voluntary service overseas.
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is the world’s leading development NGO that fights poverty through the knowledge and skills of volunteers. As their global employability partner, our joint mission is to empower marginalized youth to attain decent and sustainable work.
This is achieved by giving our employees an opportunity to volunteer in VSO’s international projects that focus on employability skills as well as using our knowledge and expertise to help VSO recruit volunteers across the world.
projects we support.
Our employees from around the world support various projects focused on youth empowerment, employability and entrepreneurship to help young people develop market-relevant skills to prepare them for the labor market.
We focus on projects that compliment our employees’ skills and competencies and align to our strategic focus of helping people realize their true potential. Most Randstad VSO volunteers support projects in East Africa, specifically Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya where empowering people with the skills to find - and create - employment can make a real difference.
'I knew it would be a win-win collaboration'
Through remote mentoring sessions, our colleagues use their skills and experience to become career mentors for youth across East Africa to prepare them for the world of work.
Alexandra Rus is a content marketing specialist in Romania and mentored Hilda, a young Kenyan woman who wanted to develop her professional and marketing skills.
‘We made an instant connection with our mutual desire to learn new things and curiosity about each other's cultural and linguistic backgrounds. I've learned to listen more, take on new challenges, make a positive contribution by helping someone who needs it and, ultimately, have made a dear friend connecting our countries: Kenya and Romania,’ says Alexandra, who shares her story.
'working together is so powerful'
Through the Enhancing Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability (EYEE) Project with VSO, our colleagues from around the world are paired with local volunteers to support young entrepreneurs with the skills they need to succeed.
Nicole Hoksbergen is a Randstad / Yacht consultant in the Netherlands and Margareth Bendera is a marketing specialist in Tanzania. Together, they're providing skills training and coaching to Tanzanian entrepreneurs - from soap makers to bakers, tailors to food producers.
'Our collaboration is so valuable, not just for the people we're training but for each other. We share ideas and draw from our unique experiences, perspectives and cultures. Our differences strengthen us as individuals, pushing us to think outside of our comfort zones and come up with fresh ideas and ways of doing things'.
'Nicole is a careful planner and always on time!' says Margareth. 'Here, we're more relaxed - ever heard the phrase 'African time'?'
Nicole calls this a 'very Dutch' trait. 'Maggy has taught me the most common Swahili phrase - 'hakuna matata', which translates to 'no worries'. I carry this beautiful phrase with me; just like the positive energy she brings to everything she does. It's a special collaboration - we complement each other well.'
'We're helping fledgling entrepreneurs in Tanzania to build a brand. By pairing international and local volunteers, VSO facilitates an exchange of knowledge and transfer of skills. Our different skills complement each other well,' says Hjalmar Darle, a Randstad consultant based in Sweden of Shelembi Mussa, a graphic designer, entrepreneur and Private Sector Engagement Adviser on the EYEE project in Tanzania.
'Working with a foreigner is a new experience for me and I'm learning so much. Working together brings new ideas and better results than doing something alone,' says Shelembi, who Hjalmar calls 'very intelligent and creative. He thinks out of the box and always has a lot of ideas. It's inspiring and I hope to take some of that with me to my work in Sweden.'