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Volunteering overseas and fighting poverty

VSO is a leading international development charity that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries and make the world a fairer place for all. For over 50 years, we’ve sent volunteers to some of the world’s poorest countries to share their professional skills, creativity and learning and to build capabilities that transform poor and disadvantaged people’s lives and communities.

Our volunteers pass on their knowledge, skills and experience to their overseas colleagues, and they in turn pass on the skills and knowledge that they have learnt onto the colleagues they work with long after our volunteers have returned to the UK. VSO’s approach makes a lasting and sustainable difference to help people establish and secure their own futures and livelihoods in an independent and confident way. We also work with disadvantaged and marginalised people to ensure that their rights are advocated and highlighted, and we work to ensure that health and education is inclusive for all.

Pension paid for public sector employees

The Government has made funds available to cover pensions for up to two years for public sector employees in the UK who volunteer overseas with VSO, so now is a great time for public sector employees to volunteer overseas, and pass their skills and experience on to those that need it. Public sector volunteers can make a real difference by changing the lives of disadvantaged communities in one of over 44 countries that VSO works in, spanning Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This pension initiative demonstrates the Government’s commitment to international development, and the recognition that public sector employees can make a permanent contribution to international development in poorer countries.

Professional development

Volunteers and employees also consider international volunteering as part of a structured professional development path. Public sector employees who volunteer overseas gain valuable skills, and return to the UK with those skills, as well as insight and experiences that directly benefit themselves, their organisation and the UK economy.

VSO Support

VSO provides full support and training for their volunteers, including a comprehensive financial, personal and professional support. We’ll provide extensive training, a small local living allowance, return flights, accommodation, medical insurance and more. We also support returned volunteers and help them resettle back in the UK. Many of our volunteers go on to re-volunteer and stay involved with us long after they return.

You can find out more on pension benefits and eligibility
. You can also find out about volunteering opportunities for public sector employees in a range of areas at: www.vso.org.uk/volunteer 

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