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Welcome to Voluntary Service Overseas

No one should live in poverty and be denied choice and opportunity.

Our extraordinary volunteers live and work side by side with some of the poorest people to improve lives.

Achieving gender justice for all

Achieving gender justice for all

Of the almost one-billion people living in poverty, 6 out of 10 are women. Women face more obstacles in accessing the vital resources and services that could help them break the cycle of poverty. And when women are held back, we all suffer.

Girl in a school in Ghana | VSO

Girls staying in school against the odds

Across Ghana, thousands of girls face pressures that keep them away from school.  Less than half continue their education beyond primary school. Three girls explain what their education means to them - and the battles they are fighting to get it.

Grandmother Maria Jacinto and her family in Mozambique | VSO

How one widowed grandma traded her way out of poverty

Maria Jacinto relied on her husband's income from the mines to feed herself and her family. When she became a widow, life was plunged into uncertainty. Maria went from widow to breadwinner and turned her family's fortunes around.

Girl and her mother at home in Bangladesh | VSO

A year after she resisted marriage at 14, Shapla is still happy at school

A year ago we met Shapla, a 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl who used the lessons she'd learned from VSO ICS youth volunteers to convince her dad not to marry her off to a 37-year-old man. One year on, we are delighted to report that not only in Shapla still happy at school, she wants to volunteer to inspire more girls to resist child marriage.

Woman walks through a slum of Ranchi, India | CSO

New strength and security for women in India's "hub of trafficking"

In its first year, VSO's Aaghaaz [New Beginning] project, in partnership with telecoms company Bharti Infratel, has supported 1,000 slum-dwelling women, who have survived or been at risk of trafficking, through training courses in employment skills.

Halimat with two of her children

Volunteer stories of the women who inspire them

All over the world women are achieving incredible things for themselves, their families, communities and countries. Our volunteers share stories of the women they've met on placement who've inspired them with their humour, intelligence, courage and resilience.

Blog posts

Where we work