Kate tackles early marriages in Bangladesh
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 address it.
From school drop-out to superstar: How Elias saved 45 children's education
Alone, scared and running for his life, 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.
Happy bellies for brighter futures: Volunteers' project feeds hungry children
Shocked by levels of malnutrition in the country, volunteering couple Jan and Ann started their own project to give a hundred nursery aged children in Rwanda a hot meal at school every day.
Back to school as a father of three
Gratien Nshimiyimana fought to go back to primary school - the same one his children attend - after his childhood education was cut short by Rwanda's 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsis. Now he is passionate champion of education involved, along with his children, in a VSO project to establish high quality early childhood education across the country for all children.
"My son has begun to speak"
Charles Sibomana, 11, has suspected intellectual disabilities. He was always mute in school and remained separate from other children. Since his teacher at Gahanga Primary school was trained by VSO, his performance is improving, he is mixing with other children, and has even begun to speak.
Living with HIV in Rwanda
After her husband had an affair, Beretilde became HIV positive. Life is hard for Beretilde. But after joining a local cooperative things are looking up. She is now making a better living, providing for her children and investing in the future.
Justice for women who face violence in Sierra Leone
In Sierra Leone domestic violence tends to be seen as a 'private issue'. In Kenema, VSO has been supporting local organisation FINE Salone to raise awareness of women's rights and the law, change attitudes, and support survivors to prosecute their perpetrators.
Support for survivors of domestic violence in PNG
Papua New Guinea (PNG), where Alyce lives, has the world’s highest levels of violence against women for a country not at war. VSO has been working in PNG since 1960 and has seen just how challenging it is to change violent behaviours – and the attitudes that underlie them. For the first time, many survivors like her can now get specialist support, thanks to the efforts of volunteers.
A year after she resisted marriage at 14, Shapla is still happy at school
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.
Engaging the police in Pakistan on gender-based violence
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.