What you'll need
To become a VSO volunteer, it’s vital you’re experienced in your professional field and able to train and advise colleagues in your area of expertise. Living and working within the local community, you’ll need to be prepared to work creatively, often with few resources. Sharing your skills, you’ll help build confidence to change lives and make the world fairer for all.
Becoming a VSO volunteer is a unique challenge. To make sure that it’s one you’ll enjoy, and that we provide our partners with the best support possible, we’re looking for people with:
self-assurance, as most placements involve training others
flexibility and adaptability, so that you can identify the approaches that best suit your colleagues’ particular situation
a flair for solving problems, as unexpected challenges are common in low-resource environments
the ability to work in a team, so that you can ensure the change you bring is championed locally after you leave
sensitivity to the needs of others, so that you can understand the most effective ways to achieve change
a desire to learn and help others learn, so that you and your colleagues can devise the strongest solutions together
a positive and realistic commitment to volunteering.
You might not have had an opportunity recently to use these qualities, or are uncertain where your strengths lie, so we run assessment days where we can get to know you better and understand what you could bring to a placement.
to have a minimum of two years experience in your professional field. Some countries need an official qualification (usually a degree) to secure a work permit
to be willing to work for a modest living allowance and to live in conditions similar to those of local colleagues
to be prepared to invest time in self-briefing and training before going to your placement
to be willing to learn the basics of the local language of where you'll be working
you’ll also need to pass our medical clearance requirements and criminal records checks.
Volunteers with dependents
We appreciate that many potential volunteers will be in relationships, or will have families. We will do our best to find placements for volunteers with dependents, and we’ll provide medical support and advice, but the matching process can take longer.
Volunteers with a disability
If you’ve got a disability, it may be more difficult to identify a suitable placement for you, as we may need to make adjustments to your potential living or working environment. However, we’re committed to investigating all possible options, and we’ll make every effort to find you a placement.
If you meet our requirements, we’ll do our best to make it possible for you to volunteer. We encourage applications from all sections of the community to ensure we can deliver the wide range of expertise our partners are looking for.