project isn’t starting until phase two, the PMs for this haven’t been decided as yet. I’ll give you some more information on this later in phase one, but we’re all very excited about it! eco-tourism. The turtles nest from November to March, so we’re starting this project in phase two so our venturers have the best possible chance to see some turtles!
So with everyone knowing where they’re going, who they’ll be going with and what they’ll be doing it’s a busy day at Fieldbase as all the PMs pour over their project packs and pack for their two-day PPV. While they’re out visiting their projects they’ll be meeting the local communities, doing risk assessments and planning how they’re going to run their projects and manage their site. It’s exciting times and we can’t wait to hear all their news on Monday when they get back.