Camps International have this week handed over one of their most amobitious projects to the local community in Borneo. The Community Learning Centre has been built by teams of volunteers since 2012.
(TRAVPR.COM) HAMPSHIRE - October 23rd, 2012 - CAMPS INTERNATIONAL, an award-winning school expedition and gap year specialist based in Hampshire have been leading the way in terms of long term sustainable projects. This week saw the official opening of the Community Learning Centre on Mantanani Island off the coast of Borneo. Previous winners of the Responsible Travel awards for “Best Volunteering Organisation” Camps international have always looked at the long-term benefits of projects to a community.
Camps International Asia Director Rory Hall said “ During my 8 or so years in Borneo I have been privileged to see some great things and also to be part of constructing many buildings in rural villages. But I have to say the CLC on Mantanani is perhaps one of the most impressive and beautiful buildings I have worked on.” The building will have multiple uses including as a village hall, kindergarten, library and meeting place for the community.
Planning for the CLC was started in the summer of 2010 with just a plot of land and a handshake with the local headman. The building is constructed using sustainable locally sourced material including the huge drift wood columns around the outside and bamboo panels that adorn the walls.
“From the outside the bamboo panelling forms a protective shell which is intriguing to the eye.” Said Rory “from the inside the different designs of panel allow varying levels of light through, creating a mosaic or light and shadow, making the interior fascinating to just sit and be inside of.” Rory was also highly impressed with the work ethic of all involved who included: ”Interns and the permanent team from Arkitrek, the skilled local labour and every single volunteer from the schools and gap year students who have worked during their expeditions”.
The opening ceremony that took place on the 20th October involved handing over the keys to the local community after 2 years of hard work. What struck Rory as the most important part of the project was the involvement of the local staff who have felt the benefit not just of the building but the impact that comes from having a company like Camps International on the island. Offering employment, hard work and the chance to share with others the cultural identity of the island. “It was only after the ceremony that I understood how Camps were making a difference, an intangible difference, and that its not about the buildings and facilities we construct, but simply about our presence, our love and giving people a sense of their own power and abilities”. Said Rory, one word sums it all up. “Wow”.
For more information on the type of projects students can get involved in with Camps International please visit their website: www.campsinternational.com. Alternatively read the blogs of how the building was planned and built here: http://www.campsinternational.com/projectblog/2012/10/mantanani-community-learning-centre/