Why Sarah joined the VSO community

Sarah, coach social sector at Project O in Overvecht
– 36 years old


After completing my teacher training in Social science, I worked within the MBO in social care. One day, I wanted to do something different, away from the Netherlands, go and discover different cultures… After a good search on Google, I ended up at VSO. The slogan ‘sharing skills, changing lives’ really appealed to me. So, in 2010 I left for Indonesia as a volunteer teacher trainer, where I worked for two years within the Disability Program. VSO has never let go of me since then.”

In 2012 I went to Uganda where I worked voluntarily as a selector of new Africa volunteers. In 2013 I became staff member of VSO Indonesia and as Recruitment Manager I was responsible for recruiting, selecting and managing the deployment of Indonesian volunteers (South-South program). When I returned to the Netherlands in August 2014, I decided to work as a volunteer for VSO in the Netherlands as well. I organised the ‘Meet again’ and in the same year I became a board member of the Friends of VSO. I also worked freelance for VSO to provide the training Skills for Working in Development (SKWID).

The genuine encounter remains the most valuable for me.

I strongly support VSO’s vision and mission. We do not transfer knowledge and experience through means, but through people. This is how we really bring lasting change to people’s lives. It is also very special to be part of such an international group and be able to commit myself to development cooperation from the Netherlands as well.

What I liked so much about giving the SKWID training courses is that you prepare people for something that you have experienced yourself. Sharing your experiences and finding recognition! I can also apply this now in my role as a peer supporter. By offering a listening ear and sharing my experience, I can help new volunteers to prepare, during and after their deployment.

I really like to have a convenient online platform, on which you can easily see who the other members are and what they do. A lot of VSO volunteers have a certain approach of life in which I recognize myself. This like-mindedness always makes me happy. Thanks to the VSO Community, I stay involved with these people and with VSO. However, I am pleased that it is not only an online platform. The genuine encounter remains the most valuable for me.