Andy Hamilton from County Down built a tree nursery that will one day help beat malnutrition in Rwanda, David Dube used his skills in marketing, fundraising and social media to make a difference to local people in Mali, while Nushrath Khandoker went to rural Bangladesh to connect with her wider family and culture.
All were part of International Citizen Service (ICS), a UK government funded development programme that brings together 18 to 25 year olds from all backgrounds to fight poverty in overseas and UK communities. You don’t need money, skills or qualifications to take part in ICS – just the ambition to make a difference.
While the overall aim of ICS is to fight poverty and make a lasting difference the projects each have a different focus depending on the partner organisation they work with. For instance, if applying through Raleigh International, you will find yourself in Nicaragua, India or Tanzania tackling issues around education, health, livelihoods, strengthening civil society and the environment. Other ICS partner organisations have their own objectives in a further 20 plus developing countries around the world, including South Africa, Zambia, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Tajikistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
ICS is funded by The Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. ICS is open to everyone aged 18 to 25 regardless of income, qualifications, disability and work history but applicants must be UK or EEA citizens who have lived in the UK for 12 months or more.
More information is available from www.volunteerics.org.
Top image courtesy of Shana Stine.