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Volunteer with VSO in Africa or Asia - have a lasting impact on local communities and develop new skills. 

You don’t need qualifications or specific experience to volunteer with VSO ICS, just an ambition to make a difference.

As a VSO ICS volunteer, you’ll spend 10-12 weeks working with local young people and a community partner on an impactful and sustainable development project. Once you return to the UK, we will support you to take action on an issue you care about, for example taking part in a campaign, or volunteering with a local community organisation. The ICS programme is government funded so it won’t cost you anything.

Volunteers in Tanzania

What could you do?

VSO ICS volunteers are working on a range of projects based on six core areas:

  • Youth unemployment
  • Growing small businesses and entrepreneurship
  • Education
  • Youth leadership
  • Health awareness raising
  • Climate change
  • Support small businesses

So you could be helping to educate other young people, setting up youth clubs, carrying out research into health service access, or creating campaigns for social change.

On one of our business oriented programmes you might be working with a local entrepreneur, helping them to promote their business. 

    VSO ICS Team Leaders

    If you are 23 years old or older and have an experience of leading and motivating young people, then you could become a VSO ICS Team Leader.

    Learn more about volunteering Team Leader and what the requirements are.

    Where could you go?

    With VSO ICS, you could go to:

    • Bangladesh
    • Cambodia
    • Ghana
    • India
    • Kenya
    • Nepal
    • Nigeria
    • Tanzania
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe
    VSO ICS volunteer and children

    How does it work?

    You’ll spend 10 – 12 weeks volunteering overseas. 

    You'll be part of a group of 5 to 10 volunteers from the UK, supported by two full-time Team Leaders – one from the UK and one from the country you're based in.

    Once you arrive, you'll work with local volunteers, learning from each other and sharing ideas. You will live with a host family, who will help you integrate with the community and understand the culture.

    You will also help organise and take part in community action days, designed to address specific issues such as sexual health, hygiene and computer skills. This means you can have a broader impact on the local community, beyond your specific project placement.


    Throughout your placement you will be supported by in country staff. You’ll be given lots of training before you leave too to make sure you are fully prepared. We will also help you with visas, vaccinations and organise return flights for you. Food and accommodation is provided and you’ll receive a modest volunteering allowance.


    You don’t have to pay to volunteer with VSO ICS, but we do ask you to do some fundraising before you go abroad. This is a great opportunity to gain new skills and have fun, as well as raising awareness of international development. All volunteers have a target of at least £800.

    You’ll receive one-to-one support, with lots of practical tips and materials to help you enjoy fundraising and smash your target.

    When you return

    Your ICS journey doesn’t suddenly stop when you complete your placement overseas. You’ll doubtless be inspired by your experiences and motivated to act on the issues you care about.

    VSO will support you to take part in at least one project that benefits your local community or seeks to bring about positive social change. This is called Action at Home. We’d love you to continue your involvement with VSO in the future too.

    You’re in safe hands with VSO ICS. Our training and support programme will make sure that you’re well prepared and confident before you go, during your placement and when you return from volunteering overseas.

    VSO is one of the biggest and most respected names in volunteering for international development. We have a 50 year track record of supporting a range of volunteers from diverse backgrounds to live and work in developing countries and of bringing their skills, commitment and enthusiasm to bear on tackling poverty.

    Apply today to volunteer in 2017
    If you are interested in learning more about VSO ICS then give us a call on +44 (0)20 8780 7400 or apply online now. The application form takes around 30 minutes to complete, but you can save it and return to it later on.

    On the application form, please select that you heard about ICS through VSO. And if you are interested in working on one of our business-orientated programmes, please specify this in your application.

    Are you ready to apply?