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Hannah Al-Othman is one of 14 people registered to run the London Marathon for VSO this Sunday, hoping to raise a total of over £30,000 for the charity. VSO is the world’s leading international development organisation that uses volunteers to fight poverty and reduce inequality.
Hannah volunteered with VSO in Cambodia between 2010 and 2011 as a Community Education Advisor. When she was there, she used to wake up really early to run to beat the heat before 8am. In the final month of her placement she ran around Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple complex.
Today the historic International Development Bill receives Royal Assent. The Bill has already been agreed in the House of Parliament and Lords, but today’s Royal Assent means that the Bill is now officially an Act of Parliament – a law.
The new law is known as the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act. The UK Government is now committed to spending 0.7% of the country’s Gross National Income on International Development.
VSO is delighted that Lords turned out in force today to support the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill, which guarantees the UK's commitment to overseas aid. The bill sees the UK commit to continue spending 0.7% of its Gross National Income on overseas aid.
Angela Salt, Director of VSO in the UK says:
International Women’s Day, 8 March 2015
VSO is calling on governments to increase women’s participation and influence in decision-making. Negotiations around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), will shape the development agenda for the next fifteen years are entering a crucial phase in March. VSO is calling for a clear target and indicators on increasing women’s participation and influence to be included under a standalone goal on gender equality and women’s rights.
The BIG Lottery Fund has approved £495,462 of funding to VSO for a three year project - ‘Improving Health of HIV positive prisoners in Zimbabwe’.
Last night VSO was the winner of an esteemed Employee Engagement Award at the Chiswell Street Brewery in London. The Employee Engagement Awards celebrate forward-thinking organisations striving to do things differently.
VSO operates in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia, with more than 800 staff, a quarter of whom are based in Kingston on Thames just outside London. The charity won the Employee Engagement Award for Project of the Year in the Not for profit/Charity category* - for the use of technology to boost employee engagement.
Action/2015 is a global campaign asking world leaders to tackle poverty, inequality, and climate change. It’s a movement of over a thousand organisations, including VSO, in more than 120 countries. Action/2015 is one of the biggest campaigns ever to launch. It has the support of some big names, including Malala Yousafzai, Queen Rania of Jordan, Bono, Ben Affleck, Bill and Melinda Gates and Mo Ibrahim.
Welcoming the news that Michael Moore’s Private Members’ bill to enshrine the cross-party commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on international development into law has passed to its next stage, Emma Harrison, Head of Communication and Engagement said:
“We’re delighted that this bill has passed on to the next stage. We recognize that budgets are tight here in the UK, but this country’s international development work is something we should all be proud of.”