VSO tries to respond to requests from overseas which ask for volunteers. Its bias is firmly towards the poorest members of the community and it takes great care to avoid undermining job opportunities for local people. Both staff and volunteers also pay special attention to women’s roles in development projects. This is because women’s roles in child- rearing, education and community cohesion are essential in any healthy process of change. Over the past 38 years, more than 21,000 volunteers have worked abroad with VSO. There are now over 1,900 volunteers working in 59 of the less developed countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Caribean. The application of each volunteer is carefully considered in order to select and interview candidates against each job request from the field, to seek the person with the right blend of skills and personality. VSO, the work VSO volunteers do not go to developing countries as visiting experts with all the answers. It is always a process of sharing and learning. The aim is that when the volunteers return home, there exists a community with a stronger sense of independence and self reliance… and a volunteer with a new understanding and appreciation of life and people everywhere. The range of jobs required of VSO is wide- reflecting the needs of any society in the modern world.