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Life-changing stories

What is it like to live and work in a developing country as a VSO volunteer? Read about VSO volunteer experiences, what it's like to work with a VSO volunteer from the point of view of our partner organisations and how VSO’s work is changing the lives of people in the poorest communities every day. These are real stories from real people that leave a lasting impact.

To find out firsthand what it's like to be a VSO volunteer read the blogs written by volunteers currently serving overseas

Lessons learned on ICSE Kenya
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  • Secure livelihoods

For the past 3 months Pete has been volunteering in Nairobi, Kenya with VSO ICS Entrepreneur. Since being on the programme he has learnt a lot about himself through working cross-culturally and especially through working with entrepreneurs. Read on forhis six inspiring lessons from working with enterprises overseas.

Hon. Esther Murugi Mathenge greets beneficiaries of the Cash Transfer for the Elderly programme in Nyeri, Kenya
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  • Participation and governance

Kenyan MP and former minister Hon. Esther Murugi Mathenge is a fighting force for the people of Nyeri. Here, she talks candidly about her achievements, and the need to move beyond policy in order to empower women.

VSO ICS youth volunteer Alex Mountain in the Philippines
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  • Secure livelihoods

Alexandra Mountain volunteered with VSO ICS in the Philippines, supporting youth groups to raise awareness about protecting the local water source.

Arnoud Keizer OpenStreetMap technology training Philippines life-changing
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  • Participation and governance

VSO EU AID volunteer Arnoud Keizer spent nine months working with the Filipino government and communities affected by disasters. He is supporting national efforts to use science and technology to prepare for and prevent future devastation. Read how below.

James Croston rain harvesting sanitation Jharkhand India
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  • Health

Drawing on his professional experience as an engineer in the UK, VSO EU Aid volunteer James Croston piloted rainwater harvesting techniques and researched hygiene practices in remote rural areas to advise communities on simple solutions to improve sanitation.
 

Sarah Matthews VSO EUAid volunteer Assam, India
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  • Health

VSO volunteer Sarah Matthews drew on her experience of working with WASH technologies and methodologies in developing countries, to provide technical support for WASH initiatives to our partner OXFAM and its local partners in Assam, India,

Samuel's story
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  • Disability

VSO volunteer disability adviser Christiane Merz has been working in northern Rwanda alongside the district authorities for two years, helping to ensure the needs and rights of people with disabilities are properly met.

Teaching Methodology Advisor Béibhinn in Rwanda
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  • Education icon

Béibhinn Ní Mhuirí, originally from Co. Down, Ireland has spent a year working as a Teaching Methodology Advisor in Rwamagana, Rwanda. Working in 10 schools, across three districts, with over 25 teachers, Béibhinn is sharing her teaching skills to improve the quality of education for Rwandan children.

VSO volunteer Mike Ashby Teaching Methodology Adviser in Rwanda
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  • Education icon

Mike Ashby is sharing primary teaching skills as a Teaching Methodology Adviser in the Karongi district of Rwanda, working with fifteen schools in a region where tens of thousands were killed during the 1994 genocide. Read more about Mike's work below.

Anuradha Banerjee with the managing director of Rans, Nassor Salim Al-Miskiry. Anuradha is working to support the SME in Zamzibar.
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  • Secure livelihoods

Anuradha Banerjee is a Barclays employee and currently a VSO volunteer in Tanzania. In the UK, she is a Vice-President for business development within Wealth and Investment Management. She has spent five months as a corporate volunteer analysing the Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) market in Zanzibar so she can advise an international oil and gas company on opportunities to create shared value from its entry into the market.

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