Former Hills Road student Megan Ling first heard about the ICS Youth Volunteering Programme through a friend who had been to South Africa on the programme.
90% of the ICS programme's funding comes from the Department for International Development, with the other 10% raised by the volunteers themselves as the first of the 3 stages of the programme. The second stage consists of an overseas placement and the third is action at home.
For the first stage of the programme, Megan managed to raise £1500 by taking part in a skydive, a cycle ride from Cambridge to the Tanzanian High Commission in London, and other small cake and car boot sales.
Last September Megan travelled to Tanzania with VSO where she spent 10 weeks volunteering in Iringa with VSO and T-LED (Tanzania Local Enterprise Development). Here she worked with Tanzanian volunteers to help small enterprises develop their businesses, through cash flow training and business card/logo designing. She also taught the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals to students at Kleruu, a local secondary school. As a group the volunteers organised Community Action Days to raise awareness of issues and provide training opportunities in the community.
Megan is now back in Cambridge and carrying our her Action at Home. She already volunteers as a leader at a local scout group, and has now started volunteering in a charity shop.
Reflecting on her experience, Megan believed it helped her to develop new skills as well as enabling her to learn about new cultures, especially through living with a host family and having a Tanzanian counterpart volunteer during her time overseas.
To find out more about the ICS programme and the opportunities it brings visits: www.volunteerics.org