Meg Kneafsey is a returned International Citizen Service (ICS) volunteer with Raleigh International, a trustee for the charity, and a campaigner. She now writes about how you can continue your ICS journey after placement…
So you’ve arrived home post-placement, weary from your months away from home making tangible, positive change but full of excitement for the future. You have ideas for your Action at Home or may have already completed it and don’t want to lose that momentum. The great thing is your journey doesn’t have to end. Here are just a few ways to continue working with ICS
Volunteer in your home country
If you enjoyed volunteering with ICS, there are many opportunities to volunteer close to home. Perhaps there’s an issue you’re passionate about and were never involved in before. You can use the skills you’ve developed and put them to good use in your local communities. Either through campaigning on local issues or volunteering in local organisations.
Volunteer and Fundraise for ICS
Loved your placement and want to help the next cohort? Then volunteer with ICS. You can work as an ICS Selector supporting the Selection Days through access and recruiting new candidates. Alternatively, you can volunteer on the pre-departure training weekends, helping prepare ICS volunteers for their placement through your own experience and knowledge.
Each ICS agency also has their own events so check out their website or contact them directly to find out about working as a Selector or Trainer or even volunteering at their national events. Similarly, each agency will have their own resources to help you with fundraising events such as ‘Run for Restless’.
Raise Awareness of International Development
Really want to share your opportunity with other young people? Spread ICS through social media or discussing it with your peers. ICS is recruiting throughout the year and with such a variety of placements, locations and organisations, there’s a placement for everyone.
You may have become aware of a particular issue you’d like to campaign about. Campaigning is simple and there’s lots of support available for your own campaign or national campaigns you can be a part of. You can also start you own blog or blog about issues you care about for ‘We Are Restless’.
Truly want to relive the experience again but with more responsibility? If you’re aged between 23 and 35 you can apply to be an ICS Team Leader either for the organisation you previously went with. Being a Team Leader is a fantastic way to develop transferable skills and be an integral part of the next ICS cohort.
Whatever you do, don’t forget, your ICS journey has only just begun!