We're committed to empowering young people to be active citizens and contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, locally and globally.
Here you'll find activities and events to develop your skills, connect you with like-minded individuals, and inspire you.
Upcoming events and opportunities:
Join the National Youth Engagement Network (NYEN) in your country
Designed and led by ICS volunteers, National Youth Engagement Networks are groups of active citizens who are passionate about leading, and contributing to, social change in their own communities. Supported by the ICS agencies in collaboration with local young people, each NYEN is unique in its purpose and set-up.
There are currently active networks in:
You can also follow the networks' Facebook pages to see some of the amazing work they have been doing in their communities:
ONE is a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity. Join the global campaign.
Reducing violent conflict using technology, media and data. Peacetech uses low-cost, easy-to-use tech and local partnerships to put the right tools in the hands of the people best positioned to make a difference: activists, peacebuilders, and NGOs in some of the most violent places on earth. Volunteers can support the Peacetech Lab through mentorship, training, event support, and more. Join the Peacetech Movement and find out about their volunteering opportunities.
Online workshops, training and courses
Is coronavirus affecting your education or work? Explore online courses to continue studying, build professional skills, and connect with experts. Stay connected and keep learning wherever you are, with courses ranging from youth mental health to humanitarian response. Sign up for free courses on FutureLearn.
Develop your skills during lockdown with free online Humanitarian Aid training courses, from safety and security to humanitarian essentials. DisasterReady partners with NGOs, leading agencies, and experts in humanitarian aid and development to make the best online learning available to you anywhere, anytime, for free! Take a look at the courses available.
Build your skills and learn about something new with interesting and innovative free online courses from experts and world-leading organisations. Check out the courses on offer from Coursera.
Through SALTO you can access advanced e-learning and training opportunities, covering topics such as upskilling youth trainers and facilitators, making youth participation visible, learning more about how to run campaigns, and discovering how to build awareness and start initiatives in a systematic and strategic way. These training opportunities are aimed at young people across Europe, and the platform also offers toolkits for training in youth work aimed at youth work professionals. Browse the SALTO training calendar.
Global volunteering opportunities
Volunteer with VSO
If you have a degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field and at least three years' related work experience, you can apply to become a VSO volunteer, sharing your skills and expertise with some of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in the world. Opportunities are available for both international and national volunteers, with a blend of remote and in-person programme delivery. Discover more about volunteering with VSO.
UN online volunteering
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteering allows organisations and volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device. Online volunteering is fast, easy, and most of all, effective. When skilled, passionate individuals join forces online with great organisations working toward sustainable development goals, everyone wins. Watch this video to learn what it means to be a UN Online Volunteer and sign up to join the UNV programme.
Join a global network of digital volunteers helping Amnesty to research and expose human rights violations. Amnesty Decoders is an innovative platform for volunteers around the world to use their computers or phones to help Amnesty researchers sift through pictures, information and documents. You will need access to a computer or a phone and an internet connection to take part. Find out more about the Amnesty Decoders project.
Translators without Borders
If you're fluent in more than one language, check out this US-based non-profit organisation that combines language skills with humanitarian aid. Volunteers provide translations (10 million words a year!) to international organisations that focus on crisis relief, health and education. Find out more about becoming a volunteer translator.
There are many organisations around the world offering the opportunity to volunteer on development projects, usually in countries in Africa and Asia. If you're considering volunteering overseas, make sure you read our guide to responsible volunteering first, and use our checklist to make sure you're asking the right questions when researching potential organisations and projects.
Become a member of the UK National Youth Engagement Network (NYEN)
Designed and led by a core committee of young people, the network helps to give a voice to young people across the UK. You’ll work with peer networks of ICS returned volunteers to support some of the biggest issues facing young people across the UK, including climate change, mental health and youth employment and advocate for UKAid. If you’re based in the UK and ready to create positive change in your community, sign up to join the NYEN.
Raleigh International Expeditions
Young people everywhere can change the world. Raleigh help them to do it by supporting young people with skills, experiences, and connections so they can lead change. Joining a Raleigh Expedition will engage you in hands-on projects, working with other young people, local communities and project partners, to tackle environmental issues, help support access to education, and alleviate poverty. In 2021, Raleigh Expedition will work in Nepal and Costa Rica. Raleigh International will also be running programmes and youth-led campaigns in the UK and around the world. Find out more about Raleigh Expeditions.
Become a City Year UK mentor
Become a mentor with City Year UK. Mentoring is a great way to gain valuable leadership experience and boost your career prospects. With support and guidance, you will be the change in your community and see the change you can make to young people’s lives. Apply to become a City Year UK mentor.
Volunteer with Age UK
Volunteer for the free telephone friendship service, Call in Time, for people 60 and over. Age UK will match you up with a likeminded person who's keen to make a new friend, and every week they'll give you a call. Now more than ever, not having someone to talk to regularly can be lonely. A friendly, 30-minute chat on the phone every week can make all the difference. Register your interest to volunteer with Age UK.
Be an online Shout crisis volunteer
Be an online crisis volunteer and have a positive impact on people’s lives, make a difference by resolving crises and learn essential skills in communication, problem solving and crisis management. You need to be resilient and mentally robust to help people in distress and commit to 25 hours of online training and 200 total hours of volunteering: that’s 2 – 4 hours volunteering per week. Sign up to become a crisis volunteer.
Speak out on behalf of WaterAid
Are you a confident speaker, and passionate about transforming lives with clean water? WaterAid is an NGO that focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene. You can support them by becoming a volunteer WaterAid speaker and help inspire others with online talks and workshops.
Become an ambassador for Youth Employment UK
Become a Youth Ambassador and help to tackle some of the youth employment barriers young people experience. Join a dynamic team of youth volunteers for 10 hours a month and get involved in inspiring projects. Find out how to volunteer as a Youth Ambassador.
Get involved with your nearest food bank
During this challenging time, food banks in the Trussell Trust network need your help to continue to provide essential community services to people in crisis. Food banks need help with sorting and packing donations in their warehouse, collecting donations from supermarkets, and delivering food to people in greatest need. Sign up to volunteer with the Trussell Trust.
There are lots of exciting activities to get involved with regularly, so check back for updates!