DfID gives £3m for VSO diaspora initiative

Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development, has committed £3m to help British people from ethnic minority communities fight poverty in developing countries.

The funding will support and help to develop an initiative run by VSO, which aims to help people from diaspora communities work as volunteers, working to help people in other countries who share the same heritage.

“People from diaspora communities are under-represented as volunteers, which is a lost opportunity,” Alexander said. “But this new support will help encourage greater involvement.”

Mark Goldring, chief executive of VSO, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week, said: “We’ve seen the contribution that people from a British-based diaspora can offer in making their skills and expertise available to their countries of heritage. The scheme is a positive and professional way of engaging the commitment of a valuable section of the British community.”

Last month the Government announced the creation of a £10m fund to help young people from poorer backgrounds to volunteer abroad (Third Sector Online, 29 February). The scheme will be run by Christian Aid, Islamic Relief and youth volunteering charity Bunac.

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