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Why volunteering?

VSO is the world's leading organisation that works through volunteers to tackle poverty and inequality.

We believe that anyone who steps forward – either as a local, national or global citizen – can be considered a volunteer. This is the way that truly sustainable change takes place.

We work to:


We work closely with communities to improve opportunities for the most marginalised. Over the past few years we have successfully supported thousands of vulnerable children to access education as well as support hundreds of communities to increase their income.


In Bangladesh we work to support marginalised farming communities to access a sustainable source of income. We support youth volunteering, contributing towards increased awareness of sexual health and rights as well as providing skills for employability and entrepreneurship. 


Since independence in 1961, VSO has been bringing people together to fight poverty in Tanzania.

This year, the CASH project provided services reaching 7,002 beneficiaries. The RISE project worked in education, to support children's learning outcomes, and helped their parent's improve their farming businesses, reach 2,983 people. The VNA project delivered services to 512 beneficiaries, fostered the creation of 27 companies, and found employment for 295 youth. 

Helping poor Zanzibar farming communities benefit from tourism

Poor and marginalised farmers in Zanzibar are producing better quality products, more competitively, in order to earn a greater income, through the "Commercial Agriculture for Smallholder Farmers in Horticulture" (CASH) project.

For every £1 spent, the CASH project delivered £4.70 in economic value.


In Uganda this year there has been a 20% increase in literacy and a 10% improvement in numeracy skills of learners in targeted schools. Additionally, there has been a 20% improvement in Primary Leaving exams; registering one of the best regional performances in the country. 

Supporting special educational needs teaching in Rwanda

In Rwanda many schools lack the training or understanding to support those with physical or intellectual impairments. Only 2% of children with a disability are estimated to be in education.

We're working to change this. For the past three years, the 'INSPIRED' project has worked to:

Delivering literacy via SMS

Whilst India has managed to get virtually every child who should be in primary school (97%) into a classroom, evidence shows that at least four in ten children who’ve completed at least four years of schooling still can’t read and write.

VSO's SMS Story is designed to improve Indian children’s English reading, speaking and vocabulary by:

Stopping child marriage in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has the world's fourth highest rate of children entering into forced ‘marriages’.

Early evidence suggests that VSO volunteer-led peer education and awareness raising activities in the rural northwest of the country are empowering youth to stand up for their sexual health and rights by resisting early marriage.

The power of youth

Young people from the UK and Bangladesh taking part in VSO’s International Citizen Service global youth volunteering programme organised ‘courtyard sessions’ in Durgapur village, together with a local youth club.