Blog

Volunteer Jessica Sucgang mentoring trainee teachers, Rwanda
Jessica Sucgang

Amplifying the voice of the community in Rwanda

Jessica Sucgang, an experienced teacher from the Philippines, volunteered with VSO’s Building Learning Foundations programme in Rwanda. Read about her experience mentoring teams of national volunteers as part of a programme aiming to improve basic education in Rwanda.

Community and VSO volunteers setting up the disaster risk management committee
VSO/Nyan Zay Htet

Setting the standard in global volunteering

Until now, although good practices and methodologies have existed across the volunteering sector, there has been no globally agreed set of standards. Together with the International Forum for Volunteering in Development, VSO has launched the Global Standard for Volunteering.

Community volunteers in the field to conduct surveys after Cyclone Idai.
©VSO/Peter Caton

The value of volunteers - The state of the world's volunteerism

Volunteering is too often badly misunderstood. Too often, it is seen as a “worthy” activity undertaken by people with time on their hands. However, it really is a fundamental part of any country’s development journey and when done properly, it can be a powerful tool.

Teacher
Mike Barnes

How tech is helping improve learning outcomes: Mike Barnes’ story

In 2017 Mike Barnes, an ex-primary school headteacher, joined VSO’s Unlocking Talent project in Malawi, providing students with tablet computers loaded with local language courses in numeracy and literacy. Read how he helped improve learning outcomes for thousands of children.
 

Deaf student making bags at a Deaf School vocational centre with VSO national volunteer. Rwanda
VSO/Ben Langdon

One year on - My life since winning a Volunteer Impact Award

In 2020, we honoured the volunteers who went above and beyond to make a difference, through our Volunteer Impact Awards. A year on, find out what our winners have been up to since winning the awards.

A teacher shares best practice as part of the Building Learning Foundations project in Rwanda
VSO

How one volunteer is making a difference to school children in Rwanda

Melba Pyne, 56, from Colombia, recounts her experience volunteering with VSO in Rwanda where she coached head teachers, both in country and remotely, after the pandemic cut her placement short.

Himalayan Permaculture Centre
Chris Evans

My permaculture journey: A sustainable approach to small-scale farming

VSO e-volunteer Chris Evans outlines how a tiny pilot permaculture scheme in Nepal successfully spread environmentally friendly farming practices and ideas in line with existing cultural traditions.

Vivian mother in rural Kenya
VSO/Obscura Media

Life on the brink

For Vivian, the Covid-19 pandemic was a frightening time. Affording three meals a day for herself and her children was hard with no income. Thanks to VSO supporters Vivian was provided a lifeline, with a new small business grant.

Sam with community members of Susan's Bay slum in Freetown
VSO/Larry Ronnie Tucker

Volunteers respond to devastating fire in Sierra Leone slum

In 2021 a devastating fire broke out in Susan’s Bay slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone, leaving 7,000 people homeless. Read how volunteer Samuel jumped in to action.

Men planting mangroves on a beach in the Philippines
©Pakigdait Inc

The power of regrowth

Climate change, typhoons and poor fishing practices were threatening the way of life of a coastal community in the Philippines. Then volunteers came together to plant mangroves to turn the tide.

Volunteer Peter helps some pupils at a VSO-supported learning centre
VSO/Paul Wambugu

Helping young mothers return to education

Hear from our students and mentors about how our Education for Life project is helping young brides in Kenya, return to school.

Group of women smiling
VSO/Paul Wambugu

Education Summit 2021: volunteers transforming girls’ education in Kenya, Malawi and Nepal

Our flagship girls’ education projects, in Kenya, Malawi and Nepal have been helping girls to access the education that they deserve.