VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), UK
Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) is the world’s leading independent international development organization that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. It is based in London. VSO's high-impact approach involves bringing people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action, and change lives to make the world a fairer place for all. VSO's vision is a world without poverty in which people work together to fulfill their potential.
VSO's purpose is to promote volunteering to fight global poverty and disadvantage. It brings people together to share skills, creativity and learning to build a fairer world. VSO's Women Matter campaign saw 2,500 supporters contacting their representatives asking for women to be put at the heart of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) new HIV and AIDS strategy. The Government made some significant promises that will improve life for women affected by HIV and AIDS in the world’s poorest countries. VSO's current campaign – Help Women Help the World – calls on the UN to create a new women’s agency that would help women to fulfil their potential. VSO undertakes advocacy locally, nationally and internationally to bring about positive change to policies and practices. Together with supporters, it campaigns for global justice and helps to raise awareness of important development issues.
Links to the health workforce crisis
VSO tackles poverty by using the skills, commitment and enthusiasm of individuals from around the world. For 50 years, we have been recruiting volunteers aged between 18 and 75 to live and work in the heart of local communities. We are actively recruiting at all times, and there are a number of placements to suit a variety of ages and professional expertise.
We work with local partners in the designated communities, placing volunteers with them to help increase their impact and effectiveness. We also work with corporate partners around the world to provide them with ways to contribute to our development goals in a way that provides benefits to both parties. LINKS (Learning through International Networking and Knowledge Sharing) activities give VSO partners the chance to go to another country to learn and share good practice by visiting or working with agencies there. We also promote and help to organise a variety of national activities that can help to connect in-country partnerships. Activities can include study tours, themed workshops, and in-country partner exchanges.
VSO has secure livelihoods programmes in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Our main objective in this area is to strengthen the ability of disadvantaged people to make a living. Volunteers working in the area of secure livelihoods come from a wide range of technical and professional backgrounds and can offer support in a number of areas, including enterprise and small business development, marketing, advocacy and lobbying, and financial planning, and in technical skills such as coastal resource management, horticulture and agriculture.
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