Annual Review 2016

Sharing skills, changing lives

Vision

VSO’s vision is a world without poverty.

Mission

Since 1958 our mission has been to bring people together to fight poverty through the lasting power of volunteering.

Values

• By thinking globally, we can change the world
• Progress is only possible through working together
• People are the best agents of change
• Knowledge is our most powerful tool

Where we work

We operate where we can make the most difference fighting poverty.

Africa:
Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Asia and Pacific:
Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand.

Education

Christina Adongo 6yrs pupil Goriko School. Talensi District, Ghana.
© Teresa Menka / VSO

Christina Adongo 6yrs pupil Goriko School. Talensi District, Ghana.
© Teresa Menka / VSO

Overcoming challenges

In the past twelve months we made strong progress despite working in areas that faced big challenges. Devastating earthquakes in Nepal, ongoing political volatility in Nigeria, and drought in Papua New Guinea caused many schools to close.

Volunteer Paul Jennings and local teacher Rebecca Ngovano high five at the end of a successful training session, Angaza school, Lindi, Tanzania.
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

Volunteer Paul Jennings and local teacher Rebecca Ngovano high five at the end of a successful training session, Angaza school, Lindi, Tanzania.
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

Working together

Empowering people through training and the exchange of ideas is at the heart of what we do.

Last year we trained 78,595 education practitioners. More than half of these were trainee teachers, whose skills and confidence we helped improve.

We also support teachers, head teachers and community educators who are in-service. They now have the skills to improve learning for vulnerable children well into the future.

"It’s very helpful having volunteers come and help us. When one volunteer comes to our country, they help something like twenty teachers to perform better. That brings a real improvement into these children's lives"

Alphonsine Musabyemariya, special needs teacher, Ngwino Nawe, Rwanda
Volunteer Paul Jennings and local teacher Rebecca Ngovano high five at the end of a successful training session, Angaza school, Lindi, Tanzania.
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

Volunteer Paul Jennings and local teacher Rebecca Ngovano high five at the end of a successful training session, Angaza school, Lindi, Tanzania.
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

Working with partners

One of the greatest measures of the success of the VSO approach is our impact on the partners with whom we work. We are proud that our work helped more than 90 of them improve their services.

This included four district education offices in Nepal who now deliver education of a higher quality and is more inclusive of girls and boys.

In Uganda, three teacher training colleges made improvements in their planning processes as a result of our support.

Some of our education projects

Health

Volunteer Catherine Bedford (L) with social worker Robin Borausiki (R) at Modilon Hospital, Papua New Guinea. Catherine is a mental health nurse helping set up centre for survivors of family and sexual violence
© Ginny Lattul / VSO

Volunteer Catherine Bedford (L) with social worker Robin Borausiki (R) at Modilon Hospital, Papua New Guinea. Catherine is a mental health nurse helping set up centre for survivors of family and sexual violence
© Ginny Lattul / VSO

Improving access and quality of healthcare

We have trained health workers and managers who are leading community change. This investment has improved quality and availability of health services. Last year, we improved the knowledge and skills of 31,863 health practitioners.

VSO volunteer Miriam Etter works alongside five dedicated nurses who assist with neonatal care in Suhul hospital in Shire, Ethiopia
© Paul James Driscoll / VSO

VSO volunteer Miriam Etter works alongside five dedicated nurses who assist with neonatal care in Suhul hospital in Shire, Ethiopia
© Paul James Driscoll / VSO

Our work in maternal and neonatal healthcare in Ethiopia goes from strength to strength. In the past year, we introduced nine new Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). Based in hospitals, the NICUs offer vital equipment and services for newborns and pregnant women. 33,231 babies, children and women were able to access health services in Ethiopia last year thanks to VSO supported projects.

"During my two week stay I observed that the level of care for me as well as for the baby was high. The nurses are good, the care is good, they advised me how to feed my baby and his weight increased. Had I and my baby been at home, the situation would have been much worse."

