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Our resolutions: here's what the ICS team across the world are pledging

Welcome to 2018. 

Do you have any New Year resolutions?

Maybe you’ve resolved to do something to tackle a global problem like climate change, or something to improve your local community. Whatever your cause, it’s worth remembering you can do a lot in a year.

We asked the ICS team members from around the world how what they were planning. Here are some of our favourites.

1. Ditching disposables

Jamie is cutting down on plastic in 2018
In 2018, Jamie is pledging to ditch disposables to cut down on plastic waste

Jamie Baird, Communications Officer, Raleigh International, UK

This year, Jamie’s fighting against waste by refusing to use plastic cups. If we carry on as we are currently, by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic than fish. Last year Kenya introduced the world’s toughest plastic bag ban – with four years in jail or a $40,000 fine.

“My resolution is not to use any disposable cups this year. 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year, but only 1% of these are believed to be recycled. The plastic lining in coffee cups means many are not easily recyclable, which means they are environmentally unsustainable, contributing to our global plastic problem and in turn climate change. If a coffee shop won’t fill my reusable cup, then I don’t want their coffee!”

2. Supporting sustainable development through games

KC has designed his own board game on the SDGs
KC is using the power of board games to get young people into the SDGs

Kenechukwu Ogbuagu, ICS Project Officer, VSO, Nigeria

KC has been running his own board game business for a while now. But after recently taking a game to the African Board Game Convention, he’s ready to merge his personal life and his work with VSO ICS – by introducing a board game about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We all want a world where there is no hunger and poverty. We all want peace and stability and unity. The SDGs are there to achieve that goal. But first, we need to know what they are. This year I want to get young people interested in development and the SDGs by making my own board games to get them talking about them in a fun way!”

3. Supporting 100 new young businesses

As part of Sammy's role at Challenges Worldwide, he'll be recruiting 100 new SMEs
As part of Sammy's role at Challenges Worldwide, he'll be recruiting 100 new SMEs

Samuel Opoku, ICS Programme Co-ordinator, Challenges Worldwide, Ghana

As part of Sammy’s role with Challenges Worldwide ICS in Ghana, he’s responsible for recruiting new entrepreneurs to their 12 week business development programme. In 2018 he’ll be signing up 100 new businesses to receive support from ICS volunteers from the UK and Ghana.

“This year I’m aiming to engage and contribute towards the growth of 100 small to medium sizes enterprises here in Ghana through Challenges Worldwide ICS.”

4. Ensuring young people know their rights

"When young people lose their rights, they become excluded," says Majina
"When young people lose their rights, they become excluded," says Majina

Majina Mwasezi, ICS Project Administrator, VSO, Kenya

Majina is passionate about young people. She believes that when they lose their rights, they become excluded from society. And as a result, we all suffer. In 2018 she’s pledging to teach them about how to use their voice to make sure they’re part of society.

“Youth who are not aware of their rights and how to fight for them are highly vulnerable to social exclusion. This year I want to get young people interested in knowing what goes on within their government and society – by creating platforms and spaces that will arm them with knowledge on how to exercise their voice and enhance youth engagement.”

5. I'm going veggie

Amy's conscious about the impact of eating meat on the environment
Amy's conscious about the impact of eating meat on the environment

Amy McKee, ICS Fundraising Support Officer, UK

The plant-based revolution gained momentum in 2017. This January, Amy, who supports ICS volunteers with their fundraising, has got on board as a vegetarian to try and do her bit for the environment. 

“I'm kicking 2018 off as a vegetarian as I try to reduce my impact on the environment.”

6.  Thinking positively

By thinking positively we create positive change, believes Anju
By thinking positively we create positive change, believes Anju

Anju Raheja, Country People and Operations Manager, VSO, India

As part of Anju's role heading up the India office of VSO, she supports ICS volunteers in-country as they work towards building a better future for India. As the fastest growing economy in the world, she's excited to see how our livelihoods project work will support young people.

"To work more passionately with people in community and to help to build their capacity for livelihoods. I believe, in order to carry a positive action, we must develop a positive vision."