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: Encountering cultural myths and cultural differences - Part 2

Encountering cultural myths 

Within our team we are facing many challenges in the field to combat issues around gender equality, HIV and sexual reproductive health, in addition to disability rights, whilst all developing as individuals. We have already completed two awareness days and three outreach sessions. We are currently planning to deliver three peer education sessions and learning a lot along the way. It is safe to say we have our hands full.


Honduras: San Benito poetry

The day of the community event with a few people scared, hoping that we remembered the dance we prepared.

The school children had a dance and a sing, now the event is in full swing. 

Hoping the rest of the community we would meet, the Morris dancing went down a treat. 

The nationals went up on stage and did their dance, which had the whole audience in a trance.

Now the event has been and done, back to work in the hot sun. 


Malawi: Host homes and cultural difference - Part 1

Host homes

Living in a host home on your ICS placement is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable parts of the journey. Although daunting at first, after just two weeks, being part of a family is reducing my level of homesickness. It also enables you to get the full cultural exchange and feel part of the community, which would be extremely difficult under any other circumstances.


Malawi: The reflectors

To think about what happens in the ICS programme, it is a great achievement. This programme really takes you to another level in life because of the confidence, skills and knowledge you can gain from taking part in ICS. The amazing and fantastic knowledge you gain by the end of the twelve weeks can contribute to big achievements in your life, as you may be more capable to pursue your own plans in life with the confidence and skills you gain from the ICS placement. 


El Salvador: First week of bio-construction

This week, we started building the structures on the Path to Peace. On Monday and Tuesday, we were lucky to have Ana Maria (the bio-construction expert) advising and teaching us. The structures we are building are: a bench/rest area, a small house for storing amenities and three signposts. So far, we have levelled out the ground for the house, filling holes with rocks and concrete to secure the foundations of the building. The house is near the bottom of the Path to Peace so is relatively easy to walk to.


Malawi: Cultural differences - Malawi and mirrors

In my last blog, I discussed the cultural difference between the UK and Malawi concerning time and the different factors that make up progress. I concluded that the UK had a lot to learn when it comes to the treatment we afford each other. We have placed too much dependence on material wealth, work and self-interest due to having so much expectation to achieve happiness and a sustainable future. This has led us to take the priceless things for granted, such as family, friends and the NHS.


Malawi: Preparation is half of the victory

I was reminded frequently through Progressio and a range of contacts that I would need patience diplomacy and the ability to keep a level head during development work. This effect was always going to be amplified considering my team were embarking on the first cycle of a fresh project! I would be lying if I said my resolve hasn’t been tested even in the first few weeks of placement. 


Nicaragua: A day in the life of an ICS volunteer in Parcila

More often than not, days at Jacinta and Roger’s house start at the early hour of 4:30am when my new nemesis, the rooster, decides to try and out-sing his barber shop quartet. For the next hour, I struggle to get back to sleep as the remaining farm animals begin to rise and also continuously check the mosquito net is firmly closed. At 6am its time for the much enjoyed early morning workout, and like most other days we have an audience. The locals watch on fascinated by the way we exercise on the floor to blaring music and attempt to do pull-ups on a tree branch. 


Zimbabwe ICS Case Study - National volunteer Kudzai Chimeura

Our April - June 2016 cycle of volunteers in Zimbabwe were the last cycle to work alongside partner organisation Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DOMCCP) after four years. The team have complied a series of case studies demonstrating the impact the ICS programme has had in Mutasa.