Labelled a 'prostitute' for going to school

Educating girls is one of the most powerful ways to reduce poverty, grow household incomes and improve gender equality.

Our latest research in Northern Uganda has uncovered shockingly negative attitudes to girls’ education held by families and even teachers. It highlights the extent of the challenge we face in getting today’s girls through school.

Success? Have I made a difference?

Has the work that I have done here in Nepal been successful? Have I made a difference?

After many years of teaching in Devon, UK, VSO volunteer Ann Marcer recently completed her placement in Lamjung, Nepal where she has been working on a project to encourage more girls to attend and stay at school. Here Ann takes a look back at what has been achieved with the schools and teachers involved in the project.

Catherine Bedford, Psychiatric Nurse, Papua New Guinea

Catherine Bedford is VSO volunteer, working as a Psychiatric Nurse in Papua New Guinea where the rates of violence against women are amongst the highest in the world for a country not a war. She’s delivering psychological first aid and trauma counselling to survivors often with the barebones of tools and resources. Here are a selection of personal snaps and thoughts that detail her life on the Island.

Life as a social worker during "emergency epidemic" of violence

The rates of violence against women in Papua New Guinea are amongst the highest in the world for a country not at war. Despite the regularity of severe attacks, particularly within the family, services to support survivors are few and far between. Robyn Borausiki, 25, is a social worker at Modilon Hospital in Medang where she works alongside VSO volunteer Catherine Bedford, a psychiatric nurse. Robyn is offering survivors a range of psychosocial care, treatment and practical support in their Family Support Centre, giving women who previously suffered in silence a chance to change their circumstances. She explains how she became a champion for women's wellbeing.

The men challenging everyday violence against women in Papua New Guinea

The rates of violence against women in Papua New Guinea are amongst the highest in the world for a country not at war. In the highland regions virtually every women suffers from domestic violence and throughout the country a shocking one of every two women has been raped. Councillor Peterson Kalip and Apelis Kunubake are two men trying to put an end to this. 

Playing my part in a fairer future for disadvantaged Asia Pacific women

VSO Volunteer Catherine Bedford usually works at Modilon General Hospital in Papua New Guinea, offering care and psycho social support to women who have experienced routine physical and sexual violence. Temporarily switching her post for a place at the Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development in Bangkok, Catherine reports on how civil society organisations are demanding that the needs of people living in poverty are met by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

My UN experience: Talking about more than just money and machines

Elisabeth Kisakye is a 32 year old VSO volunteer and human rights activist from Uganda working in the Instituto de Comunicação Social in Moçambique. Here she describes her recent experience speaking at the UN Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).