Here’s the VSO story so far.
We first applied in August 2009 with our initial Registration Form. This was then followed up in October-November time with the more detailed application form that focused more on our skills and experiences. After a little wait over Christmas and New Year we were called to an interview day / assessment day down in London in February 2010. A short time later we were informed that we had been successful and stage one of the process was complete.
A lot of paperwork followed! We began an online course with other VSO volunteers called ‘Volunteering Starts Here’ which introduced us to the concept of development. We met our online friends at a 3-day face-to-face course in April, called ‘Preparing to Volunteer’, at Harborne Hall in Birmingham. On this course we explored VSO’s approach to development and our own roles within this, plus our own personal motivations and expectations.
We were then offered a placement in Ethiopia, which we accepted and then started the final stage of preparations. More paperwork, lots of vaccinations, researching our roles and country and more online training (Realities of Volunteering). Then last week we attended the final pre-departure training – Skills For Working In Development.
So it’s been a long journey so far and now we are in the final stages of getting ready – packing, visiting family and friends and making sure we do everything on our ever-expanding list of things to do!!