Elias Musabyimana was just ten years old when he survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis. It left him deeply traumatised - but determined to dedicate his time, skills and energy to making a better world.
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.
VSO volunteers have returned to Sierra Leone after ebola and are working to rebuild health services after such a huge trauma.
On 15 November we held our first ever VSO Volunteer Awards to recognise VSO volunteers from across the globe for their outstanding contribution to developing countries.
British volunteer Stephanie Green spent two years in Ghana working to help Shea nut processors become financially independent businesswomen. She returned earlier this year- and was delighted to see that the women are thriving, independent of VSO support.
Before VSO's project, fewer than one in three graduates were in work within two years of leaving vocational training. Now more than half are employed within six months.
Volunteer Dr Alexa Vardy shares her experience of working as an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Abi Adi Hospital in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia.
“You can only do your bit. But that’s enough” says serial volunteer Mira. She has been supporting VSO for 18 years, having set off on her first placement at the age of 63.
Volunteers are working in the Gulu region, supporting young people access a range of employment and educational opportunities. Chairman of the Lacan Kow Lewet cooperative, Bosco Onyaobo, explains how the project has transformed his life.
Dr Siobhán Neville talks about the challenges and rewards of volunteering on a maternal and neonatal health programme in Lindi, Tanzania, and why she urges other health professionals to do the same.
Imagine being locked up against your will unless you agreed to marry a man you had never met. This is exactly what happened to Jenny, a 17 year old girl living in northern Ghana.