In the past ten years, 40,167 ICS volunteers from 2,793 teams supported projects in the areas of livelihoods, health, education and civic participation. From addressing disability rights in Kenya to tackling child marriage in Bangladesh, young people have contributed to real, sustainable change.
A strong focus on social accountability ran through the projects, strengthening the voice of communities, and empowering marginalised groups, including disabled people, to access their rights.
Sustainable development is at the heart of ICS. ICS volunteers have worked alongside local partners and community members to deliver sustainable development outcomes across 32 different countries. 92% of partner organisations agree that ICS volunteers make a serious and positive contribution to their work. All our projects have a strong focus on social accountability, as ICS promotes the power of young people becoming agents of change in their own communities.
On the ground
The information above give an indication to the scale of our projects. To better understand what this means for the people our volunteers work with on the ground, please see the examples below:
Supporting young people to claim their rights
Example - Preventing child marriage in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, ICS volunteers have been working with the local communities to establish youth clubs and child marriage prevention committees.
Shapla, a 14 year old girl described how attending the youth club helped her convince her father to halt her early marriage to a 37-year old man:
“I attended some sessions out of curiosity. When it matched with my own life, I realised I have learnt a lot. The youth club members helped me in convincing my parents. I am so happy now I am going to school and continuing my study."
Volunteers have also helped to secure registration for the clubs, ensuring that their work can be continued after the ICS volunteers leave the community.
Example - Fighting discrimination against deaf children in Kenya
Volunteers worked in the Nandi region of Kenya to established free sign language sessions and support classes for deaf children and their parents.
In total, the volunteers taught 450 local community members Kenyan Sign Language. This included teaching sign language to hearing students so they could communicate with their deaf classmates for the first time.
They also registered 35 previously unidentified deaf children and young people to receive support from the government’s National Council for Persons with Disabilities.
Helping children get a good education
Example - Getting children back to school in Nigeria
In Ikorodu, Nigeria, ICS volunteers set up the “Back to School" programme. They worked with key people in the community to raise awareness about the importance of education, and supported children who were not attending school to return.
Because of the project 85 children were supported to go back to school,
Community volunteers provide ongoing mentoring and support to support them with their studies.
Supporting health initiatives
Example - Organising Women's Health Days in rural Nepal
Volunteers working in the rural community of Khurkot in the Sindhuli district of Nepal set up a link with a local hospital in order to conduct free health check-ups for local women.
The Women's Health Days included free check-ups, seminars on women’s health and menstrual hygiene, as well as referrals for free or discounted health services.
Because of the project 184 women benefited from free health check-ups and advice.
Rebuilding services following natural disaster
Example: Supporting recovery efforts in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake
Following the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in April and May 2015, ICS mobilised in-country alumni and other skilled national volunteers to support with rebuilding efforts.
Between July and September, 52 volunteers from different ethnicities and regions across Nepal worked together to provide access to temporary shelters and other infrastructure, increase people’s knowledge around water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and better prepare communities for future natural disasters.
Volunteers were also involved in constructing 4 learning centres for 2,000 school children.
In total, ICS volunteers reached more than 46,000 people affected by the earthquake.