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Voluntary Services Overseas, Gambia
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Contact Address Details:
Voluntary Services Overseas
VSO Banjul Head Office
22 Atlantic Road
P.O. Box 667 Banjul
Fajara M Section
The Gambia, West Africa

Tel no: +220 449 5907
                    449 4026
                    449 7634
Fax:             449 6946


317 Putney Bridge Road
SW15 2PN
United Kingdom

Main switchboard
+44 (0)20 8780 7200


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The Voluntary Services Overseas is a development charity from the UK that works through volunteers in job placements. The VSO has been operating in The Gambia since 1960 and its work presently focuses on the areas of education, disability and sustainable livelihoods.

It sends qualified professionals in certain sectors to spend several years working at local salaries in key, identifiably useful projects in developing countries.

The aim of the programme is to improve the lives of all people with disabilities in urban and rural areas, through empowerment and improved services.

Through working with Disabled People’s Organisations, the 6,600 members of the 9 organisations are direct beneficiaries of the programme. Of these, about 62% are male and 38% female. Although the members of the DPOs have been identified as the main beneficiaries, this programme will hopefully have a direct or indirect benefit for all people with disabilities in The Gambia.

The aim of the programme is to improve the quality of inclusive primary education for all girls and boys for core class subjects in rural areas.

The Education programme covers all regions in the Gambia but there is specific focus given to Region 5 because of VSO’s role in the implementation of the DFID funded Basic Education Support for Poverty Reduction (BESPOR) project.

The key beneficiaries are primary school children, serving teachers and teacher trainees. The implementing partners are Region 5, Gambia College, BESPOR team and Headquarter Directorates at DoSE.

The aim of the programme is to ensure that disadvantaged people in rural communities in The Gambia will gain more income and food security from their current activities.

VSO The Gambia (VSO TG) started working with grassroots organisations in 1998. Since then it has learned that there is a need to work closely with viable partners who have good track records and are committed to addressing the needs of disadvantaged people in rural communities. Learning from previous development undertakings has shown that in order to have an impact on the lives of women, the elderly, youths and the disabled, it is important to build the capacity of local non-governmental and community based organisations (NGOs and CBOs) so that they will be equipped to offer effective and efficient services to these communities.

Disadvantaged people in the context of the Gambia are women, the elderly, youths and disabled. Women form the majority of those that are not literate – who do not have access to land and are traditionally stereotyped as “second best”. The elderly tend to be neglected by projects and programmes whilst rural youths are disadvantaged when compared to urban youths. There are few higher learning institutions or job opportunities that result in high rural-to-urban drift. People with disabilities are not seen as productive members of their communities.

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