Y Care International ICS is about working with local people to meet local needs.

Click here to apply for ICS todayThis means you’ll be using your skills and creativity to find solutions to problems that are right there in front of you. If you volunteer with Y Care International you will work alongside local YMCAs in your host country to help enrich the lives of young people and to build a world free from poverty.

Every project is led by experienced staff in the YMCA. They will help you learn about the community in which you are living and support you to make the most of your time there.

Where could I go?

Y Care International currently sends ICS volunteers to the following countries. Here is a short summary of the key projects you could be involved with:

Bangladesh
You will be working on projects which improve access to education for marginalised children and young people, particularly girls, alongside addressing gender inequalities. You will promote support for education and developing school-going attitudes, and providing non-formal education within poor communities themselves.

Togo
You would be working on projects which support young people around education and civic participation. The YMCAs in Togo will undertake a range of activities will use will use education to improve children and young people’s opportunities to learn and ultimately become active citizens in their country. Education will especially help to improve young people’s health, especially sexual and reproductive health and ensuring more young people are active in their communities. You may also work with young people who have been in conflict with the law or experienced prison.

Senegal
Click on the 'Senegal' link to find out more about our work in the region.You would be helping communities who have been badly affected by war. We focus on improving access to health care services and knowledge on health issues for young people. This is to help to ensure Senegals’ most vulnerable young people get health information and can use health services.

Liberia
You will be working on our projects that help young people in slums to campaign for improvements. We also run projects which help to address neglected health issues and which offer positive activities for young people.

Sierra Leone
Our projects empower young people living in some of the most deprived slums to transform their lives and their communities. For example this includes supporting young people to acquire the skills to earn a living or start a business, and training them to campaign for better services for people living in slums.

How will I be helping these projects?

You could get involved in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Click here to apply for ICS todayHelping to plan and run activities for young people in the community, such as sports, peer education and encouraging them to speak out for their rights
  • Supporting YMCA staff with research, surveys and identifying the needs of young people
  • Reviewing and evaluating the projects to help us improve the difference we have on young people’s lives
  • Talking to young people about their experiences to find out how they feel the project has impacted their lives
  • Writing articles and blogs about the projects for the YMCA and Y Care International websites

Who will I volunteer with?

You’ll be part of a small group from the UK and when you arrive you’ll be teamed up with other ICS volunteers from the country you’re based in. This is a great opportunity to learn from each other and share ideas to create a lasting impact.

Volunteers from the host country are very important for the programme. As well as giving advice on the best ways of working in the area, helping you settle in and learn about their community they will work with you to help improve the lives of others in their community.

Where will I live?

Through living and working with people in a different culture, you will learn a lot about the community you are based in.

Accommodation will vary depending on location, but wherever you are staying we will make sure it is safe and has all the basic amenities you need. However, it is important that you are prepared for basic living conditions and are adaptable to those conditions. We work in communities of all sizes, from small villages to big cities, so you could end up living in either an urban or rural setting.

UK volunteers mostly stay in a ‘host home’, with local people. You could be in a home with people who are young or old, single or in a large family – the thing that unites them is a willingness to welcome you into their lives. You might be in a host home with another UK volunteer, or a national volunteer and sometimes on your own.