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Vision, values and strategy

VSO's vision is a world without poverty.


We bring people together to address marginalisation and poverty.

Our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations so their skills generate the greatest value.

We know, from sixty years of experience, that when teachers pass on their skills to others, community groups shown reliable sources of income, and governments helped to make systems fairer, this brings about lasting change. 


  • By thinking globally, we can change the world
  • Progress is only possible by working together
  • Knowledge is our most powerful tool
  • People are the best agents of change
People First cover

People First

Our strategy, People First, sets out how we will increase our impact against marginalisation and poverty:

  1. Extend and deepen our impact through our programmes
  2. Mobilise global citizens to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  3. Position volunteering as a powerful contribution to delivery of the SDGs

People First

Theory of Change

VSO’s Theory of Change explains how we make a distinct difference to poor communities and ensure our contribution is a lasting one.

VSO Theory of Change [PDF]

At VSO, we believe progress is only possible when we work together.

Partnerships lie at the root of all the positive transformation that we create. Together, we work on programme development and delivery, research, advocacy and fundraising.

If you'd like to find out more, get in touch.