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  • I got empowered. Then I just didn't stop

    For Paul Asiawon, 24, ICS taught him to see disability in a different way. After spending his International Service ICS placement supporting other people with disabilities to fully engage with the community, he’s…

  • Meet the four volunteers tackling poverty through social enterprise

    Money makes the world go round. With entrepreneurship making up one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, doing business responsibly is key to creating lasting change.

    For Matthew, Jennifer, Luis and…

  • Packed placements - What do ICS volunteers get up to on placement? A photo blog

    We followed a group of ICS volunteers on their placement in Ashanti, Ghana. Here is some of the things they they got up to...

    Supporting the community

    All volunteers on placement work to  support a local…

  • I’m Kenyan. I didn’t realise poverty existed in the UK

    When Kenyan VSO ICS volunteer Felix Owino, 26, visited London last month as part of his new role as Youth Advisor to the VSO Board, he saw something he wasn’t expecting to see.

    People with no home, living…

  • 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…

  • New Year, new you! Using your resolutions to fundraise

    Can’t keep your new year’s resolution? Use your Fundraising Support Team’s new year’s resolutions to keep your fundraising on track!

  • Returning as a Team Leader: Nkululeko's story

    Having volunteered with Tearfund ICS once, Mtambo returned as an ICS Team Leader in the summer of 2015. He led a team of UK and South African volunteers in the township of Chesterville, near Durban. The…

  • “I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas with my new family” Charlotte’s story

    22-year-old Charlotte Curry from Langport, Somerset will be having a rather different Christmas dinner this year – swapping her sister’s thai curry for a traditional Nepalese meal while on her VSO ICS placement…

  • “I just feel so lucky to be here.” Kathryn’s Story

    18-year-old Kathryn Cook from Cambridgeshire is a VSO ICS volunteer based in Jatan, India. The placement is working towards female and youth empowerment, and to improving the government-run nurseries. Kathryn…

  • ICS yearbook: Seven things we achieved in 2017

    This year’s been big for ICS. Around the world, volunteers like you have worked in communities from Nepal to Nicaragua, supporting people living in some of the most challenging circumstances.

    Here are just some of our…

  • Breaking News! How to engage with the media

    Are you in the midst of an ICS fundraising frenzy? Have you planned an amazing event and want to get some extra support?

    Engaging with the media is a good way to let more people know what you’re doing and why, and might…

  • Meet Tatch and Felix: the two alumni using their youth voice to make change

    Takyiwa Danso, 25, London

    Takyiwa has extensively campaigned and advocated for youth participation in key…

  • Myth busting! Our 11 dos and don’ts of fundraising

    DO set up a JustGiving page

    Check out our JustGiving guidance for help.

  • Why supporting young people will always matter to me

    The International Citizen Service (ICS) photography competition captures the impact and experiences of youth volunteers working in some of the poorest communities in Africa, Asia and Latin…

  • The importance of storytelling

    Every year, International Citizen Service (ICS) runs a Photo Competition, to capture the experience of volunteers as they go on placements around the world, living and working in the communities and working on…

  • Malawi

    This largely agricultural country is making huge strides to overcome decades of underdevelopment, corruption and HIV/AIDS.

    Malawi is one of the world’s most affected countries by HIV/AIDS, with more than…

  • Rwanda

    This small, landlocked country in east-central Africa is trying to recover from ongoing ethnic tensions following the mid-1990s brutal genocide that saw 800,000 people killed in 100 days.

    Today Rwanda is…

  • Ethiopia

    Africa’s oldest independent country – and second largest – has never been colonised. It acts as a symbol of African independence and is the base for many international organisations.

    It has a unique…

  • Poacher to protector: How one ICS volunteer is changing attitudes to conservation

    24-year-old Irene Duhuzukuri from southern Rwanda was one of the country’s first team leaders with ICS. After learning vital business and management skills, he went on to set up his own conservation project, creating green jobs,…

  • Supporting others at home and abroad

    For Matt Morrison, an ICS placement in Burundi was the starting point on a journey that would see him studying development in India, supporting refugees in France and working with the homeless in his hometown of…

  • National Audit Office Report Response

    PLEASE NOTE: THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS FOR ICS VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORTERS. FOR A MEDIA STATEMENT, PLEASE CONTACT THE VSO PRESS OFFICE ON 020 8780 7530.

     

    For all our volunteers and supporters: response to the National…
  • Neighbourhood spaces for the children of Kwali

    Jess Hankins volunteered last year as a team leader with VSO ICS in Kwali, Nigeria, and is now back at university studying for a Masters in global development and gender. Here, she reflects on how the impact of ICS volunteers leads…

  • Fighting discrimination against deaf children in Kenya

    Last year, team of deaf VSO ICS volunteers from the UK worked alongside deaf local volunteers in the Nandi region of Kenya, where they established free sign language sessions and support classes for deaf children…

  • How to capture the perfect moment

    This month, we’ve received over 300 amazing entries for the ICS Photo Competition, capturing some of the most unique moments from your placements around the world.

