Download the Third Sector iPad edition

Government under fire for funding volunteering in Zimbabwe

Peter Slowe of Projects Abroad says that the International Citizen Service is giving direct support to the Robert Mugabe regime

International Citizen Service participants have volunteered in Zimbabwe
International Citizen Service participants have volunteered in Zimbabwe

The government has been criticised for funding placements in Zimbabwe for young volunteers on its International Citizen Service.

Six medical students on the government-subsidised scheme were sent to Zimbabwe last year despite concerns about the political regime of President Robert Mugabe.

A spokeswoman for the Department for International Development, which is responsible for the scheme, said that it intended to send more young volunteers to the country this year.

The ICS programme will offer up to 7,000 subsided overseas volunteering placements to young adults aged between 18 and 22 over the next three years.

Peter Slowe, founder of Projects Abroad, a private company that runs volunteering programmes, said: "The government should not be paying for young people to go to Zimbabwe. It’s dangerous for the people involved and it also gives direct support to Mugabe’s brutal and corrupt dictatorship.

"The Mugabe regime uses this kind of ‘aid’ programme to mock the British government as weak and inept, and this is a potential propaganda coup for them. Let’s stop it now before people around the world think that we support the excesses of Mugabe’s government."

The DfID spokeswoman defended funding placements in Zimbabwe. "Volunteers in Zimbabwe worked with local medical students to improve mental health research and educational capacity for the people of Zimbabwe," she said. "Volunteer safety and security is our top priority for all ICS volunteers and every placement is continually assessed for risks."

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Latest Jobs

Forthcoming Events

Leadership in Campaigns

  • Tue 3 Nov 2015 - Wed 9 Dec 2015
  • London

Beyond the 16th Day: Moving forward to end violence against women and girls

  • Wed 25 Nov 2015
  • London

Risk Conference: Balancing Risk and Opportunity

  • Thu 26 Nov 2015
  • Inmarsat, 99 City Road, London, EC1Y 1AX
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners


Expert Hub

Advice on risk from a specialist insurer

Managing cyber risk in the third sector

Liam Greene of Markel explains why cyber risks should be high on the risk management agenda of third sector organisations as incidents hit the headlines with increasing frequency


Expert Hub

Fundraising advice from BT MyDonate

Five low cost tips for creating compelling video content that thrives

No matter what size your budget, there are some simple tips that can help keep costs down