Volunteer Services Organisation (VSO) was born out of the MAHE’s force to act on local challenges with the belief in the synergies of collective action. Various stakeholders of the university and its constituent institutions make up VSO’s 7000+ registered volunteer task force. This vast network of like-minded people are driven by the common objectives of responding effectively to community needs, addressing issues of society meaningfully and developing volunteers’ skills to be leaders and change agents, in the hopes of forging a path to a resilient future.
Since its inception in 2007, VSO’s growth has been a reflection of the vigour and selfless spirit of its members. The areas of intervention have greatly expanded and strengthened over the years. It currently runs close to 12 different kinds of programs ranging from engaging with the elderly in old age homes and children in paediatric wards, to organizing blood donation camps, Clean City Campaigns and donation drives, to curating cultural festivals with a social impact and much more.
Some of the special programmes led by VSO are spoken language classes for promoting Indian regional languages, Health Camps in rural areas, cultural shows for raising funds- SPARSH, kite flying festivals- TARANG, Collection Drives for contributing clothes, stationary, toys etc. In addition, volunteers aid in community building and social cohesion of migrant workers in Manipal, as part of the “Muskaan” project. With a strength of 600 volunteers, VSO aims at educating migrant children by teaching basic mathematics and English through creative means, alongside exposing them to art, sports, singing and dancing.
VSO accomplishes its objectives by networking and collaborating with other Non-Governmental Organizations specific to each cause. For instance, for the “Akshara” campaign at Academy School, Manipal, initiatives were executed in association with Teach For India and Medical Students Association of India (MSAI). Compelling story-telling activities, sketching workshops and sessions on health and hygiene formed part of the campaigns.
Volunteers winning hearts of everyone they engage with, VSO continues to grow and tackle emerging issues, while deepening bonds with the society.