Our vision: A fair world for everyone
Our purpose is to create lasting change through volunteering. At VSO we do development differently. We harness the skills and expertise of volunteers to deliver long lasting change.
We put people first and empower them to be in the driving seat of their own development. Our volunteers work in collaboration with marginalised communities in every aspect of project design, delivery and evaluation, enabling the world's poorest communities to take charge of their own change.
Our ambition is to bring lasting and positive change in the lives of the people we work with, focusing on the marginalised and vulnerable. We make a significant contribution towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by using the transformational power of volunteering.
How we work
At VSO, we know that people in developing countries have the power, courage and desire to help themselves. That’s why we use our volunteering for development approach that puts the most marginalised people first, to build a more equitable society. Our volunteers work with communities to strengthen education, livelihoods and health systems, tackling vulnerability and marginalisation.
Areas of work
Making sure everyone gets the skills they need to live a fulfilled, dignified life.
We helped over 3.2 million people to access the quality education they deserve in 2022-23.
Ensuring people have the skills and opportunities needed to support themselves and their families.
200,000 people benefited from our work supporting livelihoods in 2022-23.
Since VSO started in 1958, we have worked in over 90 countries, deployed over 98,000 volunteers and supported over 70 million people. Through our programming, we’ve reached 10.9 million people in 2022-23, over 7.4 million indirectly and nearly 3.5 million directly.
Over 3.2 million were reached through our education projects.
Almost 200,000 people were reached through our resilient livelihoods programme.
Almost 90,000 people were reached through our health projects.
Over 87,000 through our wider work on resilience, inclusion and social accountability.
- Empower poor and marginalised people to take charge of their own development.
- Share skills and knowledge to create long lasting, sustainable change.
- Build collaborative partnerships that promote innovation, growth and impact.
- Stand beside and advocate for those who have been denied choice and opportunity.
- Promote diversity and equality throughout our work.
- Encourage different, inquisitive perspectives.
- Lead volunteering for development, setting the standard for ourselves and others.
- Use evidence and insight to guide our actions.
- Recruit the right people and work where we have the greatest impact.
- Commit to safeguarding and take a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and harm.
- Treat others with respect, as equals.
- Be open, transparent and accountable in everything we do.
Our commitment to fairness and transparency
Our work would not be possible without funding and donations from agencies, trusts, private companies and the general public. We value every gift that you give, and will always put it straight to work as quickly as we can. In 2022-23, 87p of every £1 you gave went directly towards tackling poverty worldwide. 13p was spent on the day-to-day running of the charity and raising the next £1 so that we can help even more people this year.