Blog

Image of Rohingya refugee camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh showing housing structures
©VSO/Abir Abdullah

5 things I've learned volunteering in a refugee camp

Kenyan volunteer Ann Wambui shares what she's learnt as a volunteer in Cox's Bazar camp in Bangladesh.

Partner org AwazCDS presenting report at UN conference
©UN/Eskinder Debebe

Taking voices from communities to global decision makers

We hear from VSO Pakistan Country Director Hashim Bilal, on how communities in his country are making their voices heard when it comes to progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

An ICS volunteer in front of a blackboard

Engage youth successfully to drive change

Accelerating and improving the quality of youth engagement is vital if we are to drastically reduce poverty.

Students Learning Kenya sign language from VSO volunteers
VSO/ Paul Wambugu

Meet the young activists fighting for Deaf rights

A bespoke project in Kenya is bringing together Deaf people from the UK and Kenya to make their voices heard. Youth volunteers Raabia, a young filmmaker from the UK, and her Kenyan counterpart, Enock, explain how badly marginalised Deaf people continue to be in both countries – and what they’re doing to help.

Fifteen-year-old Pendo watches herself in the short film Tabu

Watch the VSO film receiving international acclaim

Tabu, a film created by a community in Tanzania with the support of a VSO volunteer, has been screened at seven film festivals around the world. Now we want to share it with you.

Shehla Qureshi speaks at a conference in Karachi, Pakistan
©VSO/Talha Ghouri

Why we need more outspoken women

From climate activist Greta Thunberg, to Karachi’s first female police superintendent Shehla Qureshi, more and more strong women are speaking up against the injustice they see around them, and changing their world.

VSO speakers at the VSO offices in London
VSO

Inspiring the next generation of volunteers

VSO’s brand new speaker service is made up of a network of returned volunteers across the UK. We caught up with two VSO speakers, Shonesé and Mark, who were among the first to sign up – sharing their experience volunteering with local communities.

group of people in zambia smiling and laughing at the camera
Jason J Mulikita

The ripple effect: What happens after a VSO placement?

From fostering cross-cultural understanding between countries, to furnishing hundreds of classrooms, many volunteers carry on making a difference after their official VSO placement has ended. This 'ripple effect' is still changing lives around the world.

Abdul Latif, pictured here standing outdoors, is a farmer working with VSO on the Growing Together project.
©VSO/Allison Joyce

How we're prepping the world's poorest for climate change

People in developing countries are bearing the brunt of global climate change, but VSO is supporting communities to become more resilient to changes in their natural environment.

Elaine Bhate on placement
©VSO/Allison Joyce

It's a family affair

In 1990, healthcare worker Elaine Bhate left the UK to volunteer as a VSO midwife. Almost three decades later – her daughter Ria, 19, followed in her footsteps. We caught up with them to understand how volunteering overseas changed their lives.

Man walking through a green field on a Bangladeshi farm
VSO/Qamruzzaman

Developing software for a better world

VSO has been working with software consultants, Equal Experts, using software to help rural farmers access new services in Bangladesh.

Giving up the ‘gap yah’: how to make sure you volunteer responsibly

We caught up with VSO’s Responsible Volunteering Specialist to find out how she's raising awareness about orphange ‘voluntourism’ and responsible volunteering.