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IT pros wanted to help fight poverty

Charity VSO calls for volunteers

International development charity VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) is calling on qualified IT professionals to use their skills to fight poverty by volunteering in some of the world's poorest countries.

The charity currently has 25 volunteering placements for IT professionals in countries like Ethiopia, Malawi and Bangladesh.

Placements are typically for one or two years, although there will be some shorter term positions and all start in September this year.

The majority of roles are for IT advisors. Each placement will have specific requirements but they will generally involve creating an IT centre; conducting training in areas such as web browsing, email management, and the use of Microsoft Office applications; carrying out trouble-shooting and maintenance of client and server computers; and helping with procurement.

Jon Rosser, interim director of VSO UK, said: "You'll leave behind a lasting legacy and it's this sustainable approach that makes volunteering such a cost-effective way to fight poverty. IT volunteers have found the experience rewarding and an opportunity to enhance their own career, while also helping to make a real difference."

Volunteers need to have an IT degree (related degrees like maths and engineering plus IT experience are also accepted). Three years' industry experience is also required across a mix of IT competencies, including database development, computer maintenance and networking skills, as well as experience of delivering ICT training.

Volunteers are provided with full training, flights, insurance, accommodation and a daily allowance to cover basic costs.Interested IT professionals are being invited to VSO's events across the country (http://www.vso.org.uk/events/), with places having to be pre-booked. Those interested can visit events this month and in July in London, Cambridge, and York.

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