Although in Bangladesh I’ll be working for an indigenous community rights organisation, it’s all happening through the organisation Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).
They are a massive international development charity that work through volunteers.
The VSO’s vision is “a world without poverty in which people work together to fulfil their potential. Instead of sending food or money, the VSO sends women and men from a wide range of professions who want the chance to make a real difference in the fight against poverty. These volunteers work in partnership with colleagues and communities to share skills and learning and achieve positive change together.”
Since 1958 they’ve been sending out skilled professionals to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific and more recently Eastern Europe. They respond to requests from governments and community organisations for help in the form of someone with a particular skill, and then sort it for them. Like an institutional Jim’ll Fixit.
They currently have about 1500 volunteers working around the world, usually for two years, but some for just one year (like me, because I’m young), and in some cases for just six weeks or something like that, if there’s a particular situation.
The VSO has partner national agencies in Kenya, Canada, the Netherlands, India and the Philippines so recruits people of all ages, from all backgrounds, all around the world.
They do good stuff! They get a lot of money from the UK Government’s Dept for International Development, but not enough, and have to fundraise from many sources, including the general public. You can donate to the VSO directly from this page here.
But I also need to raise them money as part of me going away. I’m essentially working six days a week for so little money I couldn’t even get a pint at the end of my day with it. My freetime I’m most likely to spend being illl. I’m doing this for a year. So if you want to support my own fundraising for the VSO, then that would be jolly nice of you, and you can do it here.