VSO works towards Fighting poverty through volunteering  (https://www.vsointernational.org/)

No woman should die giving birth.  Every donation provided to VSO could be the difference between life and death.No one should live in poverty and be denied choice and opportunity.Achieving gender justice for all. 

Women farmers could significantly reduce world hunger

VSO's vision is a world without poverty.

Mission: We bring people together to fight poverty.

Our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations so their skills generate the greatest value. We know, from almost sixty years of experience, that when teachers pass on their skills to others, community groups shown reliable sources of income, and governments helped to make systems fairer, this brings about lasting change. 


  • 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

Our strategy, People First, sets out how we will increase our impact against marginalisation and poverty:

  1. Extend and deepen our impact through our programmes

  2. Mobilise global citizens to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  3. Position volunteering as a powerful contribution to delivery of the SDGs

People First Theory of Change: VSO’s Theory of Change explains how we make a distinct difference to poor communities and ensure our contribution is a lasting one.  VSO Theory of Change [PDF]

At VSO, we believe progress is only possible when we work together.  Partnerships lie at the root of all the positive transformation that we create. Together, we work on programme development and delivery, research, advocacy and fundraising.

VSO volunteers and partners reached 2.1 million people last year. They brought inspiration, energy and vital practical skills to help achieve community goals: better healthcare, more valuable education and broader opportunities.


We only work where local partners request our presence. This means we make best use of local knowledge, and provide skills and training directly to communities in need.


Achievements in Nigeria

Last year we worked with 40,000 youth, women and girls and smallholder farmers in Nigeria to improve their lives through improved education, life skills and livelihoods.

Harnessing youth power

Nigeria is forecast to be the world’s third biggest nation by 2050. The country has an enormous youth population with the potential to revolutionise economy and society. However Nigeria’s young people today are frustrated in their search for jobs: around 4/10 young people are out of work.

It’s vital that young people receive skills and training, yet across the country 10.5 million children are currently out of school.

We believe Nigeria’s young people are its greatest treasure. We put them at the heart of all our programming, working through and for them.

Education and skills

VSO Nigeria works to improve the existing systems and structures that play a crucial role in preparing young people to prosper. We are also harnessing youth power and innovation, along with the spirit of volunteerism to deliver new and exciting opportunities for youth development. Recent work has included:

  • In-service training to allow 1500 secondary school teachers to better equip their students with 21st century survival skills. These include competency in science, maths and English, but also span from IT and media aptitude, to learning and life skills

  • 32,000 children and young people reached with improvements to secondary education

  • Entrepreneurship training for youth volunteer graduates

  • 100+ inclusive neighbourhood spaces created by youth volunteers for out-of-school children. Over 200 children were supported to re-enrol in school through this work, with many more developing 21st century skills

Youth participation and rights

Young people are a force for change. VSO Nigeria has helped children and young people develop new spaces and mechanisms to learn about and call for their rights, as well as a voice in the way services and policies that affect them are designed. Recent work has included:

  • Establishing children’s and young people’s neighbourhood in Lagos and Zamfara states

  • Developing child rights clubs in schools

  • Collaborating with local activists, NGOs and leaders to lobby for improved legal protection for child rights in Kano state


Youth volunteering

  • VSO Nigeria’s success is in large part a product of the dedicated contributions of hundreds of engaged and active young people.

  • Teams of VSO ICS youth volunteers from Nigeria and the UK are embedded into country programmes, where they inject energy, engagement and fresh ideas. Young Nigerians who have graduated from ICS continue to be active, organised through the Youth Action Nigeria network. They run structured national volunteering programme operating in their home communities to engage young people and equip them with skills. Learn more about volunteering in Nigeria

Fairer access to food and income

  • For nearly 10 years, VSO Nigeria’s programmes have tested innovative ways of making agricultural value chains work better for the poorest and most disadvantaged people. Private sector engagement is critical to this work.

  • Our approaches range from agricultural training to make farming more productive, to systemic pro-poor approaches to soybean and maize value chains. Recent work has included:

  • A network of community volunteers across six states has been empowered with agricultural knowledge, tools and confidence to link fellow farmers to up-to-date techniques, resources and market and pricing information.

  • Training for young men and women smallholder farmers involving youth volunteers

If you are a Nigerian national interested in volunteering, please contact our local office directly, via vsonigeria@vsoint.org