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How we are funded


Our work would not be possible without funding and support from Irish Aid, trusts, foundations, private companies and the general public. 

Transparency and value for money is important to us: read our most recent annual report and financial statements.

Irish Aid

Irish Aid funding enables us to develop and run sustainable development programmes.

We have maintained a strategic partnership with Irish Aid since 2003. This partnership leverages the skills and experience of VSO volunteers to improve:

  • maternal and neonatal health in Ethiopia,
  • inclusive education in Uganda,
  • good governance in Zambia.
A doctor treats a newborn baby in a neonatal intensive care unit in Arba Minch, Ethiopia

VSO has successfully set up a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to provide higher standards of care to newborn babies.

Volunteers embedded in these communities work to improve and extend the reach of services.

In Ethiopia, our neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) have reduced the rate of babies dying in their first month by up to 40%. In Uganda, pass rates in programme schools have improved, and literacy and numeracy teaching standards are higher. And in Zambia, local government officials have learnt how to include the community in planning and development.

In June 2017, we launched a girls' education programme in Karamoja, Uganda, funded by Irish Aid. This project is working to remove the barriers stopping girls from finishing school or attending it in the first place.

We are committed to promoting volunteering for development as outlined under the Volunteering Initiative in One World, One Future (Ireland’s policy for international development). This recognises the huge contribution Irish volunteers have made, and will continue to make, toward the achievement of global sustainable development. It aims to strengthen support for volunteering at each stage of the volunteer process – from providing relevant information to helping returned volunteers settle back into Irish society when they return home from a placement. 

We also participate in Irish Aid events, including Africa Day and the Volunteering Fair.

Corporate partners

Progress is only possible when we work together. We partner with organisations whose values are in line with our own. They share time, resources and knowledge to ensure our programmes are the best they can be.  

One such example is Bentley Systems International. Together we created a project that brought round-the-clock electricity to Chitunga in Mozambique. Our hydro-electric dam produces renewable energy that powers local households, businesses and services.

Other partners have included IBM, Accenture, Mondelēz International and Ben & Jerry’s.

On a project funded by Bentley Systems, VSO worked with local partners to install a micro hydroelectric dam in Chitunga, Mozambique, which benefitted local businesses and people.

Trusts and foundations

Funding from Irish trusts and foundations has changed the lives of marginalised people in some of the world’s poorest communities. Achievements include:

  • Enabling women in Zimbabwe to reduce the time they spend collecting fuel through the provision of energy-efficient stoves (Bishop’s Appeal)
  • Improving neonatal mortality rates on a healthcare project in Ethiopia (Electric Aid)
  • Supporting a mangrove project in Mozambique (Dublin City Council).

Irish public

We are extremely grateful to the Irish public who continue to support our work year on year. We have a large number of individual supporters who make regular monthly donations to help us in our mission. Without their generosity, some of our work in health, education and livelihoods would simply not be possible. 

We are also very thankful to our network of returned volunteers who remain engaged with our work and continue to fundraise for VSO. Volunteer fundraising activities provide both reliable financial support and a way of creating awareness of what we do at VSO Ireland.

You can join us in the fight against poverty by supporting our overseas programmes too:

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