Haimanot Haile, 18, who became a mother at Arba Minch General Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, established with support from VSO
2-year-old Laxmi Tamang sits on her mother Kanchi's knee during a checkup with volunteer Dr. Harry Lynch. Laxmi burnt her hand when she fell onto an open flame stove during the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal
© Suraj Shakya / VSO

2-year-old Laxmi Tamang sits on her mother Kanchi's knee during a checkup with volunteer Dr. Harry Lynch. Laxmi burnt her hand when she fell onto an open flame stove during the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal
© Suraj Shakya / VSO

Emergency response

We continue to support Sierra Leone in rebuilding health infrastructure badly damaged by the Ebola pandemic. This year we published research into the outbreak's effects on maternal healthcare, and on mental health of health professionals with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

VSO also recruited emergency teams to rebuild maternal and neonatal health services in Nepal after the April 2015 earthquake.

"At first, I felt really hopeless when I saw my daughter’s hand, but since [VSO volunteer] Dr Lynch has been looking after her, I feel Laxmi will be ok. We lost everything, but when someone cares, it means the world to us"

Kanchi Tamang mother of Laxmi, who was injured during the April 2015 earthquakes in Nepal

Some of our health projects

Livelihoods

Pech Boeun (L), leader of Banan farming co-operative and VSO volunteer Giovanni Villafuerte inspecting the crops and earth in the paddy fields of Banan, Cambodia. Our project with Accenture is helping farmers improve links to market and boost income. 
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

Pech Boeun (L), leader of Banan farming co-operative and VSO volunteer Giovanni Villafuerte inspecting the crops and earth in the paddy fields of Banan, Cambodia. Our project with Accenture is helping farmers improve links to market and boost income.
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

Food and income

In the last 12 months more than 10,000 people were trained to increase their skills, enabling them to better provide food and income for themselves and their families. Many of those trained go on to help others in their own communities develop ways to make a living and build resistance to financial shocks caused by climate or markets.

We also supported government officials and service delivery staff to achieve these aims.

"I am really enjoying being part of the group. I’ve learned how to properly plant vegetables, how to measure and apply fertiliser – this was all new to me. We will have a lot of good produce this harvest. I hope to sell more produce in the future, and plan to keep the extra money for my children’s education."

Selina Kerketa, 28, chair of a 30-strong all-female farmers’ group, supported by a VSO project in Durgapur, North West Bangladesh
Mwanahimisi, 25, is part owner of Upendo Tailoring Group in Lindi, Tanzania. VSO youth volunteers have been supporting her to better market her business.
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

Mwanahimisi, 25, is part owner of Upendo Tailoring Group in Lindi, Tanzania. VSO youth volunteers have been supporting her to better market her business.
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

Working with partners

We work with partners ranging from farmers’ cooperatives facing the threat of climate change in Malawi, to government departments improving their support to small businesses in Tanzania.

As a result of our support over the past year, 63 partners reported improvements in their abilities and working practices.

"If you don’t help farmers change their practices and have access to new technologies, then we might not be able to supply food for an increasing population"

Amanda Scott, corporate volunteer from Syngenta.
Auto mechanic student, Amasha Mpinge, at the Vocational Education Training Center, Lindi, Tanzania. Graduate employment has increased by up to 30% at centres supported by VSO.
© Mwanzo Millinga / VSO

Auto mechanic student, Amasha Mpinge, at the Vocational Education Training Center, Lindi, Tanzania. Graduate employment has increased by up to 30% at centres supported by VSO.
© Mwanzo Millinga / VSO

Some of our livelihoods projects

Youth

VSO ICS volunteers pose with students to celebrate completing their project at Mingoyo school, Lindi, Tanzania 
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

VSO ICS volunteers pose with students to celebrate completing their project at Mingoyo school, Lindi, Tanzania
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

International Citizen Service

International Citizen Service (ICS) is a UK government funded development programme that brings together 18-25 year olds from all backgrounds to fight poverty overseas. The ICS consortium is led by VSO and works in partnership with 10 respected development organisations.

VSO ICS volunteers (L-R) Mabel Amoakowah, Gifty Arthur, and Raluca Moraru teaching a song to students during a session at Goriko school, Talensi District, Ghana
© Teresa Menka / VSO

VSO ICS volunteers (L-R) Mabel Amoakowah, Gifty Arthur, and Raluca Moraru teaching a song to students during a session at Goriko school, Talensi District, Ghana
© Teresa Menka / VSO

20,000 young people working for change

In February 2016, the ICS consortium celebrated 20,000 young people from around the world volunteering since the programme began in 2012.

