Schoolgirl with book

About VSO Ireland

Who we are

Sending aid is good, lasting change is better. That's why VSO Ireland supports education and livelihood experts around the world. As a proud Irish charity, we advance education and help people living in poverty earn a decent living.

VSO Ireland empowers people and communities to play a more active role in their own development. We value inclusion, empowerment, ownership and active participation to deliver long-term change. 

VSO Ireland is part of the international VSO family. For over 60 years, VSO has worked in over 90 countries and with over 80,000 local, national and international volunteers to support over 50 million people.

Our history

VSO International impact 2022/23


Over 3.2 million were reached through our education projects.


Almost 200,000 people were reached through our resilient livelihoods programme.


Almost 90,000 people were reached through our health projects.


Over 87,000 through our wider work on resilience, inclusion and social accountability.

Promoting sustainable development in Ireland

At VSO Ireland we believe that progress is only possible when we work together. We partner with umbrella groups in the development sector to ensure our communications materials portray the people we work with overseas with dignity and enhance awareness of development issues amongst the general public.

Read more about our partners

Related links

Fishing boat
Paul Wambugu/Obscuramedia

Vision, values and strategy

Our purpose is to create lasting change through volunteering. We bring about change not by sending aid, but by working through volunteers and partners to empower people living in the some of the world’s poorest and most overlooked regions.

Child and teacher
Paul Wambugu/Obscuramedia

How VSO Ireland is funded

Our work would not be possible without funding and support from a range of partnerships. From Irish Aid, trusts, foundations and private companies, to the general public we remain grateful for all funding received through the years.

Volunteer school leadership advisor

Structure and governance of VSO Ireland

VSO is governed by VSO Ireland's Board of Directors. They set the direction and purpose of the charity and ensure alignment with VSO International. We are committed to best practice in our governance and transparency.

Group of youth female farmers
Paul Wambugu/Obscuramedia

VSO Ireland annual report

This year, many of the global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were gradually lifted. For countries and communities already facing considerable challenges, there is a huge job to be done to make up lost ground in health, education, and livelihoods.