    Six lucky winners of…

  • Planning your perfect pub quiz

    Interested in holding a pub quiz to raise some funds but not sure how? Follow this simple step by step guide below and watch the £££ come rolling in!

  • ICS volunteer becomes youngest member of UK Youth Board

    Inspired by his time volunteering overseas and tackling poverty in Bangladesh with Y Care International, Alex Edge was keen to work with young people on his return to the UK. This experience led him to become a…

  • Don’t miss out on ICS - limited places remaining

    Limited departures remaining in 2018, so apply today to…

  • ICS turned my life around

    A few years ago, life looked pretty bleak for Londoner Danial William. He’d had several exclusions from school, been in trouble with the police and was hanging out with a bad crowd.  Now 21, he is employed by…

  • Talking about it: How two volunteers are breaking taboos on menstrual health

    Volunteers Preeti Bhandari and Tara Leanne Hall worked to tackle female health issues in the rural community of Khurkot in the Sindhuli district of Nepal.

    In this blog they tell us how…

  • A year after she resisted marriage at 14, Shapla is still happy at school

    A year ago, Shapla, a 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl who used the lessons she'd learned from VSO ICS volunteers to convince her dad not to marry her off to a 37-year-old man.

    One year on, we are delighted…

  • Our 30,000th volunteers had some surprising odds in their favour

    It’s fair to say it’s unlikely that 25-year-old civil engineer; Benon Kwikiriza, from rural Uganda and accountant Faysal Ahmed, 26, from Oldham, would have met. But this week, they’ve become the 30,000th young…

  • Using his experience to help others. Jake's story

    When Jake Neal, 20, first came across the idea of volunteering abroad on a three month ICS placement with Raleigh, his first thoughts were “Oh, that sounds interesting, I should have a look.”

  • Using code to create change: Fidele’s story

    25 year-old Fidele Gisore has just completed a three month programme volunteering with Challenges Worldwide on the ICS scheme in Kigali, Rwanda.

    While on placement, Fidele worked closely with his British…

  • Transform your fundraising photo by photo

    Ever thought how your selfie can help you fundraise? This blog gives you the lowdown on how to get great photos that will help you boost your fundraising and even how to turn them into a fundraising activity!

  • Volunteering - the first step to a brighter future

    International Citizen Service (ICS) is a once-in-a-lifetime volunteering opportunity open to all 18-25 year olds, funded by the UK Government. Over 12,000 UK young people have taken part.

    It's a…

  • International volunteering is no longer just for the rich

    Last year it was reported in the national media that, early in her career, Education Secretary Justine Greening had been turned down for a job in finance after leaving university because she hadn’t taken a gap…

  • "As for my future goals, the sky's the limit": Matt's story

    Matthew Collier, 19, from Brighton, was always worried his dyslexia would hold him back from getting ahead. Now back from his Challenges Worldwide ICS placement in Lusaka, Zambia, he’s got a new lease of life and…

  • My ICS placement set me up for a new career path in government

    Rosie Coleman, 25, from London, took a big risk – to leave the high-flying London job she wasn’t enjoying to apply for ICS. Two placements with Challenges Worldwide later, she’s back in her home city – but with a…

  • Personal and professional development

    As well as bringing about change in the lives of people in local communities, ICS furthers volunteers’ learning and personal development.

    Volunteers benefit from comprehensive training as part of the…

  • Sustained social action

    The impact of ICS endures beyond the placement.

    91% of volunteers (UK and in-country) say that their attitudes towards social action has changed as a result of taking part in ICS. With two thirds of…

  • ICS programme impact

    ICS volunteers support the work of dedicated partners on the ground. 95% agree that volunteers make a serious and positive contribution to this work. 

    Recent impact

    In the past year, ICS volunteers…

  • ICS impact

    Supporting development work on the ground, developing young volunteers and building a legacy of active citizenship. We're proud of the difference we're making.

    Find out more about our impact:

  • These five young people are redefining how we see poverty in 2017

    For years, the media’s outdated perception of poverty has defined how the world has understood international development. But young people across the globe are changing that. This International Day for the…

  • 5 volunteers working on issues that have everything to do with the end of poverty

    Globally, over 10% of people on Earth live under the poverty line. That’s over 10% of people for whom accessing quality education, health services and clean drinking water are a challenge and who are vulnerable…

  • 6 tips for stress free (and fun filled) fundraising!

    Life can be stressful, but your ICS fundraising doesn’t have to be. We want you to make the most of this opportunity and enjoy every second! So sit back and have a gander at our top tips for stress free fundraising.

  • Interested in ICS?

    Sign up to the ICS newsletter – our free monthly email update.

    Every month we’ll update you with stories about ICS volunteers and the impact they are making, selected opportunities and ways in which you can contribute to…

  • One second a day: Georgia’s snapshot of placement life in Nigeria

    “I’m a different person now,” says 19-year-old VSO ICS volunteer Georgia Deegan. She’s been back just two weeks in the UK after spending three months in the rural Nigerian village of Oke Ode. We caught up with…