This year, VSO is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Launched in the UK in 1958, Alec and Mora Dickson brought their vision to life with the first group of young adults embarking on overseas voluntary work placements in Sarawak (present day Borneo), Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Cameroon. A letter in the Sunday Times titled ‘The Year Between’ from the Bishop of Portsmouth calling for such volunteers heralded the start of VSO. Years later Mora Dickson reminisced on VSO's origins, saying “my husband believes in what young people can do”.
We've come a long way in the last 60 years. VSO has now supported over 76,000 volunteers, tackling poverty in more than 120 countries.
We’ve gone from being a tiny UK-based charity to the world’s leading international development organisation working through volunteers. In 2016/2017 alone, we supported over 2.4 million people through our health, education and livelihood programmes.
Join VSO as we celebrate the legacy and impact of our volunteers and their work over the last six decades.