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 working with VSO who've inspired them with their humour, intelligence, courage and resilience.
An open door to all: Sudha Dangol, Nepal
Nominated by Daphne De Souza, who volunteered supporting the Ministry of Education in Kathmandu:
“Sudha is a real inspiration and hub of support in the local community. With her beauty parlour she provides employment and refuge to young vulnerable mothers, and welcomes them into her busy home.
"helped several young mothers who have sought employment, support for a disabled child and a home. Her compassion and generosity knows no limits."
...and Diya Dangol, Nepal
"Sudha has brought up two strong, determined daughters. Diya, 17, pictured here, was one of the first to lead the local children in repair and re-building activities after the earthquake. I call her PM, because I have no doubt she can become Nepal's Prime Minister one day."
Breaking new ground: Moza Said Salum, Mozambique
Nominated by Helen Paul, who volunteered as an education adviser in Pemba:
“Moza established, and was the head teacher of a nursery school on Pemba Island in Mozambique in the 1990s. The school has been successfully running and the children have obtained very high standards of education and learning.
"Retired now, Moza continues to inspire other teaching professionals by organising in-service courses for pre-primary English teachers”
Determined to overcome: Halimat Titilope, Nigeria
Nominated by Heather Alcock, who volunteered with VSO in Nigeria:
“Halimat and her husband lost all of their possessions and their house in a fire and had to start again. Halimat’s husband then died leaving her with five children, the youngest of which was 18 months old.
"Halimat runs a small business selling stationery at the local secondary school. She is part of a savings and loan cooperation which brings together widows to collectively share a little each week and learn about business skills. She took out a loan of £20 to help her expand her business and increase her profits."
"She even runs a kids club for vulnerable children on Sundays. She is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met”
Entrepreneurial dairy queen: Binuka Joshi, Nepal
Nominated by Simon Hill, who volunteered as an agricultural adviser in Nepal:
"Binuka is a farmer and mother of two. She owns a few cows which produce 30 litres of milk a day.
"Binuka used her natural entrepreneurial skills and a small amount of capital she managed to borrow from family members to set up a micro milk processing and selling shop in the suburbs.
"She started to expand her range of products from milk to yogurt, cheese and ghee in her shop, which she named Theki Dairy. Binuka learnt new marketing skills and organised local food fairs and farmers markets to sell her products."
"But as a result of the devastating effects of the Nepali earthquake in April 2015, people fled the city and supplies of milk dried up. Despite this, Binuka managed to maintain her business and even move to a better positioned, more cost-effective premises.
"She became involved with training the government's milk processing factory, the Dairy Development Cooperation (DDC) in the skills of making cheddar cheese and was seen as an expert. Her small business continues to thrive as she is able to maintain steady supply and income and provide for her family”
March 8 is International Women's Day
This International Women’s Day, please read and share these inspiring stories of change from empowered women around the world.
Why not tell us about the women who inspire you on our Facebook page?