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InterVol's original University of Birmingham Guild of Students emblem.
Founded 2003
Type International Volunteering Charity
Registration no. 1136099
Focus Poverty reduction
Area served
Bulgaria, Cambodia, Ecuador, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, United Kingdom
Method Project-based Development, Conservation & Education
Slogan Ethical International Volunteering

InterVol is an international volunteering charity based in the United Kingdom.[1] InterVol support poverty reduction, conservation and education projects with partner organisations in developing countries. Their projects in the United Kingdom are based at the University of Birmingham,[2] Imperial College London,[3] Lancaster University,[4] University of Nottingham[5] and the University of Oxford.



InterVol was set up as a voluntary project in the fall of 2003[6] by a group of students with the support of the Student Development (formerly Involve) department at the University of Birmingham Guild of Students.[7][8] InterVol's volunteers began a system of student-led sustainable development projects, aiming to make a long term difference to communities in developing countries whilst working in close partnership with local NGOs in each country.[9]

Projects and expansion[edit]

In the summer of 2004 InterVol led three volunteering projects to Bulgaria, Cambodia and Uganda. The volunteers were involved in work including AIDS awareness training, work in orphanages, teaching English and building the information technology capacity of local NGO staff.

In 2005 the projects roster was quickly increased to eight projects as the popularity and presence of the project on the University of Birmingham campus increased significantly. There were two new projects in Ecuador, based around cloud-forest conservation and social development,[10] as well as a community development project in Accra, Ghana,[11] a teaching project in Poland and a social development project in South Africa.

In 2006 InterVol began to consolidate after fast growth in its first two years. Previous projects were maintained while a new coastal development project in Thailand with Andaman Discoveries[12][13][14] and a teaching project in Nepal were proposed. The teaching project in Nepal was later cancelled due to safety concerns following the country's political instability in Summer 2006. InterVol sent volunteers to teach at the New Future for Children Orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the first time in July 2006.[15] InterVol received its first national awards in 2006 when two founding members, John Gorski and Danielle Gerson, won Impact awards at the National Year of the Volunteer Awards.[16]

In 2007 a new project to construct school buildings and teach in rural Nepal commenced.[17] This year also saw InterVol send volunteers to both a trafficked animal refuge and to teach Spanish to members of the Huaorani in Ecuador. InterVol is a founding member of the Student Volunteering Overseas Partnership (SVOP), composed of UK student-led international volunteering charities including organisations from Bristol, Edinburgh and Oxford universities.[18] InterVol organised and hosted the 2007 SVOP conference which included speakers from the Adam Smith Institute, Peace Child International and the director of the University of Birmingham's International Development Department, Dr. Philip Amis.

In 2008 InterVol supported a new project in Kenya based on community development in partnership with the charity Challenge Africa.[19] The following year another project was set up in Kenya, a sports-based development project in Nairobi's Kibera slum.[20]

InterVol supported a youth development project in Kosovo in partnership with Manchester Aid to Kosovo (MaK) in summer 2010.[21] In June 2010 the University of Nottingham's international volunteering project affiliated with InterVol to become the first InterVol branch outside Birmingham.[22][23] InterVol's Nottingham project, based at the University of Nottingham Students' Union, will continue to send volunteers to work with the Ugandan community development NGO, Little Big Africa.[24] The charity expanded further, forming a new international volunteering group, Project Nepal, at Imperial College London in October 2011[25] and a new InterVol society at Lancaster University[26] in December 2011.

Charity status[edit]

Initially founded in 2003 as an initiative of the University of Birmingham, InterVol was classed as part of an exempt charity.[27] InterVol became an independent registered charity in England and Wales in May 2010.[28] InterVol's charitable objects are to act as a resource for international volunteers at universities in the United Kingdom while promoting development projects that focus on education, health, conservation and the relief of poverty.

Project locations[edit]

InterVol currently support international programmes in the following countries: Bulgaria, Cambodia, Ecuador, Kenya, Nepal, and Uganda.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charity Commission Official Website Details of InterVol's charity framework and registration. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  2. ^ University of Birmingham News Centre Website Details of InterVol project at the University, page 6. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  3. ^ Felix Online Archive, 30 November 2011 Article on new Project Nepal group at Imperial College and partnership with InterVol. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  4. ^ Lancaster University Students' Union Activities InterVol Lancaster listed as official LUSU society. Retrieved 15 October 2013
  5. ^ University of Nottingham Student Volunteering Projects Website Details of the InterVol (formerly Dreams of Africa) project at Nottingham University. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  6. ^ University of Birmingham Buzz Magazine Details of InterVol set-up by volunteers including Tamzin Kensett, page 2. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  7. ^ Impact International Speaker Details Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  8. ^ Student Volunteering History Seminar Details creation of InterVol by a team including Graham Allcott. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  9. ^ Our Shared Resources Website Reprinted from Turn Your Organisation Into A Volunteer Magnet, 2nd edition (ed. Fryar, Jackson & Dyer), 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  10. ^ CENIT Social Development NGO Website Details of donation by InterVol for CENIT's summer camp project. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  11. ^ BBC News Story detailing an InterVol volunteer's experience on project in Ghana. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  12. ^ Andaman Discoveries Official Website Testimonials of InterVol Volunteers in August 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  13. ^ University of Birmingham Website Honey Pot Funding Review - Abida Lalani, Thailand Project. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  14. ^ Birmingham Mail Website Your News - Students Appeal for Sponsors, InterVol Thailand Project. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  15. ^ New Future for Children Website Details 2011 InterVol volunteer programme to Cambodia. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  16. ^ University of Birmingham Website Buzz Magazine - Birmingham's Year in Volunteering, page 4. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  17. ^ Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD) Nepal Website Details of Nepal InterVol project. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  18. ^ Oxford Development Abroad (ODA) Website Details of SVOP members. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  19. ^ Challenge Africa Website Details of volunteer programme and InterVol volunteers. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  20. ^ Little Sports Organisation Website Details of charity and partners. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  21. ^ Oxford Aid to the Balkans (OXAB) Website Details of Kosovo MaK project and evaluation report. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  22. ^ University of Nottingham Website Details of InterVol as an opportunity for career development. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  23. ^ University of Nottingham Student Volunteering Projects Website Details of the InterVol (formerly Dreams of Africa) project at Nottingham University. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  24. ^ Little Big Africa Website Details of university volunteering programme. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  25. ^ Felix Online Archive, 30 November 2011 Article on new Project Nepal group at Imperial College and partnership with InterVol. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  26. ^ Lancaster University Students' Union Activities InterVol Lancaster listed as official LUSU society. Retrieved 13 December 2011
  27. ^ University of Birmingham Website Details of the University of Birmingham's exempt charity status. Retrieved 10 May 2011
  28. ^ Charity Commission Website Details of InterVol's charity status. Retrieved 1 June 2010.

External links[edit]