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Volunteering makes a difference new VSO report shows how volunteers are contributing to poverty reduction.

03 June 2015

On 2nd June, during Volunteers Week, VSO Ireland launched the results of new research on how and why volunteering contributes to poverty reduction.

This launch was the culmination of an action research project that took place over two years in four countries.

Conducted jointly by VSO and the Institute of Development Studies, the research explores the sustainability of volunteer activity, the factors that prevent it from doing so and both the intended and unintended impacts of volunteering interventions.

 “As a volunteer-led development organisation, we are proud of the impact our volunteers make in the fight against poverty, and it is critical that we continuously improve our understanding of the unique contribution that our volunteers make to development efforts” said Megan Munsell, VSO Ireland Executive Director.

Across four countries in Africa and Asia, over 3,700 people were engaged in the research at local and national levels and looked at numerous volunteering activities that went beyond VSO activities alone.

The results show that the volunteers help to extend the reach of public services to the poorest and most marginalised people, and by creating new forms of collaboration that lead to social innovation.

It is clear that the impact of volunteers isn’t always about what they do but how they do it. By working in partnership with people, volunteers gain a shared understanding of the challenges facing poor and marginalised people, and how to work with them to overcome these challenges.

Download the report at http://bit.ly/1ddXW25                  

For more information on VSO Ireland go to www.vso.ie