Culture, Charity and Adventure in Borneo

Culture, Charity and Adventure in Borneo

The summer of 2018 brought an incredible charitable adventure for 21 girls from Farnborough Hill when they travelled to Borneo to help with two fantastic projects: the planting of trees to revive a forest and the extending and modernisation of a school.

After two days of acclimatisation and exploration by the local river, the girls travelled to a village where they experienced homestays; enjoying locally-cooked food, a cultural show and hearing some stories of the locals’ lives. From the village, they trekked for four hours around the base of Mount Kinabalu to spend the night in the jungle, learning survival techniques and getting drenched by relentless rain. Farnborough Hill had never felt so far away!

The next day, they travelled to the Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre at Sepilok. They watched them at close proximity and gained an understanding of the work that is done at the centre and the plight of these amazing creatures. Then it was time for the first project: to cut down a sizeable area of grass and weeds and replace it with 100 saplings to help the community revive its local forest. They did some water weeding, too, which entailed floating out on a platoon and netting the weeds which were starving the lake of oxygen.  This provided a great opportunity for wildlife spotting, including a rare sighting of a wild orang-utan mother with her baby swinging on the tree tops. 

Project 1 complete, they travelled on to project 2, where they stayed for four nights high up in a tea plantation in ‘long houses’ made predominantly of bamboo. At the project site, Nalapak Primary School, they cemented a drive from the road to the main building, built an extension and painted, before helping with the children in the classroom. The girls raised enough money last year to be able to donate new classroom chairs, new tables, reams of paper and materials for the project, for which the school was very grateful.

The final days were spent enjoying the tropical setting: swimming in the sea, snorkelling among the coral reefs and of course taking the zip line across the ocean from one island to another!

The girls had a fabulous time while helping others; they certainly won't forget their adventure in Borneo.