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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, a total of 40,167 young people volunteered in 32 countries across the world as a part of ICS. They have made positive changes in the communities where they have volunteered, developed skills and personal resilience to face an ever-changing world and started a lifelong journey of active citizenship.

ICS Report 2011-2020

The International Citizen Service has created positive change in the communities our volunteers work with. Some 92 percent of project partners say they are better able to bring out change as a result of working with young ICS volunteers.

Volunteers have worked on education, healthcare, livelihoods and social accountability projects. Our projects are successful because they have strong relationships and communities at their heart.

Download the full report

ICS Report: 2011-2020 (PDF)

Development impact


172 livelihood projects have taken place in 17 countries

Livelihoods projects aimed to increase the economic opportunities and self-sufficiency of communities, particularly disadvantaged groups.

ICS volunteers have facilitated the skills development of women and youth enabling them to set up small businesses, and supported young people in accessing employment opportunities.

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.


78 education projects have taken place in 17 countries

Education projects aimed to improve access to education among disadvantaged groups in rural communities.

ICS 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.


90 health projects have been carried out in 18 countries.

Health projects focused on improving access and awareness of health rights and services and promoting healthy practices among communities.

ICS volunteers have highlighted the importance of good sanitation and hygiene practices, and raised awareness of young people’s sexual health rights and services.

Social accountability

55 social accountability projects have been carried out in 9 countries

Social accountability projects amplified the voices of marginalised groups in society and built awareness of people’s rights and their capacity to exercise control over decisions and resources. 

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

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Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

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