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VSO – Voluntary Service Overseas

VSO – Voluntary Service Overseas

  • Lead the ICS programme. We will ensure that an additional 10,000 UK young people aged 18-25 take part in volunteering in developing countries between 2015-2019. This will inspire a lifetime commitment to active citizenship among young people.
  • Ensure that young people who have already demonstrated their commitment to social action are prioritised for ICS. This will include prioritising young people who have completed National Citizen Service.
  • Work with our partners in ICS to support more than 7,000 UK young people from diverse backgrounds to carry out social action projects in the UK.
  • Promote good practice in line with the six social action principles of #iwill. We will promote this with the consortium of organisations delivering ICS. We will encourage consortium partners to pledge.

VSO has worked with and through young people globally for over twenty years. We work with youth as assets and agents for change – with half of the world’s population being under 30 years old, development programmes must consider and involve them.

Our work with youth has included programmes aimed at supporting change for young people themselves – to reduce exclusion, increase employment, and to further participation in governance – and programmes which involve young people creating change within their communities as volunteers.

Young volunteers bring energy, innovation and enthusiasm to programmes, motivating others to take action and challenge the status quo. In February 2016, ICS celebrated engaging 20,000 volunteers from across the world since the government-funded programme began. In the last year, 8,585 volunteers were contributing to sustainable development projects.

Those volunteers:

–          Delivered over 11,000 hours of peer education;
–          Completed 1,339 action research projects;
–          Created 611 community infrastructure projects, including building latrines and eco-stoves.

And plenty of other projects that are making a real difference in some of the poorest communities around the world.

But ICS volunteers also make a difference at home. Through the Action at Home scheme, each volunteer commits to at least one good cause in their local community. In the last year, 3,021 of these activities to promote local causes and global issues have been achieved in UK communities.


Quote from Felicity Morgan, Director of ICS:
“You don’t need money or qualifications to get involved with ICS – just the desire to make a difference in some of the poorest communities in the world. When you get back, you’ll take part in an Action at Home activity to ensure that the skills you’ve learned overseas can be used to benefit your local community too. And ICS will support you every step of the way”

Oscar Edwards, UK volunteer, Nepal:
“Being a VSO-ICS volunteer is a rewarding, invaluable experience and something which will aid an individual long after the three months have ended.”

KC Ogbuagu, In-Country Volunteer, Nigeria:
“ICS changed my life immensely. The way I think, the way I reason, the way I talk to people. VSO’s work with young people is really, really wonderful – I can literally see the transformation of young people just because they did the ICS programme.”