Why volunteer?

Why volunteer?

VSO volunteers work to fight poverty in the developing world. In doing so they help change the lives of millions of people for the better every year - including their own. Volunteers often tell us that their time with us has been one of the most powerful and rewarding experiences of their lives.

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People bring about change

Volunteering is sustainable - knowledge shared and relationships formed leave a positive impact that endures long after a placement.

Each year, VSO improves healthcare for around two million people. We help around two million children get a better education and improve HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support for over three million people. That's a wide reach, without even mentioning our programmes working for secure livelihoods and participation & governance.

All of this is accomplished by volunteers: national volunteers, who work within their own communities; youth volunteers, who come together across cultures to work on community projects, and international volunteers, who go to work with communities in their area of professional expertise.

How you'll benefit

Volunteering can be enormously rewarding on many different levels; from the positive feeling when you have made a difference to someone's life, to professional development that will help you stand you out from the crowd.

But don’t take our word for it. Here are some of the real voices of returned volunteers: 

"I’ve gained new skills including chairing meetings and engaging in formal dialogue with senior leaders." - Midwife

"Volunteering has given me a completely different breadth of experience and will help me change my career path into teacher training." - Teacher

"It’s been invaluable for my training; I’ve seen complications I wouldn’t often see in the UK which counts for so much more than I would learn from a year at home." - Obstetrician

"I came back to my primary school in Scotland and took on a greater leadership and management role." - Teacher

"The thrill of teaching student midwives who will go on to play a direct role in saving lives makes it all worthwhile." - Midwife

"Working together with a team of nurses, we managed to resuscitate a young child - when you see such strong teamwork, and the child comes out OK, it really is hugely rewarding." - Paediatrician

"The networking and leadership skills I gained will improve my chances in seeking employment and has also enabled me to establish my role as a mentor - not only to girls in the programme, but to young people to act as agents for change across my community" - Youth volunteer

Next steps

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