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Pravah International Citizen Service (ICS) is an exciting three-month volunteering programme by Pravah and VSO; funded by the UK Government. The programme offers volunteering opportunities to Indian and UK nationals. As a Pravah ICS volunteer or Team Leader,

  • You will volunteer in a rural community in Rajasthan for three months.
  • You will be placed in a team of 20 – 22 volunteers (10 from UK and 10 from India) and will live, volunteer and learn together throughout the programme. This team will be supported by Team Leaders (from UK and India) and a Programme Coordinator in the community.
  • You will get the opportunity to interact with diverse groups, live and learn about new cultures through volunteering.
  • You will spend three months contributing to impactful development projects that tackle important issues of the community.
  • You will be required to do design and execute an individual Action at Home project in your home community, within six months of returning from the placement.

The programme offers an opportunity to engage with social and developmental issues, to effectively contribute to local communities and to develop personal skills. ICS volunteers leave the programme as better-informed active citizens with new skills for life – and to offer to potential employers.

The programme pays for travel, accommodation, food, medical costs, and a modest allowance for the three months in the host community.


The Pravah ICS programme has multiple cycles around the year. In your application form, please specify which cycle you are applying for. Team leaders can apply for two consecutive cycles. The programme is modelled around some ‘core’ components but the nature of these components may vary depending on the environment and context of the community.

Host community: Volunteers will be placed with a grassroots organisation in a rural community in India.

Counterpart Pairs: Each Indian volunteer will be paired with one counterpart from the UK with whom they live for the 3 months in the community.

Volunteer placements

Volunteer placements are structured so that the volunteers are able to maximise their experience from working in a community and at the same time make a positive and practical contribution to community initiatives. They are thus designed keeping in mind the needs of the community and also offer volunteers the opportunity to develop their skills and build their own capacities.

Host homes:

Each counterpart pair will be staying with a local family in the community. All the host homes will have different standards of living, income levels, religion, family members etc. Living with host homes will also mean that you will have to undertake household chores.

Team Leaders:

The team of volunteers will be supported by Volunteer Team Leaders who will help facilitate learning for the volunteers, will support in managing the programme and in documentation and evaluation.

Action at Home:

Volunteers carry forward their commitment as Global Citizens by completing one individual Action project within 6 months of returning from the host community where they volunteered. The Action at Home Project may involve campaigning and lobbying, raising awareness around issues that emerged from the volunteering experience, or around an issue that is important in the volunteer’s home community.


Volunteers have delivered education awareness peer education sessions in government schools, Self-help groups, youth groups, women and children’s groups. These sessions were on issues of hygiene, sanitation, hand washing, nutrition, sexual health and reproductive rights, menstrual health, career planning and adolescent issues.

They were also involved in raising awareness around the issue of social discrimination, and have conducted surveys in their villages to collect data on how many people who are entitled to receiving pension were receiving it. The volunteers approached local government officials, members of the Panchayat for submission of pension requests, and in getting some pension sanctioning letters approved.


ICS is open to 18 to 35-year olds regardless of income, qualifications, disability and work history.

You must, however, meet the following criteria if you wish to apply

As a volunteer:

  • Be aged 18 to 25 at the time you take up your placement (you can apply at 17 if you will be 18 by the time you leave)
  • Be committed to attending all training which you will be supported with throughout
  • Be able to stay away from home for 10 to 12 weeks during your placement
  • Be committed to sharing your experience with others and taking action in your local community when you return.
  • Be willing to challenge yourself, adapt to different situations and work as part of a team.

As a Team Leader:

  • Be aged 23 to 35 years of age.
  • Be committed to attend and co-facilitate all training (with additional training for Team Leaders)
  • Ability to plan logically and manage a varied workload
  • Ability to work flexibly and on your own initiative
  • Be willing to challenge yourself, adapt to different situations and lead a team.
  • Have some experience of working with young people and teams.
  • Be fluent in English and/ or Hindi

You must be willing to complete the Action at Home Project post the placement and as an ICS volunteer/ Team leader you will be asked to submit reflective write-ups, reports as well as adhere to a code of conduct.

“This programme is like a flowing river. You need to wash your hands in it. For me, development meant bridges, dams, industries, good economics as they call it…but now, I think it is about strong human relationships, a long process…It is about taking people along. Nobody should be left behind.”

~ Shiraz Shaikh, Indian Volunteer, Pravah ICS, Oct – Dec 2015 batch, Synergy, Madhya Pradesh

How to apply? 

Follow the link and download the application package- http://pravah.org/content/ICS.

For any query write to us at pravahics@gmail.com, send applications to apply.pravahics@gmail.com or, call at +918586941784.


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