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Community Development Specialists


Join VSO Ireland in the fight against poverty and develop life-long professional skills

VSO Ireland is the leading international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. Working in 24 countries around the world, our unique role is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations where their skills can have the greatest impact.

As a VSO volunteer, you’ll live and work in some of the world’s poorest communities. By sharing your unique skills and experience, you’ll help generate new ideas and ways of doing things, helping the communities you work in lift themselves out of poverty. We’re not about delivering quick fixes, but instead focus on long-lasting, sustainable change, that will impact generations to come.

We’re also the very first organisation in Ireland to be found fully compliant with Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice, so you can rest assured that VSO Ireland is committed to excellent volunteering standards.

Your New Role:

We’re looking for experienced Community Development Specialists to volunteer on our Irish Aid funded education programme over the next three years. This is based in Karamoja, one of the poorest regions in Uganda where educating girls is often not seen as a priority. In one district, only 6.4% of girls finish primary education. As a VSO volunteer, you’ll share your expertise with local community groups, ensuring they have a voice on education services. You’ll also address the reasons why so many girls don’t get the education they need, such as early forced marriage.

Typical tasks might include:

  • Facilitating community consultations so more local people can voice their views on inclusive education
  • Implementing and monitoring an agreed community development operational plan
  • Ensuring community mobilisation and education promotion is conducted at sub-country and school level
  • Planning and organising outreach support services to girls and boys in the community

These roles are for one year, and commence at various times throughout the next three years.

Benefits of Volunteering with VSO Ireland

  • Develop training, leadership, collaboration and management skills
  • Increase future job prospects
  • Make a difference to lives of marginalised girls and boys in Uganda
  • Make life-long friends and memories as you collaborate with other volunteers and local staff

What VSO Ireland Provides:

We believe volunteering should be a cost-neutral experience and so cover the cost of the following:

  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Medical insurance
  • Visa and documentation
  • Pre-departure and in-country training

All volunteers receive a monthly allowance to cover basic living expenses, as well as a Home Country Funded Allowance (equivalent to £4 a day in your Irish bank account).

What You’ll Need:

Our ideal candidates will have a degree in social sciences, social work, community development, gender or special education, with at least five years’ relevant experience. You should be open-minded, flexible and ready to work with limited resources and diverse rural groups. Applications from both working and retired professionals are welcomed.

What You Need to Do Now:

You can apply for the Community Development Specialist role here.

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming an education volunteer with VSO Ireland, we’d love to hear from you. Please call 01 640 1060 or email volunteer@vso.ie with a little information about your background.

We also hold monthly Meet VSO information evenings where you can ask staff and returned volunteers questions about volunteering overseas. See www.vso.ie/meetvso for details.

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