Are you 18-25?
And a UK, EU or EEA citizen who has lived in the UK for at least 12 months?
Then you're eligible to apply for Balloon ICS!
We're looking for volunteers who want to make a real, sustained difference in local communities by helping businesses develop through innovation.
Are you also...
- Willing to learn and adaptable? You'll spend the first week of your placement immersing yourself in Balloon's enterprise curriculum, and then be expected to apply what you've learned in the field, working with real businesses.
- Looking to challenge yourself? You'll be living and working at the heart of a local community, and expected to provide focussed and practical business advice to entrepreneurs.
- A strong team player? You'll be part of a team of international volunteers, supported by Balloon staff in country but working independently with entrepreneurs.
- Committed? Balloon Volunteers are inspirational change-makers and, through the ICS programme, empower entrepreneurs to make lasting change on their businesses, communities and lives.
Balloon ICS volunteers come from all walks of life, and join us at different stages in their life. Crucially, Balloon ICS is open to everyone, and we've found that diverse teams, comprised of people from a variety of backgrounds, work best.
So whether you've got some time off from University, are just finishing school or out of work and looking for ways to boost your CV, then we're confident you'll have something to offer and something to gain on Balloon ICS.
I'm over 25 or am looking for a leadership challenge - can I still be involved?
Challenge yourself to change your world, while supporting others to do the same.
Balloon ICS brings together and empowers young people from the UK, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana and places them at the heart of communities, working with businesses in the developing world. Together, our international volunteer teams create lasting teams.
Balloon ICS Team Leaders are vital co-ordinators, motivators and our volunteers look to them for leadership and inspiration throughout their placement.
ICS is led by VSO and funded by UK Government. You can only complete one placement as a volunteer, and one as a team leader, so this really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
What will I be doing?
As a team leader, you'll be volunteering in communities and leading a team of volunteers, working with an in-country Team Leader throughout. You'll be supporting local people in their businesses, helping them to grow and develop and creating lasting change.
You'll be fully trained and supported throughout your journey by Balloon staff, both in the UK and in-country.
ICS Fundraising Costs
Nobody likes talking about money, but we've got some great news. The UK Government provides 90% of the funding for Balloon ICS. This means that the cost of your training, flights, visas, travel and medical insurance, vaccines, food and accommodation will all be covered.
The remaining 10% comes from volunteer funding.
What does this mean for you?
We'll ask you to do some fundraising before you go overseas. You'll have a target, which is usually £800. Don't worry if you have never done any fundraising before, we'll give you lots of ideas and top tips, and support you throughout your activity.
It's a great way to learn new skills. It helps to spread the word about ICS and the work you'll be doing with Balloon, and it shows us that you're committed to the programme and your placement overseas.
Most of all - we know it's achievable. So far, ICS volunteers have raised over £5 million together, through activities as diverse as bake sales to boot sales, chest waxing to cheese tastings.
Really? No Costs?
Balloon ICS is open to everyone, regardless of their background, and we never want anyone to feel that they can't join the programme because they can't afford it.
The only costs that you will have are for your personal belongings. We encourage volunteers not to bring lots of spending money with them, as it can be distracting and create divisions in the teams.