We have been doing story gathering and photography with international development charity VSO for 10 years; I went on my first VSO photography trip in Autumn 2005 and Catherine set up the story gathering function in January 2006. We had both already been with the organisation in other roles for about five years by then. Now we run Mile 91 they continue to be one of our favourite clients – a VSO job always feels a bit like going home! They are a brilliant charity that couldn’t do what they do without the experience and dedication of the volunteers they recruit.
VSO has changed a lot in the nearly 60 years it has been going and they now recruit volunteers of all ages from all over the world and not just the UK. These volunteers live and work alongside their colleagues in communities. All of the volunteers we have met over the years say that it is an incredible experience both personally and professionally. They say they feel they have learnt so much, many make friendships that last way beyond their placements. What lots of them don’t realise is the contributions they are making. These are often difficult to spot in one single placement, but added up over a number of years and with volunteers and organisations working together.
We wanted to share a few photographs of a typical day from when we visited VSO teacher volunteer Patricia in Ethiopia. Hopefully it will give you a taste of some of the things you could see and experience if you were to volunteer with VSO. Click the links to find out more about VSO and the opportunities they have to volunteer. Obviously not everyone can drop everything and go overseas and so there are plenty of other ways you can get involved and support what they do.
You could start by liking this blog and sharing it with friends and colleagues. Perhaps you know someone who has some skills they could share and is looking for an exciting adventure. If you have time why not share your support in the comments section below… Thank you!