Posted on 14.02.2013 in news
Join the VSO ICS Q&A live on Facebook, 20 Feb 2013
By the end of the first six months of 2013, VSO will have sent no less than 360 ICS volunteers from the UK to their placements abroad. That’s 360 volunteers with millions of questions about the adventures that lie ahead of them.
In addition to the training and the day-to-day support from the youth team, getting advice from other young people who have already returned from their ICS programmes is a fantastic way for volunteers to prepare.
We’ve therefore asked returned volunteers Kate and Matt to join the youth team to share their advice and experience in an hour-long Q&A session on facebook.
Kate took part in VSO ICS from September to December 2012 and worked in rural Southern Rajasthan, India. Her placement in a school designed for indigenous and tribal girls aged 6-14 allowed her to work on development projects and gain some valuable field experience. Since she’s returned to the UK, Kate has continued to blog and tweet about international development and young people's role in the sector.
Matt returned from his VSO ICS placement in Kenya in December last year. In Kilifi, Matt worked in a special needs school and also supported a prison in giving human rights and trial advice to prisoners. Back home in London, Matt is currently interning with Amnesty International for the West Africa team.
So, if you’d like to pick Kate and Matt’s brains or ask the youth team anything about VSO ICS, join us on http://www.facebook.com/VSOYouth on Wednesday 20th February from 6-7pm.
Everyone is welcome – whether you’ve already applied for ICS or are only just starting to toy with the idea.
Just log onto facebook, where we’ll be waiting for you and your questions.
Posted on 06.02.2013 in news
Beyond Barriers - Indian and UK volunteers meet for training in Delhi
A group of 30 volunteers from U.K. and 30 from across three states of India aged between 18-25 years got together in the capital city of New Delhi for an ‘in country orientation’ from January 20 to 23, 2013. Ms. Ratna Viswanathan, Executive Director, VSO India, welcomed all participants and set the tone for the four day orientation.
The first two days of the four day exercise focused on breaking ice, setting expectations, addressing stereotypes and sharing leadership. An interesting walk to the Old Delhi lead by eminent filmmaker Mr. Sohail Hashmi helped volunteers get a feel of the unique history, cultural setting and economy of India.
With the goal of working together as a team, the training included being sensitive to each other’s interests, overcoming language barriers, cultural diversity, managing conflicts, security tips and solving problems together. Amy, a U.K. volunteer placed with Swechha shared “I really enjoyed the sessions particularly the session on gender which helped me understand how gender inequality affects different phases of life.”
Day three, Programme Supervisors performed short skits to help volunteers understand the code of conduct followed by theatre exercises that engaged volunteers to help them realise that language is not really a barrier. The volunteers enjoyed outdoor exercises and bonded with each other.
Flo Carson, a U.K. volunteer placed with NEEDS in Jharkhand shared “Losing inhibitions and getting to know everyone was exciting. I enjoyed the walk to Old Delhi.” Mamta, also from NEEDS said she felt the orientation helped them understand each other to work collectively and achieve development goals.
Michael, another UK volunteer placed with Prayas, Rajasthan enjoyed understanding ‘gender in the Indian Context’, gender roles, gender related problems and link between gender and other developmental issues.
UK and national volunteers were excited to know about each other’s backgrounds, beliefs, ambitions, dreams and vision for an ideal community. The content for the entire orientation was communicated through interactive games, energisers and fun activities, hence breaking the monotony of sharing serious presentations. The volunteers are now set to move to the respective placements and start a on a life changing journey.
Posted on 18.07.2012 in news
New Job Opportunities!
VSO ICS is currently recruiting for Programme Supervisors to work with youth volunteers.
VSO ICS is a 12-week volunteering programme for 18-25 year olds. A group of ten young people from the UK will join a group of up to ten young people from the host country, to live, learn and volunteer together on community-based social action projects. Through living and working alongside communities, the volunteers gain firsthand knowledge and experience of good practice in development work and are in turn able to make practical and meaningful contributions to the communities in which they volunteer.
They return to their home communities motivated to play a part in local and global action and, with support from the VSO Youth team, each volunteer will undertake a project in their home community to share their experiences of their volunteering.
Each VSO ICS team of volunteers is supported by two Programme Supervisors, one from the UK and one from the exchange country.
For more information check out the Job Opportunities page.
Posted on 01.07.2012 in news
The VSO ICS Program in Tanzania is launched!
The British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Diane Corner, took part in the launch of the International Citizen Service (ICS) Program in Tanzania. VSO ICS is a 12 week project spent working in a community overseas. It gives 18-25 year olds the chance to work on issues that really matter in developing countries and is supported by the Department for International Development. The program has been piloted in a number of countries last year and Tanzania is the first country to launch the VSO 3-year program after the pilot phase. VSO launched this program in Kagera, Tanzania in collaboration with the Regional Government Office and local VSO staff.
The first 40 VSO ICS volunteers arrived on the 1st of July 2012 and the volunteers will implement projects that promote youth participation and directly contribute to the specific goals of VSO in the fields of education, health and livelihoods.
The launching ceremony was chaired by His Excellency Fabian Massawe, Regional Commissioner for Kagera and was attended by the District Commissioner for Bukoba, a representative from the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports as well as the 40 ICS volunteers.
Mr. Massawe welcomed this initiative using the inspiring quote “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future”. The British High Commissioner, Diane Corner, commented that “Making effective use of the skills, energy and creativity of young people is critical to global and national development and changing lives of poor people”.
To hear all the news from our VSO ICS volunteers in Tanzania, please visit our Current Team pages.
Posted on 19.06.2012 in news
Volunteer with VSO ICS in September and October!
Apply now for the opportunity to volunteer with VSO ICS for 12 weeks in September or October!
We are currently recruiting for our next departures, where you could be going to some amazing places to take part in sustainable and worthwhile projects. Our countries for the Autumn include; Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Tanzania and Kenya.
Check out the links on this site for more information and to learn more about VSO ICS. Get applying!