Want a deeper insight into what an ICS placement looks like? Read the amazing blogs written by our past and present volunteers. Enjoy the journey!

Malawi: Can we talk about it too?

This is a question most young ones ask themselves on issues that concern sexual reproductive health (SRH) issues. Cultural beliefs are becoming a hindrance to the youths age 20 and below. Most Malawian cultures don’t allow youths to talk about sexually-related health issues with their parents as well as other grown-ups in their communities. These boys and girls are scared to talk to their parents on issues that affect their lives. In Malawi, a girl cannot ask her mother or father how to use condoms during sex, as this is considered as a taboo and that child might be punished for it.


El Salvador: Días de trabajo

Día uno: Bio-construcción

En la cuarta semana de julio, comenzó la bio-construccion con el emparejamiento de suelo, escavando zanjas para los muros de contención de la caseta. Este ciclo, vamos a construir una caseta de información, un descansadero, dos carteleras para mejorar el Sendero de la Paz, que termina en la comunidad El Portillo. Todo esto con el apoyo de Ana María. Todo el grupo muestra buena aptitud a pesar de lo duro que es estar trabajando, sobre todo en los bio-bloques.


Nicaragua: Todo salió bien

Empezando la semana con mucha energía y felices de entregar a cada familia beneficiada los materiales para la construcción de las eco-estufas, poco a poco se observa como el volcán de arena desaparecía. Entre risas, sudor y muchas poses para las fotos, todos los voluntarios nicas y británicos ayudaban a las familias a empacar y cargar. Cada familia utilizaba distintos transportes para trasladar los materiales, mientras unos utilizaron camionetas rentadas, carretillas, otros traían sus caballitos o carreta jalada por bueyes.


More than you know

Before I even applied for the ICS programme I had my doubts. I had been travelling before and due to my mental health my trip was cut short. I faced up to the fact that I had depression and couldn’t keep fighting it on my own. I was worried that the past would repeat itself in the same way. This was a three-month placement and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to cope being away from my familiar and comfortable settings, not to mention the help that was available at home.


Malawi: A Malawian wedding

The differences between a Malawian wedding and a British wedding are evident from the word go - beginning with the invites. There are no fancy invitations sent to specific individuals with an RSVP date, rather you are invited by default if you belong to the church that the couple attend. Us UK volunteers were all invited, even though I had only been to church once, and didn’t even know the name of the couple.


Nicaragua: Poema

Espero que les haya gustado esta presentación

Que Nicas y Británicos hemos realizado con emoción 

Es un orgullo trabajar con Progressio y lucir esta camiseta

Para salir adelante cuidando nuestro planeta.


Sembrando un árbol, haciendo un huerto

Porque esto es el futuro nuestro 

Haciendo filtros, eco-estufas, pilas

¡Que bien se mira ahora Parcila! 


Con el centro de salud haciendo alianza

Británicos y Nicas sembramos esperanza

Concientizando y sensibilizando 


El Salvador: Cinnamon tea

Having spent four weeks in Arcatao now, we have settled into our surroundings. The weather is still very hot and sunburn has become a taboo word amongst the paler members of our group. My favourite part of the day is the end, where we have a couple of hours in the evening to sit down with our host family and talk. 


Nicaragua: Influxes

It’s week five into our placement and I’ve learnt a number of things about this place. The most important is that as soon as you forget about bugs, that is when you will put your shorts on and you’ll feel that dreaded tickle of eight fat legs dancing on your body… that literally just happened to me before I started writing this. Oh and my very Buddhist views have gone out of the window. Back in the UK, I used to demand all spiders to be removed, but alive. Now I batter them to death with my walking boot (which is now half solid cement due to construction) and grind them into my dirt floor.


Malawi: HIV testing

To some, going to a health clinic/hospital in a foreign country would be their worst nightmare. Reused needles and a lack of training are just two of the horror stories we hear about in hospitals within developing countries. However, the UK volunteers plus Thom (a national volunteer) braved this exact thing and were pleasantly surprised. At St John of God - Mzuzu, we found that not only were the staff knowledgeable but the whole centre was spotless.


Nicaragua: Unidos en la construcción de eco-estufas

Yujuuuuuuuu…, hoy lunes buen inicio de semana, un poco agotados por el viaje ayer a Parcila, pero con ideas de seguir trabajando. Hoy se construyeron cuatro bases de eco-estufas en dos grupos de chicas y dos de chicos, por la tarde se organizó un juego para las chicas británicas y chicas nicas de balón mano y también se organizó la bienvenida a Parcila para el Domingo 14 de este mes.