Woman smiling with organic crops
Lisa Marie David

Our work

We bring about lasting change not by sending aid, but by working through volunteers and partners to empower communities in some of the world’s poorest regions.

Our impact 2022/23

Our annual impact report provides an overview and some examples of what we have achieved during 2022/23. It highlights the amazing impact that we made in a wide range of contexts around the world thanks to supporters like you.

Impact report

Areas of work

Purnima at a catch up class
Suraj Shakya

Inclusive and resilient education

Making sure everyone gets the skills they need to live a fulfilled, dignified life.

We helped over 3.2 million people to access the quality education they deserve in 2022-23.

Young female farmers in Kenya
Paul Wambugu/ Obscuramedia

Resilient livelihoods

Ensuring people have the skills and opportunities needed to support themselves and their families.

200,000 people benefited from our work supporting livelihoods in 2022-23.

Girls at the She Club, a safe space for girls to learn about SRHR
Chosa Mweemba

Adolescent and youth health and wellbeing

Improving health services and empowering people to exercise their right to quality care.

We helped almost 90,000 people access better healthcare in 2022-23.

Our projects

Read about current and former projects that VSO has worked on.

Discover our projects

How we work

Volunteering for development

At VSO, we know that people in developing countries have the power, courage and desire to help themselves. That’s why we use a volunteering for development approach that puts the most marginalised people first.

Volunteering for development approach

Two adolescent girls study on a bench

Our core approaches

Across all our programmes we focus on building communities that are resilient, inclusive and accountable.

Our three 'core approaches' - social inclusion and gender, resilience, and social inclusion and accountability - are fundamental to our volunteering for development approach, ensuring that the people we work with have the capacity to bring about change in their own lives.

Our core approaches

    Working in partnership

    We believe progress is only possible when we work together.

    Partnerships lie at the root of all the positive change we create. Together, we work on programme development and delivery, research, fundraising and influencing decision-makers.

    We work with:

    • 500+ local organisations in 23 countries;
    • governments at all levels;
    • funders, academic institutions and advocacy platforms;
    • corporate partners.

    Partnering with VSO

    The ACTIVE programme

    Our Active Citizenship Through Inclusive Volunteering and Empowerment (ACTIVE) programme, funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will support the development of active citizenship across the Global South, so the world’s most marginalised people can lead their own development, claim their rights to better public services, and hold people in power to account.


    Research and evaluation

    A woman sits on a low outdoor wall whilst writing in a log book
    VSO/Suraj Ratna Shakya

    Evaluating our work is essential. We carry out systematic assessments of all projects, programmes and policies.

    Research plays a critical role in helping us understand and improve our work reducing poverty.

    Research and evaluations

    Influencing and advocacy

    A group of Nepali women hold a banner and placards as they protest in front of their remote village, with hills in the background
    VSO/Peter Caton

    We influence policy at national, regional and international levels. We connect decision makers to the experiences of our volunteers, partners and marginalised people.

    Our work around the world, amplifying the voices of the poorest, is making change happen.

    Influencing and advocacy

    Latest stories

    Salma Rehmat.

    "Girls deserve an education just as much as boys"

    Meet 26 year-old community volunteer Salma Rehmat from Afghanistan. Salma advocates for Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistan to access a quality education. Find out more.

    Lord Jack McConnell talks at the ACTIVE launch

    Former First Minister of Scotland welcomes launch of VSO peacebuilding project in the Philippines

    On 23 January, Lord Jack McConnell, former First Minister of Scotland and former VSO volunteer, visited Camp Badre in Maguindanao del Norte, the Philippines. Hear his reflections from the trip.

    Shirisha, community psychosocial support worker.
    VSO/Ashok Bhandari, Mogul Media Pvt. Ltd.

    Stories of empowerment: three Nepali women reclaiming their space

    In Nepal, more than one in four women experience gender-based violence. To mark International Women's Day, we’re sharing the stories of three women from a VSO project in Nepal, who are helping to end violence against women and girls.

    A farmer standing next to their harvested crops

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