Working together

Volunteers are working with young people in communities to change attitudes and promote active citizenship.

Their life skills sessions raise awareness of environmental issues, while peer education illuminates sensitive issues such as sexual health and hygiene.

ICS volunteers support the work of local partner organisations in the communities in which they are placed. 90% of partner organisations say that they are better able to bring about positive change because of ICS support.

"I think a lot of people in the villages had a perception that Western organisations come in and give money, but through ICS we tackled the problems together because we were living and working alongside each other"

Usman Khan, volunteered in Malawi with VSO ICS
Schoolgirls from Muyallen High School, Kayunga surround a table looking at personal hygiene and HIV/AIDS messages during a health awareness day in Kayunga district, Uganda. 
© Edward Echwalu

Schoolgirls from Muyallen High School, Kayunga surround a table looking at personal hygiene and HIV/AIDS messages during a health awareness day in Kayunga district, Uganda.
© Edward Echwalu

Financial

Income

  • Strategic grant from DFID: 27%
  • Other governmental income: 51%
  • Other charitable income: 3%
  • Individuals: 7%
  • Companies: 4%
  • Other grants and donations: 3%
  • Events and community: 5%

In 2015/16, incoming resources totalled £81.2 million, an increase of £4.2 million (5.5%) on the previous year (£77 million). Income continues to increase year-on-year with business development being a key investment area for VSO.

Nearly one-third (32%) of income in 2015/16 related to the ICS programme.

Expenditure

  • Education: 22%
  • Health, HIV and AIDS: 17%
  • Participation and governance: 5%
  • Secure livelihoods: 19%
  • Grants to ICS partners: 27%
  • Costs of generating funds: 10%

VSO spent £66.1 million on charitable activities in 2015/16. This was 90% of total expenditure. This is a 2% increase on 2014/15, with a £0.4 million increase in expenditure against the health, HIV and AIDS reduction programmes.

Figures shown come from VSO’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2015/16, which can be found at the bottom of this page.

*ICS is a contract based on payments by outputs, which means that VSO receives money from DFID for each volunteer who participates in a programme overseas. Due to the size of the contract, VSO has chosen to sub-contract approximately 75% of the delivery to 10 respected development partner organisations, who are also paid on the basis of the number of volunteers who participate in their programmes.*

Thank you

VSO volunteers generously give up their time and salaries in order to take the opportunity to work in our programmes around the world. Without them, our work, making change happen, would not be possible.

Many others contribute to VSO by raising funds and promoting our work, and in helping select future volunteers. VSO could not function without these individuals, and the enthusiasm and support of thousands of others who give regularly to VSO.

We would also like to thank our funding partners for their continued support of our work.

All figures cited in this report relate to the financial reporting year from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

Download full report
Download Annual Report and Financial Statements for year ending March 2016 (PDF)

Imagery
Title section:
7-year-old Blessing Asokiyine (centre) with her 6-year-old classmate Kelvin Atinga with education volunteer Mary Loureth Carnable, at Goriko kindergarten in Talensi District, Bolgatanga, Ghana.
© Teresa Menka / VSO

Education section:
Khadija reads at the Mtoni Primary School on Zanzibar.
© Jennifer Barker / VSO

Health section:
Midwife and volunteer Ans Ohms at Stung Treng Hospital, Cambodia.
© Thomas Roos / VSO

Livelihoods section:
Cassava nursery worker, Afande Jutta, in Mtama village, Lindi, Tanzania.
© Mwanzo Millinga / VSO

Youth section:
VSO ICS volunteer and qualified basketball coach Asma Elbadawi during an evening training session with students, Lindi, Tanzania.
© Andrew Aitchison / VSO

VSO
Voluntary Service Overseas is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales registered number 703509.

Registered Office 100 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6QJ

Charity Registration 313757 (England and Wales) SCO39117 (Scotland)