VSO began in 1958, when Alec and Mora Dickenson recruited and sent 16 volunteers in response to a letter from the Bishop of Portsmouth asking for people to teach English.
Much has changed since then. VSO has worked in over 90 countries and has placed over 40,000 volunteers. In 2004, VSO were voted top international development charity. Its gone from being a UK charity to an international one, with recruitment bases in eight countries.
At this very moment, as a result of VSO's efforts, over 14 million children are receiving a better education, almost five million people are accessing better quality HIV and AIDS services, and over a million disabled people are better able to enforce their rights to education and health services.
VSO is always looking for new ways to turn human energy and ingenuity into lasting change. VSO still send professionals to share their skills with their local counterparts, but have embraced a range of methods that allow VSO to provide whatever kind of help is needed most, including promoting international understanding and action, knowledge brokering and youth exchanges.