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ICS reports

ICS takes a different approach to international volunteering. By bringing together young people from the UK to work side-by-side with young people from developing countries, we believe change lies in the hands of young people.

Funded by the UK government and led by respected development organisation VSO in partnership with a consortium of agencies, ICS has been supporting young people to make change since the programme's launch in 2011.

Since then, ICS has created a global community of almost 40,000 active citizens and a lasting legacy of youth-driven change.

Here's what we've achieved this year

In 2018-19:

  • 1,703 UK and 1,631 in-country volunteers took part;
  • 47% of projects supported people to earn a decent living;
  • 24% of projects helped people access the information and services they need to stay healthy;
  • 19% of projects supported children to get the education they deserve;
  • 10% of projects empowered people to become active citizens;
  • 92% of partners involved in ICS have said that their organisation is better able to bring positive change.

Download the full report

ICS Annual Report 2018-19 (PDF)

Thematic overview of the year


  • 674 volunteers
  • 55 teams
  • 11 countries

ICS education projects aim to improve access to education among disadvantaged groups in rural communities.

Volunteers have supported the retention of school-aged children through extracurricular activities, and raised awareness of the rights of education access for children with disabilities.

Civic participation

  • 311 volunteers
  • 28 teams
  • 6 countries
Jamie Phillips and Sukanya Sinha undertake a survey in Paner, Rajasthan
© IS / Pravah
Volunteers Jamie Phillips and Sukanya Sinha undertake a survey in Paner, Rajasthan

ICS projects amplify the voice of marginalised groups in society, building awareness of people's rights and developing their capacity to exercise control over decisions and resources.

ICS volunteers have raised awareness of the rights of people with disabilities, and energised community participation in local decision-making practices.


  • 548 volunteers
  • 70 teams
  • 9 countries

ICS health projects focus on improving access and awareness of health rights and services and promoting healthy practices among communities. ICS volunteers have raised awareness of the importance of good sanitation and hygiene practices, and worked to improve young people’s sexual health rights and services

Many ICS health projects improve sexual and reproductive health and rights - vital to empowering women and girls and advancing gender equality.

“It's been great working on a project that relates so much to my experience as an HIV positive man. If we're doing a session on positive living in school, talking about how you can live a healthy life while being HIV positive, I’m living proof."

 - For volunteer Nathaniel Antonio-Gorse, his experience as an HIV positive man helped with his work on placement in Malawi promoting sexual health services.

In Tanzania, Raleigh ICS volunteers have been working to address issues of health, hygiene, water and sanitation in Kilombero District. ICS volunteers aim to improve the quality of hygiene education, giving sessions on handwashing and sanitation to the local community and schools.

The project also focused on raising awareness of menstrual hygiene, training local peer educators to continue the ongoing mentoring to their peers.

Masibu Mahokala Salumu, a primary school teacher, said the following about the project:

“The community members’ attitudes have changed through the knowledge and education on SWASH (School, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). For example, I have noticed the emergence of tippy taps in the village. I recognise that change takes a long time yet, despite this, there are definite visual improvements and changes in behaviour.”


  • 3,334 volunteers
  • 63 projects
  • 19 countries

Across the world, ICS volunteers work with local communities on livelihoods projects, helping to increase economic opportunities and self-sufficiency, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

This includes delivering workshops to build skills, improving chances of finding employment, helping aspiring entrepreneurs to set up new businesses; and working with business owners to boost their income.

ICS volunteers visiting Upendo enterprise
© Andrew Aitchison
ICS volunteers visiting Upendo enterprise, a local garment making company, part of the VSO / ICS Elimu Fursa project (Opportunities in Education) Lindi, Tanzania.

Other ICS reports

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Funded by the UK Government

ICS is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.

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