Nigeria is one of VSO’s longest running programmes. Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and a vibrant country with huge potential. 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.
HIV and AIDS
Nigeria is now the country with the second highest number of people infected with HIV and AIDS. More effort is required in the prevention of further infection, and the treatment and care of the estimated three million Nigerians between the ages of 15-49 living with HIV and AIDS. To address the need for greater awareness about prevention and to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS, volunteers are working with the government, international and local non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations.
Volunteers with backgrounds in areas such as organisational development, communications and advocacy are:
developing management structures
facilitating networking among different agencies
developing public communications strategies
promoting the inclusion of HIV and AIDS awareness activities in schools.
Like many developing countries, 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.
It is often said that it is a paradox that Nigeria is a country rich in oil, yet with a high level of poverty, and it is believed that there has been a loss of technical and business skills, particularly among young people. VSO’s volunteers in the secure livelihoods programme area have worked alongside Nigerian civil society agencies to improve access to employment and food production opportunities for poor communities. Activities of these agencies include promoting small-scale entrepreneurship, encouraging young people and women to take up vocational skills training and raising awareness of ways to increase food production.
VSO believes that people working together out of a sense of community responsibility and shared commitment are a powerful force that can make a major contribution to reducing poverty and promoting development. National volunteering will enhance the activities being carried out in VSO Nigeria’s three programme areas.
Get in touch with VSO Nigeria at:
PO Box 2452, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria