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Spurred by a rapidly growing economy, China's development context has changed significantly since VSO started working here in 1981. China’s Human Development Index (HDI) has increased by an average 1.37% each year between 1980 (0.533) and 2007 (0.772).

1 330 000 000
Capital city
GDP per capita
US$7 206
HDI ranking
101 out of 187
Life expectancy
74 years

It is the world's biggest contributor to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, having already met two goals: halving poverty and achieving universal access to primary education. It's within this context that VSO is now challenging itself to find a more appropriate strategy for its work in China.

The future of VSO China’s programme will be to support Chinese people to engage in their own development and for VSO to be a broker of knowledge and relationships that support volunteering in China and overseas from China. We will be a network thousands of Chinese working together at national and international levels through volunteering, sharing skills, promoting volunteering. We will be working for the poor, the vulnerable and disadvantaged and to support equitable and sustainable development.

That 's a huge ambition. And work starts right now to make it happen, through:

  • structured training and expert consulting on volunteer based programming, volunteer management best practices and organisational development
  • building an online resource of materials that support volunteering and organisation development
  • consulting and supporting the corporate sector; increasing employee awareness of development and in including volunteering and community development in sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategies
  • recruiting and placing Chinese volunteers in poor countries around the world and in continuing and extending our Global Xchange programme for young people to grow and contribute to community development in China and overseas
  • supporting the Government of China to develop effective policies for volunteering, corporate social responsibility, international cooperation and to learn from experiences

VSO China is committed to this strategy and to completing its work in current education and HIV and AIDS programmes (detailed in the documents).

For more information about VSO in China and to register for our quarterly e-newsletter, email us

Contact us

Get in touch with VSO China at:
Room 601, Unit 1, Building D, Lanchoumingzuo, Chaowai Da Jie, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100020, China

Find out about volunteering

By volunteering abroad with VSO you get to put your skills, energy and personal qualities to work helping people break out of poverty. Interested in volunteering abroad?