Over the past 40 years, Gwen Owen has helped raise an estimated £50,000 for VSO, supporting better education, health and livelihoods for the world's least privileged people. Gwen says collecting for a good cause isn't just satisfying, it's keeping her young.
Sylvester Ochieng, 28, is volunteering for a Kenya where all children have equal education opportunities. Children with hearing impairments face additional barriers to attending and making progress in school. He explains the impact he is seeing on his placement in Bungoma County.
Once I had completed my degree in early childhood education, I came to see the reality that children with disabilities face in achieving a quality education. By the time parents realise that it’s their responsibility to take these children to school, it’s too late.
Newborn deaths and infection rates have plummeted since VSO opened this intensive care unit in northern Uganda three months ago for babies born too soon or too poorly.
Warning: This article contains images of a newborn baby being resuscitated, which some readers may find upsetting.
This is the incredible moment a newborn baby fought for life. Thanks to VSO volunteers and supporters who helped set up a new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), she survived.
The 'Busy Bee' cooperative are living up to their name. Beekeeping start-up kits and training in business skills, provided by VSO, have helped this group of 26 producers boost their income and entrepreneurial skills.
The pine forests of Shangi sector are tranquil. But amidst these trees are densely populated villages of farmers, subsisting in some of the most remote and disadvantaged communities in all Rwanda.
Kate Weaver was surprised at the many children being married off by their parents in the rural community where she was volunteering on VSO’s International Citizen Service (ICS) youth programme. She and her team decided to try and do something about it.
The anti-child marriage task force they set up with local people has gone on to prevent three planned child marriages. Community members say they have observed an overall reduction in the number of underage marriages being arranged.
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 is Shapla still happy at school, she wants to volunteer to inspire more girls to resist child marriage.
In Pakistan, VSO is supporting local partners to improve the police response to gender-based violence in a country that scores among the lowest countries in the world for gender equality, and where patriarchal attitudes prevent many abused women seeking and accessing justice.
Raza* was a happy 17-year-old studying for university at Rawalpindi, in the Punjab in Pakistan, when her life changed forever.
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.
Electrical engineering expert volunteer Richard Asaku has raised educational standards that prepare young people for the world of modern work in the deprived Lindi and Mtwara regions of Tanzania, as part of a VSO project.
Its impact is clear. Before this programme less than one in three graduates were in work within two years of leaving school. Now more than half are employed within six months; a fantastic achievement thanks to the "Enhancing Employability Through Vocational Training" (EEVT) programme.
“You can only do your bit. But that’s enough” says serial volunteer Mira Howard. She has been supporting VSO for 18 years, having set off on her first placement at the age of 63.
Although she ‘retired’ from volunteering five years ago she is today, aged 81, still supporting the communities she met as a volunteer.