Past VSO UK Campaigns

Past VSO UK Campaigns

VSO runs campaigns on its own or as part of a coalition. Previous campaigns included #stopthemyth - a campaign to communicate to the UK public the success of efforts to tackle global poverty over the last decade. Think nothing changes in development? Watch the video.

0.7% UK aid target receives Royal Assent

As of 25 March 2015, the UK Government's commitment to investing 0.7% of Gross National Income towards international development is enshrined in law.  Read blog


77% of the UK public think that efforts to tackle global poverty over the last decade have made little or no difference. The world’s poorest countries have made huge progress towards being self-reliant in our lifetime. Volunteers from the UK have seen this progress first-hand on overseas placements. In August 2014, volunteers took to the streets of Edinburgh and Bristol in rickshaws to talk about development and share stories of change from around the world. Inspired? Read more


The Godmothers is a network of campaigners who believe women around the world deserve equality and freedom from discrimination.

In 2011, following on from the success Help Women Help the World in 2008, VSO’s Godmothers called on the UK Government to ensure that the newly created body - UN Women - received the funding needed to improve the lives millions of women and girls around the world.

And because of their efforts in contacting elected officials, 100 MPs signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) on the issue.

So thanks to this support and action, in July the UK Government announced that it would be contributing £20 million over two years, making it one of the leading donors to UN Women.

We also made history by being the first EDM to be debated in the House of Commons.  And nearly 100 campaigners turned up in Westminster for VSO’s first ever mass lobby of Parliament. 

How 1GOAL is giving children access to millions of education

In 2010 VSO lent its support to 1GOAL: a coalition campaign calling for world leaders to honour their commitments to give every child access to the primary education they deserve.

And around the world a staggering 18 million gave their support.

1GOAL culminated at the Millennium Development Goals summit at the UN in September 2010. As a direct result of the global support for the campaign the Australian government pledged an unprecedented $5 billion for education over the next five years, and the World Bank $750 million.

This total could be enough to get an additional four million children through school in the next five years.

Make your Mark

VSO ran Make Your Mark to coincide with the 2010 UK General Election. The campaign was aimed at engaging voters with their local parliamentary candidates, and candidates with development issues.

Over the two months that Make Your Mark ran campaigners exchanged emails with some 724 parliamentary candidates across 235 constituencies, keeping development firmly on the parties’ political agenda.

Help Women Help the World

Help Women Help the World was a campaign supporting the creation of a new UN Agency for Women. Launched in November 2008, the campaign mobilised thousands of supporters, who in turn contacted 88% of all the MPs in the House of Commons.

On the 14 September 2009 the UN General Assembly’s 192 members unanimously passed a resolution allowing the creation of a new UN Agency for Women and the appointment of an Under-Secretary General to lead it.

This was a truly historic occasion, and one which VSO hopes will mark a real step forward for millions of women around the world.

The efforts of VSO’s campaigners played a crucial role in ensuring the strong support of the UK Government during the final negotiations, which at times we feared would end without agreement.

Many thanks to all of you for the part you played in persuading the UN to at last take discrimination against women seriously.    

Women Matter

In 2007, we launched the Women Matter campaign to help stop women being disproportionately affected by the AIDS pandemic. Thanks to supporters like you, when the Department for International Development (DFID) published its new HIV and AIDS strategy in June 2008. It included a number of significant commitments that will help protect millions of women. DFID’s commitments include:

  • ensuring that the impact of HIV and AIDS on women is understood, measured and integrated within national AIDS programmes
  • ensuring the impact of AIDS programmes on women is properly measured
  • increasing by at least 50 per cent DFID’s funding for vaccines and female-controlled HIV prevention such as microbicides
  • making HIV and AIDS services more accessible for women by integrating them with maternal and child health services, as well as increasing access to family planning and female condoms.