INTRODUCTION - THE VIP PROJECT
The Volunteering for International Professionals (VIP) Fellowship Programme is an initiative by the Malaysian government to create a large pool of talented professionals, who are passionate about sharing their expertise and experiences globally, as expert volunteers to contribute towards nation-building in ASEAN region.
The VIP Programme is designed specifically for professionals on career breaks who wish to volunteer in South East Asia and contribute to building up the regional ecosystem of nonprofits to create more social impact.
It is part of the government’s goal to transform Malaysia into a high- income nation by 2020, as announced by Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, at the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) Summit in December 2013.
International expert volunteers offer transferable and high-value skills as well as knowledge to enrich the Malaysian landscape, contributing towards the country’s ambition of being a high-income nation. The Fellowship is a programme by MOF, an initiative by NBOS and is partnered by Incitement.
This four-month fellowship offers the opportunity for professionals to use their expertise in addressing ASEAN’s most pressing social issues. This programme aims to evoke long-term social change in the country. In order to ensure a successful programme, each volunteer is matched to a placement within a Host Organisation in a local community where his/ her expert knowledge will have the greatest impact.
XTREME PADDLERS AS HOST FOR VIP PROJECT
Travel Rite Tours has been chosen as one of the hosts for the impact projects conducted by the VIP. Being an inbound travel operator, we foresaw that we had the chance to make a huge impact while achieving our goal and at the same time give back to the community of Kadamaian, Kota Belud where we operate a white water rafting operation from the Kadamaian River. We had came up with the idea of introducing our project, the Xtreme Academy.
This project aims to provide skills training for underprivileged youth from 18 to 35 years of age in Kota Belud and transforming them into adventure and tourism professionals by training them in White Water Rafting/ Trekking, hospitality and service skills. These candidates were chosen based on a few criteria which include they had to be a native of Kota Belud and are unemployed.