The Bukhel group of volunteers host a community meeting to discuss project ideas with key stake-holders of the community. Bukhel, Nepal. ICS / Restless Development volunteers in the Dakshinkali region of Nepal. (© Andy Aitchison / ICS)

ICS update

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, International Citizen Service (ICS) placements have not taken place since March.

The current phase of the ICS programme, delivered by VSO in partnership with Restless Development and Raleigh International, will come to its planned end in December 2020. This means that we cannot accept further applications for the programme at this time and ICS placements are currently paused.

Conversations are ongoing in the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) about what a new phase of the scheme might look like and how we can operate this safely given the Covid-19 context. The exact timing and structure of any future placements is unconfirmed.

What does this mean for those who have already started their volunteer journey with ICS?

We understand the time and commitment current applicants and volunteers have already put into ICS. The FCDO is working to implement a fair system to ensure individuals who have already started their ICS journey, including those who returned before their mid-point review due to Covid-19, receive priority places for any future scheme. Further details will be shared on the ICS website in due course, and more information can be found in these frequently asked questions. Current applicants and volunteers who have started their journey on ICS may have to re-apply and re-train in the future to participate in a new phase of the scheme.

For those still passionate about making a change in the world, you can still do so from your own home. Sign-up to our Climate Action Champions network and get involved in the Count Us In campaign, or connect with activist-peers around the world by joining our Youth Power Facebook group.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest events and opportunities from Restless Development by signing up to our newsletter and following us on social media: @RestlessDev and RestlessDev

You can also continue to join the National Youth Engagement Networks set up by ICS,  and find out about other ongoing engagement opportunities through the ICS Hub. .

If you are in the UK, you can join our UK Youth Action Network Facebook group for updates and opportunities to take action in the UK or join Youth Stops AIDS, the youth-led movement campaigning for a world without AIDS.  

Thank you.

The UK Government and the ICS consortium are immensely proud of everything ICS has achieved to date. Since 2011, over 40,000 ICS volunteers have helped lead sustainable change in communities around the world. Bringing young people from all walks of life together to volunteer on placement and back in their home communities brings about positive changes beyond just the 12-week placement.

This has been truer than ever during the pandemic response, where ICS volunteers have been taking action to prevent and respond to Covid-19. Read more about our superheroes fighting Covid-19 in Nepal, and the ICS volunteers who started their own organisation to improve water access and promote learning during lockdown in Uganda. In the UK, learn about how our Youth Against Misinformation group has been tackling fake news on Covid-19.