VSO Pakistan’s credibility and reputation in the development sector has been instrumental in attracting large numbers of volunteers. Working for over 20 years with local partner organisations and government departments, our work has focussed on education and participation and governance.
In 2007, VSO Pakistan secured a funding from TMF Netherlands and started work in the area of HIV and AIDS. Pakistan is considered a low prevalence but high-risk country. VSO volunteers worked with local partner organisations to build their capacities on how to intervene into the already stigmatised and neglected development sector.
Security situation affects operations
Before 2008, our work was focussed in the Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (North West Frontier) provinces. Unfortunately, the security situation worsened and security review led to the withdrawal of our volunteers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As a result, VSO operations were limited to Punjab.
A further security review in April 2009 recognised that the areas suitable for international volunteering were limited. In September 2009 we withdrew all our international volunteers from Pakistan.
VSO is committed to work in Pakistan. VSO Pakistan developed the innovative National Youth Volunteering Programme for Development. This programme aims to make it easy for young people to get involved in developing their own communities. We also work with other organisations to promote local volunteering as a distinct and significant contribution to development in Pakistan.
VSO Pakistan's main programme areas
Youth volunteering and active citizenship: To provide a means for youth from across the country to interact and to be stimulated, informed and energised. To also provide opportunity and skills for young people to engage in the development of their own community.
Partners’ forum: In partnership with the British Council and National Volunteer Movement, we have created a forum to promote volunteerism. This forum also encourages collaboration among partners to maximise resources and share good practices.
Resource bank: A database of individuals, for example, academics, journalists, professionals, Global Xchange alumni, who are willing and able to undertake short-term volunteering placements.
Advocacy: To establish relations with the Ministry of Youth Affairs to start a dialogue for a national volunteering policy.
Diaspora: To actively investigate diaspora links with youth groups and partners, with the potential to establish triangular partnerships.
VSO is committed to helping Pakistan fight poverty. We look forward to a continuing partnership with the Government to achieve a stronger, fairer and more stable country for all.
Get in touch with VSO Pakistan at:
PO Box 2543, Islamabad, Pakistan