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Diversity and inclusion

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

At ICS we are committed to delivering a diverse and inclusive programme and will make reasonable adjustments throughout the journey to ensure that our volunteers have a positive experience of international volunteering.

We value the variety of skills and knowledge that a diverse team brings, and we believe that when diverse groups of people work together they can make a greater impact.

Will an impairment or disability rule me out?

At ICS we embrace diversity and are committed to ensuring our programme is inclusive and supportive to allow everyone to have the best possible experience. We will make reasonable adjustments throughout the journey to ensure that all our volunteers can access, participate and contribute to the programme. Due to the environments we work in, some of our placements may be less accessible than others, but we are committed to working alongside you to increase access where we can.

If you have an impairment, disability, learning difference or other support requirement, please tell us as much as you can in the relevant section of the application form. One of our team will get in touch to discuss this with you before the assessment day.

What if I have an ongoing medical condition?

It’s very important to remember that medical facilities on placement are likely to be basic and/or located a long journey away. As you will be living in a different environment which can take time to adjust to, physical and mental health conditions that are easy to manage in the UK can become more serious if they are triggered while you are on placement.

The safety and security of our volunteers is our priority and therefore is it important that we are aware of any treatment you are currently having for any physical or mental health conditions. If you have an ongoing medical condition and you are not sure whether it is the right time to apply for ICS, you can get in touch with us at medical@vsoint.org to discuss.

You will need to complete a health questionnaire and be medically cleared by an appointed medical professional before going away.

Find out more about staying healthy on placement

Are the placements safe for people who are LGBT+?

Everyone has a unique experience of ICS and young people with different sexual orientations and gender identities are no different.  Many LGBT+ young people have taken part in ICS and have positive experiences, however there can sometimes be additional challenges on placement to consider.

LGBT+ rights vary significantly around the world and it’s important to know the context of the country you’re visiting. At ICS we will provide you with detailed information to help you to consider and prepare for living and working in a country where attitudes to sexual orientation and gender identity may differ to the attitudes you have experienced in your home country or community. The safety and security of our volunteers is our primary concern and as such there are some countries that we would not knowingly place LGBT+ volunteers.

You are not required to inform anyone about your sexual orientation, however if you have questions or concerns prior to your placement we really encourage you to speak to us, there are lots of opportunities for you to speak to staff. This may be during your selection day, your welcome call, during training, or any of the calls that you have with your ICS contact.

When volunteers disclose personal information to us it is treated confidentially. If you have questions or concerns about LGBT+ issues, we will not share that with other staff unless we have your permission.

Attitudes towards people from diverse ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds

No person has the same experience of ICS, and your identity and culture including things like gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs will be part of what makes your experience unique to you. The cultural attitudes and perspectives, between your ICS team mates and also those of the country and community you are in, may be different from the attitudes and perspectives of your home community. Whilst there can be challenges with sharing and understanding these different perspectives, there is also great value and the opportunity to learn and develop from so many different world views and experiences - which is what makes ICS such a unique opportunity.

Criminal records

Having a criminal record does not mean that you can’t go on the programme. We can accept people with a criminal record but you must declare your previous contact with the police and/or convictions at the selection day. If you fail to declare any criminal convictions that later come up on your DBS police check, you might then be disqualified from the programme. We must have received a DBS certificate for you before you are able to depart on your placement.

The cost of volunteering with ICS

The ICS programme is funded by the UK Government and aims to ensure that youth from diverse backgrounds can access the programme. Therefore, as a matter of principle, no volunteer will be excluded from accessing the programme due to cost.

We will therefore cover all costs for your placement, this includes the cost of travel to your assessment day and training, visas, flights, travel and medical insurance, medication, vaccines, food and accommodation and a small allowance during their placement.

Find out more about the costs and what is included as well as fundraising support.

If you are concerned about cost, contact us at enquiries@volunteerics.org

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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.

Find out more