Volunteering Services Overseas (VSO) is a non-government organisation (NGO) facilitating volunteer placements around the world in many different fields including health care.
The RCOG – VSO partnership has been sending volunteer obstetricians around the world for a number of years, including one who is currently working to bring positive, lasting change and development at a hospital in Gondar, Northern Ethiopia. Fiona, who found this placement through the RCOG and VSO websites, is extremely positive about the role a volunteer can play in bringing about sustainable improvement to healthcare systems globally,
“Working in Gondar, Ethiopia…has also shown me how important the support of outside agencies is to provide ongoing assistance to the doctors, midwifes and nurses that work so hard here. If you ever had any thoughts about working in a developing country, just do it! There is never a perfect time, perfect place, perfect opportunity, but please take the opportunity you have – you will not regret doing it!”
The VSO website itself contains a wealth of information for those wishing to volunteer to help improve women's health care globally like Fiona.
It offers clear guidance for each stage of the volunteer's journey, from making an application to what will happen both in country and on return to the UK, demonstrating support is readily accessible for all volunteers who take RCOG/VSO placements.
However, VSO does not purely dedicate its website to those wishing to apply. It is also an excellent place to find information on fundraising ideas and how volunteers from all career backgrounds have made a significant difference both overseas and to their own development.
Reviewer: Paul Fogarty FRCOG Ulster Hospital, Northern Ireland
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