Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Responsible Travel Company Opens Community Learning Centre in Borneo

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.

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”.