International Service is a charity dedicated to achieving positive social change in communities around the world. By working alongside local partner organisations and harnessing the power of community and international volunteering, we tackle challenges like poverty, illiteracy and discrimination in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
We started in 1953 when as part of the United Nations Association we sent 11 UK volunteers to the Netherlands to help them rebuild communities that had been destroyed by a major storm and flooding. From the 1960’s onwards, our skilled development workers worked across the world, from Latin America to West Africa, and the Middle East; and in 1998 we registered as an independent charity.
Recently, we were one of nine British development organisations to deliver the International Citizen Service (ICS) scheme, the UK government’s flagship youth volunteering for development programme, and we are now running international volunteering projects as part of the EU-funded European Solidarity Corps, and delivering community development projects in Malawi, Rwanda and Ghana.
The spirit of the acts performed in 1953 have shaped who we are today: we still bring people together to create change in the communities that face the greatest challenges. We now work in partnership with local organisations, communities and individuals. We know that local people understand far better the complexity of the problems facing their community, and by working together, we can solve them to achieve lasting change.