Volunteering with Progressio ICS
Progressio works alongside people in developing countries to help them gain power over their lives and overcome barriers that keep them poor.
Progressio is one of six organisations sending International Citizen Service (ICS) volunteers.
We send people to work with local organisations in developing countries,where they work alongside local people and communities to build their ability to overcome poverty.We also campaign for change to the policies and practices that keep people poor. As a Progressio ICS volunteer, you will play a key role by volunteering alongside local young people on community projects, and by raising awareness about the needs, hopes and achievements of the people you meet and work with, after you are back in the UK.
Progressio ICS volunteers are also encouraged to explore the role of faith in development, in order to better understand the context and the challenges of tackling poverty in developing countries. We welcome applications from people of all faiths and none: all you need is an open mind, and respect for the views of others.
Where we work
If you volunteer for ICS with Progressio you could work in:
- El Salvador
Volunteers only work with projects that have specifically requested the help of ICS to meet local needs, so you know your contribution will make a real difference.
What you'll do
As a Progressio ICS volunteer, you will benefit from our long-standing relationships with grassroots people and organisations to work alongside local young people on projects that make a real impact. Our projects are designed to meet specific local needs in three broad areas of work:
• promoting a sustainable environment
• empowering people to respond to HIV and AIDS
• enabling people to participate and have a say in the decisions and policies that affect their lives.
Some of the things our volunteers have done so far include:
• running drama workshops to raise awareness in villages and local communities about HIV and AIDS
• setting up children’s centres and developing ‘food gardens’ so that the children and young people can grow their own food
• supporting young people to educate communities about protecting and conserving the environment
• working with a young people’s organisation to challenge exploitation of child workers.
As well as helping to organise and deliver your team’s placement activities, you will be able to take on specific roleswithin your volunteer team, such as blogging, collecting visual media, monitoring and evaluation or community relations. As a group, you will also have the opportunity to reflect on the role of faith in the communities you visit and stay with, and in development in general.
You can get a better idea about what Progressio ICS volunteers get up to by reading our Empowered blog which is written by Progressio ICS volunteers.
How it works
As a Progressio ICS volunteer, you will work in a group of 4-7 UK and local volunteers, along with a group leader. You will receive pre-departure training and a week’s in-country orientation, before working on a range of local projects for 10 weeks. During your placement your team will hold regular reviews and you will be able to bring your own thoughts and ideas to planning and carrying out activities. After you return to the UK, we will give you guidance and support on ways of raising awareness with your local UK community about your experience and about development issues in general.
For volunteers interested in going to Central America, some Spanish language skills will be useful but are not essential, as some language training is provided as part of the in-country orientation.
Group leader placements last 6 months so that group leaders can provide continuity between the work of different volunteer teams.
Progressio ICS volunteers depart four times a year, in January, April, July and October, but we operate a rolling process of recruitment, so please apply now!