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Ways Young People Are Helping To Solve The World's Problems

Who you gonna call? Young people, obviously.

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1. Campaigning for HIV/AIDS awareness in the UK.

Courtesy of ICS

Name: Robbie

Location: UK

Speciality: Raising awareness about HIV/AIDS

Robbie, 25 years-old and from Ireland, travels around the UK on the Youth Stop AIDS Speaker Tour, telling his personal story about living with HIV.

"After my HIV diagnosis, I quickly found myself at rock bottom. The drugs had severe side effects on me, including seizures, delusions and depression. Luckily I found the drugs that worked for me and I had an amazing social worker who helped me to create a 'new normal' for myself and change things for people living with HIV."

Courtesy of ICS

"With the help of others, I also raised 12,000 Euros for the New Fill Project, so that people who get muscle wasting in their face as a result of the older drugs could get cosmetic surgery and get their faces back." —Robbie

2. Raising awareness about issues faced by children and young people all over the world.

Courtesy of Matt Mee/DFID

Name: Harry

Location: Global

Speciality: Issues faced by young people

In 2014, Harry co-founded Youth for Change – a global youth-led coalition of activists that aims to create positive change for children and young people.

"I have a very unique role in that I'm a man advocating against FGM and early forced marriage. The importance of men and boys in ending FGM is often overlooked, but it's crucial that we change this if we want to end these practices."

Courtesy of Simon Davis/DFID

"One of my biggest achievements so far was leading a panel session on the importance of boys and men in ending FGM, where three of the four panel members were male. Change isn't easy, but it's possible." —Harry

3. Tackling sustainable farming and climate change.

Courtesy of Sergiu Jiduc

Name: Sergiu

Location: Kenya and Pakistan

Specialty: Environmental science

From September to December 2014, Sergiu worked in Nairobi, Kenya, on a sustainable farming project as part of the UK Government funded International Citizen Service (ICS) programme. Since returning, he has combined his ICS experience with his background as an explorer and environmental scientist.

Sergiu's pioneering project investigates climate change and glacial activity in the Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan, and how it will potentially endanger local communities. Sergiu raised an incredible £65,000 to fund the project, and led an expedition of other scientists to the mountains in 2015.

Courtesy of Sergiu Jiduc

“For me, ICS was perfectly aligned with my career goals. During my placement I got to work on a really innovative system that brought a lot of benefits, which I found really inspiring. I’ve been able to use that in my work since, and am actually still working with the project in Nairobi." —Sergiu

4. Empowering students in Tanzania.

Courtesy of ICS

Name: Vicky

Location: Tanzania

Speciality: Improving computer literacy

Following her ICS volunteering placement, Vicky set up an exciting new project to teach information and communications technology at schools in her home town in Tanzania, where a worrying 35% of young people are not computer literate.

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"We faced some challenges like electricity cuts and delaying of running the program due to the ministry. But what kept us going were the students who were always there on time and always enthusiastic when we had arrived for the session. I have learned through this project that it’s never too late.” —Vicky

5. Running vaccination camps in Bangladesh.

Courtesy of ICS

Name: Sarah

Location: Bangladesh

Speciality: Community support

In 2012, Sarah was part of a youth volunteer team working in a village near Rangpur, North Bangladesh. This was just the first step in a journey that has so far seen her re-volunteer, complete a Master’s degree, and even set up her own charity in the UK.

In a group of volunteers from both the UK and Bangladesh, Sarah worked running vaccination camps, building latrines, and making the first steps towards building a dairy co-operative to help local farmers get better prices for their milk products.

Thinkstock

Following another volunteering trip to Bangladesh, Sarah made the decisive step of applying to establish a new charity, and by May 2015, Jaago UK was set up. Its mission is to directly support the education of slum children in Bangladesh, as well as bringing the can-do, proactive ethos of volunteerism to the UK.

Do you want to make a real difference to the world? ICS offers 3-month placements across Africa, Asia, and Latin America for UK 18–25-year-olds. ICS is funded by the UK Government, so you don't need cash, skills, or qualifications to take part – just the ambition to make a difference. Become a volunteer today.

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