ICS Team Leader

Have you got what it takes to lead?

We're looking for motivated individuals with pastoral qualities, a heart for leadership and the desire to make a difference. We need you to lead a Tearfund ICS placement, an overseas volunteering role funded by the UK government.

If you're aged 23 - 35, this could be an incredible opportunity for you. 

Apply today!

Don't forget to choose Tearfund, it won't limit your chances! To find out more about the role of a team leader, download the role description.

What would it involve?

You'll lead a team of up to sixteen 18-25 year olds who have been handpicked for their desire to volunteer, including both in-country and UK volunteers. You will work closely with Tearfund in-country staff and partners, developing projects that will make a real difference in the community you're in whilst providing pastoral support to your team.

How long can I go for? 

The shortest time is 12 weeks, but you can go for up to 7 months. 

Where can I go? 

We need team leaders for Bangladesh and South Africa.

Give us a call today to chat through whether you could be a team leader on 020 8943 7777 or email us at go@tearfund.org



'I’ve learnt to humble myself to focus on the team needs.'



Kat
Team Leader
Age: 29

Why did you apply to volunteer with ICS as a Team Leader?

I had been working in retail management as a research analyst for a few years. I really felt led by God to make a change and leave my job. I went on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain, looking for direction. While there, I heard about ICS placements and applied to be a team leader.

What work did your team do?

We volunteered in Wentworth, a township in Durban, South Africa. We taught young people dance, drama and PE, and ran school clubs and holiday clubs. We also helped to paint a creche. We volunteered at an old people’s home, building relationships through talking and playing games. We also organised a fundraising event for the partner organisation.

What have some of your responsibilities been?

My responsibilities included managing team dynamics, keeping the team motivated, making sure everyone had a voice, and ensuring we followed safety and security guidelines. I was the team’s spokesperson in the community, and did lots of admin.

What have been some of the challenges of leading a team?

I have had a lot of leadership roles in the past, so I thought leading a team would be simple. Previously, though, I have always chosen my team members. With ICS it’s different – you’re given a team with diverse personalities and skills. It’s someone else’s idea of what works well together as the team, which can be challenging.

What have you enjoyed most about being a team leader?

I’ve really enjoyed seeing team members develop.

What have you learnt since being a team leader?

I’ve learnt a number of things:

  • My primary role is not about the project, community or experience. It’s first and foremost to support my seven team members.
  • I’ve learnt to humble myself to focus on the team needs.
  • I understand my strengths and limitations more and have a clearer perception of myself.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying to be a team leader?

Every team is different. People are complex and come with different cultural experiences, skills and pasts. It’s important not to judge your team members. Focus on developing your team. You will be managing different personalities, opinions and cultures, so problem-solving skills are key.

What three qualities are helpful in a Team Leader?

Patience, perseverance and selflessness.






'I’ve enjoyed seeing volunteers blossom, using their gifts to benefit the community.'



Antoinette
Long-term Team Leader
Age: 26

Why did you apply to volunteer with ICS as a Team Leader?

I applied because I love development work, charitable acts and travelling. I was working as a teacher in a secondary school, but I’d always felt called to volunteer abroad. Initially I went to Honduras as a general volunteer. After this, I was accepted as a Team Leader for South Africa. I saw it as an opportunity to challenge myself and use my leadership skills to to support a diverse group of young people.

What work did your team do?

We volunteered at a local school. PE is not part of the curriculum, so we ran PE lessons. We also led creative arts workshops, dance classes, mentoring and confidence-building sessions and a chat club to help children improve their English. We helped out at the local library and ran workshops on sexual health, parenting, confidence and self-esteem, people's rights, and drugs and alcohol.

We also volunteered at two local orphanages. We played with the kids and helped with gardening, cleaning, cooking, serving food and washing dishes.

What have some of your responsibilities been?

I provided one-to-one pastoral support to volunteers. I also led group meetings and managed logistics when travelling to partner projects. I helped build relationships between volunteers and local partners. I also completed administrative duties, such as writing reports.

