International Citizen Service (ICS) isn’t just about fundraising and placement, it’s about being an Active Citizen when you come home. After all, changing the world doesn’t happen overnight (/in 3 months), so continuing to push for positive change in your communities is vital. Once restless, always restless eh!
We’ve put together some of the most creative Actions at Home from UK volunteers to inspire you in stage 3 of your ICS journey.
So…in no particular order…..
David volunteered in India.
After working with young people on placement he now gives up his spare time to volunteer for a charity called Twentytwenty as a mentor:
“I mentor a boy who struggles with behavior at school and home. We meet up once a week to discuss things he has done and how he is feeling. We then discuss his actions and whether they were good or what he could have done instead. It’s supposed to give him a role model so his behavior improves and he becomes a better citizen. I chose to volunteer with this charity because I previously worked in a school and enjoy the pastoral side of working with children.”
Horcelie volunteered in South Africa.
“I choose to write a motivational speech on HIV and AIDS during my rehearsal for Miss Congo UK as we were told to write a speech that is personal to us. Though it was quite nerve racking to perform it I felt much freer around the other contestants afterwards and they were very supportive.”
She also attended the Youth Stop AIDS Big Weekend, fundraised for Congolese NGOs, and was a speaker on this year’s Youth Stop AIDS Speaker Tour, inspiring hundreds of young people to take action to end AIDS by 2030!
Jamie volunteered in Zambia.
Jamie went above and beyond with a huge list of actions!
- He took part in a campaign in his local area to get people talking about mental health and the stigma surrounding it – he even spoke to the mayor and a local reporter about the importance of mental health care.
- Spent a day volunteering for Global Citizen and got 200 people to sign a petition to put gender equality in education in countries across the world on the political agenda.
- Volunteered to take animals who are in rescue for walks.
- Spent a weekend working for Child.org at V Festival.
- Was in a Huffington Post campaign called #BoysDoCry to encourage men to talk about their feelings.
…AND he volunteers once a week at Samaritans:
“In Zambia two children lived with me who’s mother had run away after her husband had prematurely passed away. She was struggling with her mental health and in Zambia there is little to no support for this. Support in the UK for people with mental illness isn’t fantastic, however voluntary organisations like Samaritans offer people a safety net when they are not getting help from the public.”
Michaela volunteered in India.
Michaela dropped a banner as a part of the Bridges Not Walls campaign. She also made a film called ‘An Adventure in South India’ so her friends and family could understand her experience better, and volunteered at her local care home:
“Something I was really inspired by through ICS was the community participation. It was wonderful seeing how people gave their time to help each other out in the community, especially supporting those more in need. I decided to look to my own community and organise a voluntary Christmas ‘Live Music & Mince Pies’ gig at my local care home for the elderly.
I hired all the sound equipment from a small local company, phoned the nursing home to sell them my idea, booked in the date and then got to putting my gig together!”
Ibrahim volunteered in Zimbabwe.
Ibrahim has been unstoppable…
- He gave a radio interview about ICS/Restless Development and has reached out to other radio stations about doing this in the future.
- Spoke to AS Psychology students about volunteering and inspired the students to consider applying for ICS.
- Gave his perspective on what ICS is like to a journalist for Huck Magazine and why it is the perfect thing for young people to get involved in and take action themselves.
- Volunteered for a charity dinner with Human Relief Foundation that was raising awareness about the struggle for homeless people and how difficult it is for them in this cold weather.
- Helped to organise a family fun day in aid of an orphanage in Bangladesh by promoting the event and looking for sponsors and engaged almost 1000 people!
But why stop there?! Ibrahim also put himself down to be a stem cell donor for a charity called Anthony Nolan:
“Not long after I got back from Zim I was told that I am a potential match for someone requiring a transplant. Currently I am a match for that patient, and within the next few months I will be told whether or not the transplant will be going ahead!”
Laura volunteered in Zambia.
After learning so much from the women she lived and worked with in community she decided to give a presentation about the role of women in Zambia to the local Women’s Institute group. She also wanted to play a bigger role in her local community whilst doing something to support refugees and migrants, so started volunteering with Akwaaba and wrote a blog about the experience – read it here!
“Zambia really opened my eyes to the power of community. Volunteering at Akwaaba, a refugee and migrant social drop-in, is often the highlight of my week. Here are people from all over the world being welcomed and supported by local residents and each other, each with drastically different stories to tell, and all the crazy, awful things that are going on in the world momentarily disappear in an open environment of socialising, laughter, and learning.
It is so fulfilling.”
Andrew volunteered in Nepal.
Andrew held an event to raise awareness for MIND; he talked his audience through their work, his own experiences with mental health and challenged the stigmas attached.
“I’m passionate about mental health awareness as it’s something I have to live with, and it was to promote the idea that I was no different to the next person. I’d never done anything akin to that level of public speaking, nor having the confidence to spill the beans on a lot of things I held close to me. So it was challenging.
The time overseas helped me through the classes we took, the issues we challenged and the diversity we dealt with daily. It told me that if you can teach people about an issue, they will care. It gave me a great deal of confidence when addressing and audience.
Without the experience I believe I would’ve been mute.”
“Returning from India put everything into perspective – that a little bit of love and determination can make a difference. I did a fundraiser to save my local youth centre, and seeing the community pull together was worth more than the £700 we made.”
“I have since volunteered with the foundation to establish the ‘Shermor Charles Medical Fund’; a fundraising effort for Shermor, a young boy who needs critical medical treatment in the USA for burns he sustained 4 years ago. I helped the fundraising efforts by speaking on local radio in Carriacou, writing press releases, posting flyers around town, creating an online donation page and selling food at a football tournament.
“The great news is that it is now confirmed that Shermor will be travelling to the USA in March for treatment!”