Women farmers tend their crops in Bangladesh | VSO

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.

Areas of work

A child in a wheelchair at school

Inclusive education

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

Over the past five years we have supported almost 3,500,000 children to access the quality education they deserve.

Women farmers with a VSO volunteer in Nigeria
©VSO/Onye Ubanatu

Resilient livelihoods

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

770,000 people have benefited from our work supporting livelihoods over the past five years.

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.

Over the past five years we have helped over 3,600,000 people access better healthcare.

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

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

Examples of our work

Bangladesh

Education

  • Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in Bangladesh

Cambodia

Education

Ethiopia

Education

  • Unlocking Talent Through Technology

Malawi

Education

  • Unlocking Talent Through Technology

Myanmar

Education

  • Returning to education after COVID-19

Nepal

Education

Rwanda

Education

Latest stories

Kenyan youth group
Paul Wambugu/Obscuramedia

Our youth champions give their climate month round-up

This month, our youth champions took over our @VSOPeople account on Twitter, to share the ways they're tackling climate change in their communities. Watch the video to find out more.

Juliet
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The mental health lifeline for survivors of abuse in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, survivors of violence and abuse have little access to mental health services to manage the trauma they’ve experienced. For those who’ve been through so much, what support is out there?

Community emergency response team pull a boat from the water

Pakistan Floods: From planning to action

Flooding in Pakistan is a stark reminder that the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, disproportionately affects the poorest societies. Community Emergency Response Teams are in the field providing emergency action.