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Our company in a nutshell

VSO is an international development charity that works through volunteers. Our volunteers work in developing countries with local organisations that serve poor people.

They work to make a sustainable difference in ways such as helping give children a future through education; improving the standards of care in hospitals and training people in the skills they need to earn a living. Our volunteers do what needs to be done to break down the barriers that trap people in poverty.

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Our Experience / Expertise:

We have been sending volunteers to developing countries since 1958 and work through over a thousand local organisations in over 30 countries. Working with local organisations ensures a sustainable approach to fighting poverty. These include schools, hospitals, business co-operatives, community associations and national governments that have specifically asked for our help.

We also have a strong partnership with the UK Department for International Development and this is fundamental to our work. VSO and DFID share a focus on strengthening the voice of the poor and marginalized in decisions that affect their rights and their lives.

What is VSO ICS?

VSO ICS is funded by UK Government and gives anyone aged 18-25 a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend 3 months volunteering abroad in Africa or Asia, working with in-country volunteers, contributing directly to genuine development projects.

It's an opportunity to experience another culture, challenge yourself and develop transferable skills to bring back with you. The three months volunteering could be part of post-school or college skills development, or a career break.

The scheme supports people from all backgrounds and also welcomes applications from those who may have specific needs or disabilities.

How much does it Cost? You do not have to pay to volunteer with ICS, but we do ask you to do some fundraising before you go overseas of at least £800. You don't have to start any fundraising until you are definitely accepted onto the programme.. This is a key part of the programme as it helps you develop skills as well as raising awareness of international development.


We only work with organisations and projects who have specifically requested our help so you know you are making a real contribution to fighting poverty.

You will encounter and help tackle some of the biggest issues of our world today. Like how young people can fulfil their potential, widening opportunities for people who lack formal education and how to prevent more people from being affected by HIV and AIDS.

You will be working alongside volunteers from the country you are in, helping you gain a better understanding of the challenges faced in that country and life outside the UK.

At the end of the programme you will bring all this knowledge back to the UK with you, as well as important skills such as team-working, communication, negotiation and decision making. The experience gained could help you choose a career path or find a job as well as having made some great friends.

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