women and girls

Discovering a wealth of opportunity in Tanzania: Sandy's volunteer story

Sandy Hung, 28, left behind a high-powered role in Canada managing millions for the super-wealthy to volunteer with disadvantaged businesswomen in Iringa, on the Tanzania Local Enterprise Development (T-LED) project. It's improving chances for entrepreneurs in four districts on Tanzania by strengthening institutions and coaching small business owners.

7 reasons to be optimistic about solving the world's health problems

World Health Day has been marked each April 7 for nearly 70 years to raise awareness of the world's most serious health threats.

So much has changed in that time. Phenomenal developments in medicine have brought cures for infectious disease, and international efforts to improve life in poorer countries have brought improvements in nutrition, sanitation, housing and standards of healthcare

Whilst there’s still lots of work to do in global health, let’s take a moment to remember a few of the major achievements we can be proud of.

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.

20,000 chances to change the world

This week we’re celebrating 22-year-old Tania Tuzizila from Croydon, who’s travelling hundreds of miles to volunteer in Cambodia.

Tania is a former refugee from the DRC and is an aspiring midwife – but those aren’t the only things that make her special. She’ll be the 20,000th young person to volunteer through the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.

Single-handedly breaking down HIV stigma: Celina's story

Every day, 410 people in Mozambique are infected with HIV. People like Celina, who was diagnosed when she was just 18 years old.

She was shocked at the level of stigma and insufficient care that women with the virus and in extreme poverty contend with - and decided to take action, bringing together a group of HIV+ women willing to speak out publicly about their status and raise awareness.

Now, with VSO-supported training, her team is not only inspiring women living with HIV to see positive futures, but offering practical home-based care and support that is truly changing lives.

What next for Sierra Leone?

On Saturday 7 November the World Health Organisation declared - after 42 days with no new reported cases – Sierra Leone’s Ebola outbreak is over.

Relief that the 17-month ordeal had finished was reflected in candlelit prayers and unprompted revelries. However, Ebola’s impact on the country far from ends with this milestone. 

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.