Overseas Volunteering Opportunities with VSO
High-quality education is something we take for granted here in Ireland but, sadly, that is not the case the world over. Recent studies show that as many as 123 million children and adolescents are out of school. That’s where VSO Ireland comes in – we’re a development organisation that works through volunteers in 24 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific. We understand that education is a massive contributor to poverty, and so are working to end the global teacher shortage and improve teacher quality and school management. There are always opportunities for Primary Teachers, Teacher Trainers, Inspection Advisors and Education Managers, just like you, to implement our education programmes overseas.
So why are we particularly interested in reaching teachers through the Wexford Education Centre? Well, the WEC’s mission statement – “to work with teachers, parents, management and all partners in education in develop and strengthen teaching and learning capacity so as to maximise children’s opportunities to achieve their full potential” – very closely resembles our own. Our education volunteers create sustainable change not by teaching in a classroom, but by sharing their knowledge and mentoring teachers, parents and national bodies to improve schooling for marginalised children. Like all of you, we also believe in inclusive education – that no child is excluded from learning because of their gender, disability or background.
Volunteering is a big commitment, no doubt about it, but the personal and professional benefits are endless. Just as you are helping to create sustainable change and improve the lives of marginalised children and adults, you are also developing new skills and improving your career prospects. Claire Nic Ghabann from Co. Monaghan praised her Tanzania placement – “There are more opportunities to practice and develop your leadership and management skills. You get to design, implement and facilitate programmes.” Lisa McMahon from Co. Down similarly had a life-changing experience on her Rwanda placement – “I’m really aware that I’ve learnt a lot and when I get back home I have some valuable things to share with my students.” Volunteering also offers retired teachers the chance to continue doing what they love and give something back.
VSO volunteers are offered a comprehensive support package – flights, accommodation, medical insurance and vaccinations are all covered so you don’t have to worry about expenses if you decide to take the plunge. We’re here to support our volunteers each step of the way, from welcoming you into our Dublin office and organising in-depth training prior to departure to offering a full debrief and invitations to returned volunteers events when you get back.