Volunteer overseas and tell the story with International Citizen Service
Are you interested in volunteering overseas, and telling a story about it? Would you like to immerse yourself in another culture, contribute to international development, and make media about the experience?
International Citizen Service (ICS) is the UK’s leading global volunteering programme for people aged 18-25, bringing together young people from different countries to fight poverty. Over the next three years ICS will be sending 7,000 young people from the UK to over 28 of the world’s poorest countries to work alongside national volunteers for 10-12 weeks.
And some of these placements have an additional media focus. If you are selected, as well as volunteering you will have the opportunity to tell the story of your placement through one or more media such as print, photography and video. In addition, you will have a chance to find other stories that highlight important issues in the developing world, and help audiences understand how other people live.
ICS is run by six of the most respected names in international volunteering, led by VSO. The media roles are currently available if you volunteer with Restless Development and Progressio, two charities with extensive experience of youth volunteering. Between them, these charities offer placements in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Details and FAQ
What it is
This is an opportunity to spend 10-12 weeks in a developing country, during which you will volunteer with a local organisation. You will be able to make media about the experience, and about other important stories that highlight development issues.
As an ICS volunteer you will be part of a group of volunteers working together in-country. Volunteers from the UK work alongside local volunteers from the host country – so you will be part of a genuinely international team.
What it isn’t
This placement is not simply a period of time in which you will look for stories and make media. The media role is in addition to the volunteering placement with a local organisation. The volunteering element is absolutely central, because it will immerse you in another culture, give you access to stories that you would otherwise struggle to find, and give you insight into development issues.
Who is it for?
This opportunity is for people aged 18-25 with an interest in international development and working towards a fairer world, and some experience in producing media. For example, if you have recently graduated from a journalism/media course, were involved in student newspapers or radio at university, or have relevant work experience, you are encouraged to apply.
If you are a current student, we anticipate that you will not be able to combine a placement with your studies, because each placement lasts 10-12 weeks. Therefore you may need to apply for a summer placement, or a placement that takes place after you have graduated. (See 'When could I go?').
What kind of media can I make? And will I need my own equipment?
All volunteers who fill the media role will be able to write articles and blogs, and will be encouraged to bring a camera for photos. You will have opportunities to use computers while in country, but having your own laptop may be helpful.
- For video, if you volunteer with Progressio, they have a small amount of video equipment which may be available, depending on the country you go to; but if you have your own equipment, you are encouraged to bring that.
- For radio/audio, you will need to have an appropriate audio recorder.
- For editing (either audio or video) you will need to have some means of doing this yourself, though free software is available (such as Audacity).
We are currently seeking funding to help us secure more equipment for use by volunteers, as well as in-kind support – you are welcome to contact us if you have any suggestions. Also, please note that you may need to consider insuring your own equipment if you do bring it.
What could I do on the placement?
Through volunteering with a local organisation, you could get involved with a wide range of development projects, such as training young people to use IT and other media, working with farmers on sustainable development, or using sport and other activities to build life skills. Click here to find out more at the ICS website.
Where could I go?
Restless Development and Progressio organise ICS placements in specific countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Follow these links to find out more:
When could I go?
Approximate times for placements in the coming year are:
- Apr – Jun 2013
- Jul – Sep 2013
- Oct – Dec 2013
You will typically need to apply around 2-3 months before the beginning of each placement ‘window’ in order to have enough time for selection and training.
ICS volunteers are not asked to pay; however, all volunteers are asked to fundraise a contribution towards the cost of their placement. There is plenty of support on offer to help you do this and no volunteer will be excluded because of cost. This fundraising enables even more volunteers from the UK and from developing countries to take part in the scheme.
Click here to find out more about costs and fundraising.
How to apply for this media role
ICS has one, centralised application and selection process for those who wish to go on any kind of placement (media or otherwise). This means that you will need to answer the same questions that any other prospective volunteer is asked, including why you want to take part, and what relevant experience you have. It also means that you will take part in an assessment day. ICS cannot guarantee that someone who applies will be selected - click here to find out what ICS is looking for in a volunteer.
During the application, you will need to ‘flag up’ your interest in the media role. To do this, please do two things:
1. You will be asked to express a preference for which agency you wish to volunteer with. The media roles are currently available with Restless Development and Progressio, so you will need to select one of those.
To learn more about these agencies and their approach, follow these links:
2. When asked ‘How did you hear about ICS’, please select ‘Other, please specify’, and then write ‘One World Media’ in the corresponding box.
After submitting the completed form, Restless Development or Progressio will potentially invite you to a selection day. These agencies also organise pre-departure training for those who are selected.
To learn more about ICS and to begin the application process, please visit http://www.ics-uk.org.uk/about/