Indian Catholic News

NGO aims to motivate 100,000 volunteers

The NGO, part of Britain-based charity VSO International, sends 30-40 volunteers to African countries.

New Delhi: 

An Indian NGO is aiming to motivate 100,000 volunteers and one million citizens in the next five years to ensure inclusion and equality for all in the areas of health, education, livelihood and disability.

"Since 2008, we have motivated 4,780 Indian volunteers and 11,000 active citizens to serve as force multipliers. We plan to raise this to 100,000 and one million by 2017 as part our new strategy for the country," Ratna Viswanathan, executive director of VSO India, told IANS ahead of International Volunteer Day Wednesday.

While volunteers refer to those who work full time for a year or two on specific projects, active citizens are those who spread the message of inclusion alongside their daily work, explained Viswanathan.

The NGO, part of Britain-based charity VSO International, sends 30-40 volunteers to African countries like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania principally to work in areas like disability.

"Our overall goal is to support poor and marginalized people and significantly improve their quality of life. In implementing our new strategy, we are always trying to find new and imaginative ways to connect people to take sustainable action and deliver programmes of inclusive growth," said Viswanathan, who served 21 years in the Indian Audit and Accounts Service before the development bug bit her.

"We believe that it is only by working at local, regional and national levels with a range of partners from government and civil society that we can make a sustainable impact," added Viswanath.

"Our uniqueness lies in the fact that we strengthen the quality of our programmes with the support of professionally skilled volunteers who work with both partner organisations and community to share knowledge and skills to ensure the quality of the programme," said Viswanathan.

VSO International is one of the world's leading independent development organisations that works through volunteers to overcome poverty in 42 countries across the globe. While it has had a presence in India since the late 1950s, it withdrew in the mid-1970s after the declaration of the Emergency and returned in 1994. In 2009, it became the VSO India Trust.

It currently has a presence in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Rajasthan and will be going forward by taking up Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.


Top Stories