What have been some of the challenges of leading a team?

A big challenge has been supporting the different personalities. I would describe some people in my team as extroverted extroverts, whilst others are introverts, and there is a whole spectrum in between. I’m learning how to engage the different personalities so that everyone feels heard.

Having a cross-cultural team of UK and South African volunteers adds an extra dynamic. I try to ensure the volunteers integrate well with each other.

What have you enjoyed most about being a team leader in South Africa?

I’ve enjoyed seeing volunteers blossom both personally and professionally, using their gifts to the benefit the team and community. I’ve also enjoyed developing friendships, and becoming acquainted with this beautiful country while understanding its strengths and needs.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying to be a team leader?

Be committed. You go through highs and lows throughout your placement, but keep going! If you stick it out till the end, you'll be so proud of yourself.

What three qualities are helpful in a Team Leader?

Assertively diplomatic, understanding and patient.






'We were all united by the work and the difference we wanted to make in the community.'



Aidan
Explore long-term Team Leader
Age: 23

Why did you apply to volunteer with ICS as a Team Leader?

I had been working for Leicester Cathedral as an Events Assistant, and then I was on placement as a reporter for BBC Radio Lancashire. I was in search of a new challenge, something to take me far out of my comfort zone. I had led small teams before, but wanted to step up to something more substantial.

What made you decide to apply to lead an ICS Explore team?

I've grown up in the church (my dad's a priest) and I've worked in a church before too. For me, it was important to learn about different attitudes to faith and culture. The Explore programme is a unique opportunity to be involved in this dialogue.

Tell us about your team.

There were seven of us, four UK volunteers and three South African volunteers. An Explore team is open to anyone interested in learning more about the role faith plays in development. As a result, my team members ranged from a Jewish agnostic to an atheist.

What have been some of the challenges of leading such a diverse team?

As one of the only Christians in my team, I couldn’t always pray or do Bible study with someone, so I have really had to rely on personal time with God. Cultural difference has also been a huge factor in the team. However, despite the challenges, we were all united by the work and the difference we wanted to make in the community.

What work did your team do?

We volunteered with a project registering children to receive funds so they can go to school. Two-thirds of the children in our district were illiterate. We ran classes in reading and speaking English, as this is vital for finding work in the future.

We also started up a community newsletter and supported two children to act as journalists. The aim is to raise awareness of local issues such as litter and what the community can do to influence change, eg lobby the local councillor, arrange litter picking days etc.

Finally, we ran a project called Green Fingers. We created a garden and taught children to grow fruit and vegetables to generate income.

What have you learnt about the role faith plays in development?

I think the church has an important role to play in both South African and UK communities. The world is still full of wrong and deceit, and Christ is still the remedy. The difference is the importance of religion in each country.

The UK is increasingly secular. The church is no longer the ‘go to’ place to resolve your problems, seek advice and find peace. But underneath it all, UK churches oversee hundreds of soup kitchens, food banks and credit unions. I think in the UK we want all the goodness that churches provide, without the fear of being ‘God-bothered’.

South Africa is a different story. Religious practice is so deeply cultural that church intervention in perilous circumstances is celebrated. The work of the church is more acknowledged and noticeable.

What three qualities that are helpful for an Explore Team Leader?

Patience, strong faith and openness.




Tearfund ICS logo lock-up

Have you got what it takes to lead?

Apply today!

Don't forget to choose Tearfund, it won't limit your chances!

Feedback

I had the most amazing month of my life in South Africa. I met really brilliant people and loved meeting all the kids. I will definitely go back and would tell lots of people to go there too.

Emma Camp

The trip changed my life: how I read the bible, think about God, live day to day. I have made incredible friends (I hope for life) and want to go back with Go MAD.

Caitlin

Some children were desperately poor and as their school often only had a chalk board they were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the creative activities. I have worked as a teacher in Cornwall and for the military but never had students who were so delighted to learn.

Steve Houghton
Leave feedback