VSO national volunteer Kaung Khant speaks to a villager on the front porch of his house as part of his work identifying vulnerable residents to prepare for disaster.
VSO/Nyan Zay Htet

Resilient, responsive, ready: How VSO volunteers helped communities prepare for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Friday 15 May, 9.30 - 10.45 am BST

Join us online for an important discussion about our emergency preparedness work around the world and VSO’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recap the webinar

As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold around the world, including every country in which VSO operates, we find ourselves in brand new territory.

The pandemic has brought about profound changes to all our lives, but the biggest impact is on the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised. We have an enormous challenge ahead of us to ensure we leave no one behind.

This means shifting existing programming and designing new global programmes to respond to the new challenges we’re facing. Crucially, it means supporting VSO’s frontline volunteers in the communities we serve, who are at the heart of managing our response to COVID-19.

Responding to immediate needs is just half the battle. Much of our work is also focused on building resilient communities that are prepared for emergencies before they arrive – and before it’s even clear what they will be. When it comes to weathering shocks, both prevention and cure are crucial to building robust, adaptable and thriving communities.

Meet our speakers

Philip Goodwin, VSO CEO
CEO Philip Goodwin will provide an update on VSO's response and the direction of programming moving forward.

We will be joined by Philip Goodwin, CEO of VSO, and Donne Cameron, Director of Programmes and Operational Delivery, who will provide an update on VSO’s response to COVID-19 and the direction of our programming moving forward.

We are also very fortunate to be joined by four staff members based in-country, who will tell us about what it takes to build resilient systems in communities to be able to respond to COVID-19 and withstand future shocks:

  • Madhuvantthe, Resilience Advisor
  • Kaung Khant, national volunteer and Education Officer in Yangon, Myanmar
  • Rute Dos Santos, Programme Manager in Mozambique
  • Jonah Tendere, Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Advisor in Zimbabwe.

Recap the webinar

Presentation slides


Webinar recording

Recording of the Resilient, Responsive, Ready webinar on 15 May


  • VSO today – Philip Goodwin and Donne Cameron
  • Questions and answers: from 11:20
  • Emergency preparedness in Mozambique – Rute Dos Santos and Jonah Tendare: from 34:10
  • Emergency preparedness in Myanmar – Madhuvantthe and Kaung Khant: from 50:36
  • Questions and answers: from 1:03:00
  • Opportunities to stay connected with VSO – Alice Osborne: from 1:14:50
  • Final remarks and further questions – Philip Goodwin: from 1:17:38

Questions and answers

Read questions and answers from the webinar