Blog

A student answers a question during a lesson about relatives and family in English class at Hamugongo Primary School in Kagera, Tanzania.
VSO/Sophie Tremblay

Inside the world’s classrooms

Open the door of classrooms around the world and you’ll find a surprising range of challenges – as well as some truly incredible teachers dedicated to changing children’s lives.

Sierra Leone slum, Kroo Bay, which is full of plastic waste and other rubbish.
VSO/Evelyn Fey

The homes built on plastic: Life in a Sierra Leone slum

In Freetown, Sierra Leone, tens of thousands of people live with a sea of plastic waste on their doorstep. They're suffering disease, death and indignity. One volunteer is determined to make a stand on behalf of his community.

A VSO education volunteer at work in school

Our lasting bond: How volunteering created a cross-cultural connection

A volunteer placement that began more than a decade ago continues to benefit children with special education needs in Vietnam and has laid the foundations for a special relationship between two extraordinary women.

VSO

Safeguarding – a survivor-centred approach

Over the last year, organisations working in aid and development have been rightly challenged over their failings in dealing with abuse and harassment. In response to the scandals, the UK government is holding an International Safeguarding Summit in London in October.

Volunteers Jack Algeo and Chris Tipple wearing Ghanaian fabrics
VSO / Charly Sauret

60 years apart: Here’s how volunteering in Ghana aged 18 changed our lives

Watch what happened when we brought two British VSO volunteers together who volunteered in Ghana to find out how different their experiences were – 60 years apart.

Philip laying flowers in Rwanda
David Kezio-Musoke

Transformation and resilience: the role of volunteers in Rwanda

Rwanda is truly a nation of volunteers. A commitment to working with your community towards a common purpose is engrained in its national spirit, and the role that volunteering has played post the 1994 genocide is a lesson we can all learn from writes VSO CEO Dr Philip Goodwin.

Young wife in Nepal
©VSO/Suraj Shakya

Between the earth and the sky: Devna's story

In Nepal, suicide rates among young married women are very high. Devna* shares her experience of a surviving a forced marriage, and how she and her family came to be involved in a VSO project to reduce levels of violence in families in Baglung.

Mothers in Ethiopia

5 times UK aid supported mothers and babies around the world

Every day, approximately 386,000 babies are born. Of these, over 90 per cent will be born in countries where there still isn’t enough access to medical care, leaving them at risk of illness, disease and death. But support from UK aid is changing this, providing vital services in maternal and neontatal care. 

aerial view of the pamunda island, Zanzibar
E X P L O R E R/shutterstock.com

Struggles in paradise: Do the world’s poorest actually benefit from tourism?

Around the world, tourism is on the rise, but local people often don’t see the benefit. Our work in Zanzibar is a great example of how simple changes could make a world of difference to farmers trying to earn a living.

Zambia street scene
Shutterstock

"A year I'll never forget"

Eileen’s year spent in Zambia was unforgettable. Not just because it was the first year of married life with her husband, but also for the extreme highs and lows of her stint volunteering in the children’s ward of a small rural hospital.

Fiona Kirby VSO education volunteer
VSO/Abir Abdullah

Meet the teacher volunteering in the Rohingya refugee camps

Thousands of Rohingya children are living in the refugee camps. They’re out of school and risk being left behind for good, but VSO education volunteer Fiona Kirby is working to help them

VSO volunteer and Rohingya children
VSO/Abir Abdullah

Helping Rohingya children get their childhoods back

About half a million children are living in refugee camps in Bangladesh. We're working together to help them.