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  • 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

    *UPDATE*

    Unfortunately we are unable to offer placements in Malawi in 2019.*

    Placements are available in:

    Bangladesh Cambodia Kenya  Nepal Tanzania Uganda Zambia

    *If you have already been placed,…

  • Rwanda

    *UPDATE*

    Unfortunately we are unable to offer placements in Rwanda in 2018-19.*

    Placements are available in:

    Bangladesh Cambodia Kenya Malawi Nepal Tanzania Uganda

    *If you have already been placed, your…

  • Ethiopia

    *UPDATE*

    Unfortunately we are currently unable to offer placements in Ethiopia.

    Placements are available in:

    Bangladesh Cambodia Kenya Nepal Tanzania Uganda Zambia
  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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!

  • 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.

    Through comprehensive training, participating in a challenging…

  • 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

    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…

  • 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.

    Since 2011, a total of 40,167 young people…

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • What will your day bring? Check out this 360° video

    In this 360° video take a look at some of the amazing things Naseem did on placement in Kenya - compared to life back at home in Newcastle.

    Use your mouse to scroll around the video:

  • Lesson times doubled after volunteers crowdfunded school roof repair

    For many people across Nigeria, rain is a blessing. But for students and teachers at Igangan High School in the west of the country, they dread it. 

    That’s because for the last year, their school has been…

  • Meet Naseem: The wrestling enthusiast turned youth activist

    19-year-old Naseem Haque from Newcastle really has made the most of his year off. Having earned a place studying Computer Games Programming at Newcastle University, he wanted to use his time in a meanginful way…

  • A digital detox helped two volunteers to see life – and the stars – more clearly

    The average UK adult now spends almost 9 hours a day glued to their screens – more time than we spend sleeping! (1)

    Checking their phone up to 150 times a day, the average smartphone…

  • From making money to making a difference

    We spoke to Aly-Khan Rajan, who completed ICS with Raleigh in February 2015, and returned as a Team Leader later that same year. Aly is passionate about the importance of diversity in youth participation, and…

  • Five reasons volunteering impresses employers

    With many students receiving results this time of year, it’s a great time to think about next steps – and how you can stand out from the crowd where employers are concerned.

    We talked…

  • 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…

  • About ICS

    ICS is an overseas volunteering programme for 18-25 year olds (23-35 for Team Leaders), led by VSO and funded by the UK Government.

    ICS is a development programme that brings together young people from…

  • 9 reasons why you definitely shouldn't volunteer abroad this year

    1. You'll miss Netflix
  • ‘I gave everything to my work – when I got home I was more confident’: Izak's story

    At 20, Izak Lees thought life wasn’t worth living. The youngest of five children growing up in Norfolk, he was bullied at school and suffered depression as a young adult.

    In 2015 he spent three months in…

  • From marriages to sisterhood: four unlikely friendships from placement

    It's fair to say ICS is a pretty life changing experience for most volunteers.

    You've got the opportunity to work on projects that make a difference, challenge yourself to develop as a person, and meet a…

  • 1.2 billion people are about to reach reproductive age: don't ignore the youth

    With 1.2 billion teenagers about to reach reproductive age, the world stands on the precipice of a population explosion – and a sexual health disaster.

    Max Son, 25, headed to London’s…

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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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