News story

International Citizen Service opens

Young adults from across the country and from all walks of life will be given the chance to make a real difference in the poorest parts of the world – by volunteering overseas.

Young adults from across the country and from all walks of life will be given the chance to make a real difference in the poorest parts of the world by volunteering overseas.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell have officially opened International Citizen Service (ICS) for applications.

The scheme will enable 18 to 22 year-olds to work as volunteers for 10 to 12 weeks in a developing country on projects to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.

The scheme aims to contribute to helping reduce poverty overseas as well as to broaden the horizons of the young volunteers and develop skills such as team working and communications.

Some of the experiences on offer will include:

  • Working in Latin America or West Africa on projects to protect and promote the rights of children, women people living with disability or HIV/AIDS.
  • Faith based programmes in Malawi, El Salvador or Peru working with farmers on sustainable agriculture or training young people in IT skills.
  • Working alongside young national volunteers in Africa or Asia to design and run events and campaigns to promote changes aimed at reducing poverty.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: 

 ”I want young people from this country to have the chance to really understand the challenges faced by people in very poor countries, by living and working alongside them to improve their lives. International Citizen Service will not only help the world’s poorest communities, but it will be a life changing experience for our young people: giving them new perspectives, greater confidence and higher aspirations.”

Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said:

“This is an important opportunity for young people not only to broaden their own horizons but also to have a life-changing impact on others.  These volunteers will learn first hand about the challenges faced by very poor communities in developing countries, and how their lives can be improved.  By making this contribution these volunteers will show what a difference one person can make in the world. I’m sure they will return from their experience full of enthusiasm for helping others, and with an understanding and appreciation of the results development can bring.”

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