Minister salutes volunteers

5th Dec 2011
Written by: Mary Short

Minister salutes volunteers

UK Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, has praised the work of volunteers with the government’s pilot International Citizen Service.

“Today, on International Volunteering Day,” he said, ”I would like to recognise the efforts of the thousands of people who give up their time to support development programmes worldwide.”

The ICS programme involves a 12-week overseas placement, followed by supported community action projects back in the UK. Over 500 young people aged 18-22 have taken part in the scheme, involving work in over 20 countries. The programme is currently mid-way through an 18-month pilot phase.

ICS volunteers have so far helped flood victims in El Salvador, HIV awareness campaigns in Malawi and women’s business development in Burkina Faso. Volunteers are still being sought for the next round of programmes departing in April next year.      

Has anyone been on an ICS programme on their gap year? What have you done for International Volunteer day?

For more information on volunteering, see our volunteering section.

Here's an introduction to ICS:


Volunteer Teaching in Nepal

from £1295

14 - 112 days


Immerse yourself in the life and culture of Nepal as a volunteer teacher whilst living with a local family.

Rhino Conservation in Africa

from £1695

14 days


Join a rhino conservation project in Uganda, before heading off on a 3 day safari to see other African wildlife

Animal Rescue and Conservation

from £780

14 - 84 days

Costa Rica

Volunteer in Costa Rica at an animal rescue center!

Teaching and Community Work in Goa

from £670

14 - 56 days


Volunteer in Goa to give back to a community in need! 

Elephant Care in Thailand

from £599

7 - 84 days


Work up close with elephants rescued from a life of abuse, live on site at a beautiful wildlife centre in...

Greyhound Australia Coach Pass

from £65

7 days


If you're looking to soak up all of Australia but with the freedom to explore on your own terms, then...

Lifeguard Jobs at Camp in America

from £649

63 days

United States of America

Being a lifeguard is arguably the best job you could ever have at camp! The ultimate tan, full access to...

Borneo and the Philippines

from £2488

42 - 70 days

Malaysia, Philippines

A dynamic program which includes venturing deep into the jungle to teach indigenous tribes, exploring Mulu caves, an orangutan safari,...

Children’s Day Care in Peru

from £675

14 days


Work alongside the local nursery teachers and run exciting activities with children in the beautiful city of Arequipa.

Red Cross Medical Placements – Japan

from £2500

180 days


Our Medical volunteers in Japan usually work in busy Red Cross hospitals, getting to observe everything from nursing to brain...


Amazon Riverboat Adventure In Depth

from £1189

Hop aboard a riverboat and experience the Amazon in style. Led by an Amazon Reserve naturalist guide, your cruise will...

Essential Costa Rica Independent Adventure

Hit two of Costa Rica's signature spots: First, head for the outdoor adventure playground around Arenal Volcano and take advantage...

Mexico City: Day of the Dead Original

from £750

Join in the celebrations of one of the world's most bizarre cultural institutions – Mexico's Day of the Dead –...

Empire State of Mind

from £449

New York needs no introduction. You’ve seen the soaring skyscrapers and sparkling lights of Times Square illuminate your TV screen...

Sapa Adventure

from £320

Northwest Vietnam is a captivating mix of dramatic mountainscapes, crisp fresh air and colourfully-clothed hilltribes. Set on the slopes of...

Queensland Sand, Sailing & Dreamtime

from £1252

This is hardly a sleepy trip. Rather, this is the perfect 12-day adventure for sailing buffs that want to experience...

Best of Mexico

from £2503

Cheers a margarita glass to the vivacious beauty and fiery flavours of Mexico. Discover the culture and landscapes of this...

Independent Lares Trek

Avoid the crowds on this independent adventure and head off the beaten track! The challenging Lares Trek is a great...

Epic Bangkok to Kuta

from £2549

Get off the beaten path and head right into the wonders of Southeast Asia. On this best-of collection of Bangkok,...

Everest in Full Picture – Basix

from £995

Travel to Nepal and head to the Himalayan hills to get the full picture of Everest. Fly to Lukla then...

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