A unique challenge
Unlike many international volunteers, our volunteers live and work at the heart of the community they help to develop, living in similar conditions as their colleagues. This provides genuine insight into local customs and challenges. It also helps you become accepted into the community.
Patience has its rewards
The pace of life – and work – in many developing countries may be different from the one you are used to. It’s vital for you to adapt to this so that your efforts are respected and absorbed by your colleagues. Many volunteers comment that what they initially perceived as slow progress was the vital bedrock upon which later successes were built.
Working in partnership
Volunteers work in partnership with existing local organisations. To support your colleagues’ development as closely as possible, you will work directly with your local employer, reporting to a local manager. We are always there to support you should the need arise, but your key relationship is with your employer.
We believe people in developing countries deserve the best support available, so the roles our volunteers undertake are demanding. As a VSO volunteer, you work to specific objectives, just as you do in your usual working life. This enables you and your employer to assess progress, and provides a sense of achievement as you meet these objectives.
Using your experience
As a volunteer, your ideas and experience count. We rely on you to apply creativity and your insights to help shape the development of your role, and those of volunteers who may follow in your footsteps.