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In Nigeria, VSO's Livelihoods Program interventions have improved farmers’ access to guaranteed markets, working with farmers to aggregate produce. This results in better prices for farm produce, improved income security and an increased income of 9.6%. Having trained volunteers as teaching assistants in schools has resulted in improved quality of education for secondary school students.

Harnessing youth power

Nigeria is forecast to be the world’s third biggest nation by 2050. The country has an enormous youth population with the potential to revolutionise economy and society.

However Nigeria’s young people today are frustrated in their search for jobs: around 4/10 young people are out of work.

It’s vital that young people receive skills and training, yet across the country 10.5 million children are currently out of school.

We believe Nigeria’s young people are its greatest treasure. We put them at the heart of all our programming, working through and for them.

Education and skills

VSO Nigeria works to improve the existing systems and structures that play a crucial role in preparing young people to prosper. We are also harnessing youth power and innovation, along with the spirit of volunteerism to deliver new and exciting opportunities for youth development. Recent work has included:

  • In-service training to allow 1500 secondary school teachers to better equip their students with 21st century survival skills. These include competency in science, maths and English, but also span from IT and media aptitude, to learning and life skills
  • 32,000 children and young people reached with improvements to secondary education
  • Entrepreneurship training for youth volunteer graduates
  • 100+ inclusive neighbourhood spaces created by youth volunteers for out-of-school children. Over 200 children were supported to re-enrol in school through this work, with many more developing 21st century skills

Youth participation and rights

Children complete surveys in Kano, Nigeria

Collecting children's voices speaking out on rights abuses in Kano state

Young people are a force for change. VSO Nigeria has helped children and young people develop new spaces and mechanisms to learn about and call for their rights, as well as a voice in the way services and policies that affect them are designed. Recent work has included:

  • Establishing children’s and young people’s neighbourhood in Lagos and Zamfara states
  • Developing child rights clubs in schools
  • Collaborating with local activists, NGOs and leaders to lobby for improved legal protection for child rights in Kano state

Youth volunteering

celebrating volunteer day in Nigeria

VSO ICS volunteers are hard at work across Nigeria, with a smile on their faces.


VSO Nigeria’s success is in large part a product of the dedicated contributions of hundreds of engaged and active young people.

Teams of VSO ICS youth volunteers from Nigeria and the UK are embedded into country programmes, where they inject energy, engagement and fresh ideas. Young Nigerians who have graduated from ICS continue to be active, organised through the Youth Action Nigeria network. They run structured national volunteering programme operating in their home communities to engage young people and equip them with skills.

Learn more about volunteering in Nigeria

Fairer access to food and income

Baba Peter Keita and son Richard Peter, run a fish farm. They have received training from VSO local partner PAD

Baba Peter Keita and son Richard Peter run a fish farm. They have received training in increasing yields from a VSO-supported local partner, Premier Agricultural Development.

For nearly 10 years, VSO Nigeria’s programmes have tested innovative ways of making agricultural value chains work better for the poorest and most disadvantaged people. Private sector engagement is critical to this work.

Our approaches range from agricultural training to make farming more productive, to systemic pro-poor approaches to soybean and maize value chains. Recent work has included:

  • A network of community volunteers across six states has been empowered with agricultural knowledge, tools and confidence to link fellow farmers to up-to-date techniques, resources and market and pricing information.
  • Training for young men and women smallholder farmers involving youth volunteers


Latest updates

Our partners

VSO's valued funding partners in Nigeria include DFID, Accenture and the Million Hours Fund.

We have good relationships with government ministries of Education, Agriculture, Trade & Investment, and parastatal bodies like the National Youth Services Corps (NYSC), and Small and Medium Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

Our local implementing partners range from research instutions, to colleges and secondary school boards, to local and international NGOs. Through our support last year, partners demonstrated improvements including in:

  • continuing professional development
  • people management
  • community engagement
  • advocacy and influence
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • market awareness
  • access and reach.

Contact us

Lucia Balonwu

VSO Nigeria Country Director Lucia Balonwu

Interested in finding out more about our work in Nigeria? We’d

love to hear from you.

Tel for education and livelihood: 08083804934, 07032305002, 0809688944.

Tel for ICS: +234 902 968 4229, +234 902 968 4228


Postal address:
VSO Nigeria
PO Box 2452

No 5 Mustapha Akanbi Close
Off 69 Road (Mike Adenuga Junior Street)
Abuja, Nigeria

Interested in volunteering?

We often have roles for specialist, youth and corporate volunteers in Nigeria. If you're interested in volunteering, click below to read more about what it's like to volunteer in Nigeria.

Volunteer in Nigeria