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VSO/Teresa Menka


We work closely with communities to improve opportunities for the most marginalised. Over the past few years we have successfully supported thousands of vulnerable children to access education as well as support hundreds of communities to increase their income.


Over the past five years we have supported 100 cocoa growing communities in Ghana to increase yields by 37% and profits by 49%.


Since 2009 we have supported 2,400 disabled children from some of Ghana's most deprived communities to access education.


In 2016-17 we supported 240 teachers across 20 schools to improve their teaching through low cost technology and access to an online resources. 

Inclusive education

7-year-old Blessing Asokiyine (centre) with her 6-year-old classmate Klevin Atinga and VSO volunteer Mary Carnable, at Goriko kindergarten in Talensi District, Bolgatanga, Ghana.

7-year-old Blessing Asokiyine (centre) with her 6-year-old classmate Kelvin Atinga and VSO volunteer Mary Carnable, at Goriko kindergarten in Talensi District, Bolgatanga, Ghana.

Education is a direct route out of poverty. But for some children, access to a classroom is denied.

In Africa, it is estimated that less than one in ten children with disabilities attends primary school. Girls, due to early marriage, pregnancy or poverty, are more likely to drop out of education before junior high school.

Teaching Education Needs Inclusively (TENI)

We work with the Ghana Education Service and local communities, training teachers and providing the necessary resources to make classrooms accessible to all children - no matter their circumstances. 

Since 2009 our Teaching Education Needs Inclusively (TENI) programme has supported 2,400 disabled pupils to access school and increased primary enrolment by 18% in some of the most deprived communities in Ghana.

Other achievements

  • Through 2017-18, 79% of children with disabilities reached through TENI continued at school, progressing from one year through to the next.
  • 'Girl's Clubs' - a section of the TENI project focussing on supporting vulnerable girls to stay in education now works across 60 schools, supporting 4,813 girls. 

VSO education volunteers are experts in special needs. They have knowledge and can build up our capacity. We are rolling out the models they have taught us.

Joachim Faara, the Director of GES in Talensi District


Teacher Empowerment and Support through Technology (TEST)

TEST uses low cost technology to provide teachers with access to an online platform for teaching resources and training. 

The platform, includes a fully functional offline library that houses over 1000 resources including curriculum-based lesson plans, self-coaching videos and resources for reading instruction (including stories, songs, comprehension questions and assessment tests).

In 2016-17 it was piloted across in 20 primary schools in the Talensi and West Mamprusi districts of Northern Ghana. 

Achievements included:

  • Increased retention of vulnerable girls from 50% to 90% throughout the school terms.
  • 4,800 pupils from 20 schools improved their ability to pronounce letter sounds, identify unfamiliar words and reading fluency
  • 90% of the teachers in the 20 schools gained new skills in lesson preparation and participatory teaching of phonics and are applying them in teaching.
  • An online community has been created together with the setting up of an online ‘counselling room’ where teachers share with each other and get support from subject experts and counsellors.

More information on Education work in Ghana

For more information and case studies, please see Education in Ghana project page

Education in Ghana project page

Improving livelihoods

Juliana Aboaagyewa, cocoa farmer in Ghana | VSO ©VSO/Tim Maynard

Juliana Aboaagyewa has increased her income through the Cocoa Life programme. She now considers herself a businesswoman.

Cocoa Life

Limited access to markets, poor finance opportunities and reliance on traditional farming methods means cocoa farmers in Ghana are unable to capitalise on increasing global demand. It is estimated that cocoa yields are currently just 40% of their potential, and farming communities remain in poverty.

Through our Cocoa Life partnership with Mondelēz International, we are working to change this. With dramatic results.

Through training and support services, combined with improved market access, our first 100 Cocoa Life communities have seen yields increase by 37% and profits by 49% (2009-2014).

More information on Growing Together

For more information and case studies, please see the Cocoa Life project page

Cocoa Life project page

More programme information

Volunteering for Development programme

The Volunteering for Development programme, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) works to improve quality and access to health and education services as well as livelihood opportunities for the most poor and vulnerable.

The grant recognises VSO's extensive experience of putting volunteers in the right places to tackle poverty and inequality. Find out more

Volunteering for Development

Our partners

Tackling Education Needs Inclusively in Ghana is run in partnership with the Ghana Education Service and supported by Comic Relief. 

Cocoa Life is run in partnership with Mondelēz International, Olam and Child Rights International

Contact us

Interested in developing a partnership with us or finding out more about our work? We’d love to hear from you.

Email the VSO Ghana team

Postal: PO Box AN6526, Accra North, Ghana
Location: House No. F58/5 Clotey Close, Labone, Accra, Ghana
Tel: (+233) 30 2773 775/ 710/ 781
Fax: (+233) 302 774 016 


Interested in volunteering?

Find out more about volunteering in Ghana