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Millions of people are struggling without a reliable source of food and income to support themselves and their families. VSO works to address the barriers to social and economic independence. Our volunteers make sure people have the skills, opportunities and support needed to live more secure and dignified lives. 

VSO focuses on ensuring food, job and income security for marginalised women, young people and people with disabilities (PWD). Women are experiencing an increased burden of care both due to the climate crisis and impact of COVID-19. The situation for young people entering the job market is dire and many leave rural areas due to a lack of livelihoods and increased food insecurity. 

Our aim is for marginalised and vulnerable women and young people to enjoy decent livelihoods and a dignified life. To ensure this VSO works to strengthen the agency and voice of marginalised women, small-scale food producers, young people and their networks to transform food and labour markets, pushing for increased public investment in agroecology and green economy.

VSO has supported Vivian to start her own small business with an investment of 20,000 Kenyan Shillings, to start her own kiosk.

Volunteering for development

Through our volunteering for development approach, we strengthen the agency of young people and women, people with disabilities and other marginalised groups, networks and alliances to:

  • Ensure a holistic focus on young girls and women’s empowerment – building on their control over incomes, food security, addressing violence against women, unpaid care work, and protecting women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • We address gender norms in particular where women are considered ‘helpers’ on the farm and not ‘farmers’ and do not often have ‘control’ over land and natural and productive resources.
  • Ensure demand for greater investment in public services, including social protection.
  • Transition to green jobs, and climate-resilient agriculture practices for food security.