Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

Commonwealth Scholarship & Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

Stakeholder Overview

VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries also championing advocacy and campaigns, partnerships and sharing good practice. It brings people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action, and change lives to make the world a fairer place for all.

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  • Group of trainees working on a group task
  • Group of trainees working on a problem with CRD facilitator
  • Group of trainees working on a problem with CRD facilitator

Vision: A world without poverty.

Mission: VSO brings people together to fight poverty

  • By thinking globally, we can change the world

  • Progress is only possible by working together

  • Knowledge is our most powerful tool

  • People are the best agents of change

VSO Nigeria            

Nigeria is one of VSO’s longest running programmes. The current areas of VSO Nigeria’s work are HIV and AIDS, education, secure livelihoods and national volunteering. In recent years, VSO’s involvement in Nigeria has also extended to six successful Global Xchange programmes for Nigerian and British youths.

VSO Nigeria: Education

Nigeria’s education system faces the challenges of strengthening teachers qualifications and improving education management. VSO’s education activities in Nigeria have sought to meet these challenges by shifting from providing classroom-based teaching positions to successfully placing volunteers in management and training roles. Volunteers are working to improve the quality and relevance of education with education managers strengthening the management systems of government institutions in the primary sector and teacher trainers upgrading primary teachers’ qualifications.

Therefore, the importance for BNET to work with VSO Nigeria enhances the teacher training focus established with the BNET- National Teachers Institute partnership.

BNET Project Overview

To reflect BNET’s continual support for the VSO, a volunteer is sponsored annually for placement in Nigeria to undertake all aspects of teacher training and development.

Nasarawa State In-Service Teacher Training Project

In Spring 2011 BNET agreed it would support VSO’s plan to replicate their pilot exercise to a larger scale and approved a grant to fund one cluster of schools in Nasarawa State. This enabled sixty teachers selected from five rural primary schools to benefit under this instruction scheme. The project ran for 2 months where the VSO designed and implemented skill upgrading and improvement for in-service teachers.

By June 2011 the BNET sponsored VSO Volunteer Lucy Stiles and her team in Gudi had successfully completed their programme. Training workshops were very interactive and covered making and using teaching aids, literacy and numeracy activities, group work, questioning skills and lesson planning. Key staff and head teachers were trained and are now implementing staff meetings for the rest of the staff to step- down the training. 

The BNET Trustees believe such projects demonstrate  exactly the role VSO should take, acting as a catalyst and bringing in a legacy of new skills and opportunities for Nigerians and their institutions to build upon.

Moving forward

  • VSO is ready to partner with BNET and possibly NTI in Kaduna to deliver teachers in-service training programmes and workshops.

  • BNET will continue to sponsor VSO Volunteers for placement to expand agreed training programmes and is now supporting Lesley Marchant in her role as a Teacher Trainer for the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board.

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