International Citizen Service

Thursday 26th September 2013

Catch 22 are offering fully funded, supported overseas placements that offer young people a chance to grow.

International Citizen Service (ICS) is the UK’s leading global volunteering programme for young people. It’s fully-funded and open to 18 to 25-year-olds. Young people don’t have to have any particular qualifications, skills or work experience to join!

They can:

  • go to one of 28 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia
  • spend 10 to 12 weeks working with young people from the UK and their host country on an exciting group project
  • learn more about themselves, international development and the world
  • gain valuable skills and experience that will help them when they return to the UK.


The programme’s focus is on supporting young people’s personal and social development as well as offering them an opportunity to give something back to some of the neediest communities in the world. Young people from the UK team up with young people from the developing world to help fight poverty together. The projects they support have been carefully selected so the energy of young volunteers can make a real difference?Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), ICS is run by six of the most respected names in international volunteering, led by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). These organisations have a wealth of experience in youth volunteering and offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities.? 

Why volunteer abroad?

Volunteering abroad offers an excellent opportunity to gain new skills, confidence, independence, leadership and experience. Young people who take part in programmes like ICS learn a lot about themselves and the world they live in. 

Bronwen, a Catch 22 staff member joined as a Team Leader this year. She said, “Last summer I led a team on the NCS programme, and I heard about the ICS. It sounded like an incredible opportunity and I decided to go for it. I’m currently based in Rwamagana, Rwanda. My mornings are spent in an office supporting the organisation we’ve been partnered up with. Our afternoons are shared between a school for orphaned children or out in the fields.

The main work is based in the rural countryside. We work with women in the fruit farms, and encourage them to have ownership and responsibility of these farms. Once fruit is sold they all receive a small amount of money. The women are also part of self-help groups in their communities and support each other in all areas of their lives. It's a great initiative and you can really see the benefits!

From the start, my experience has been a real adventure! Every day is different from the rest. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. I've grown in confidence, learnt about a different culture and learnt phrases from a new language.

I have pushed myself to try new things and exposed myself to areas that I may have never wanted to see."

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