Statement of Purpose:
Skillshare International works for sustainable development in partnership
with the people and communities of Africa and Asia. We do this by
sharing and developing skills, facilitating organisational effectiveness
and supporting organisational growth.
The roots of Skillshare International go back to 1917 when Service
Civil International (SCI) was set up to work towards the cause of
peace following the First World War, sharing skills, experience and
understanding across frontiers. The British section of this was called
International Voluntary Service (IVS).
During the 1960s, a long-term overseas volunteer programme became
established. However by 1985, it became clear that this long-term
programme had different needs and priorities to the rest of the IVS
programme. IVS recognised the need for change and ultimately resolved
to separate the long-term volunteer programme from its other activities.
By 1990 Skillshare Africa was established as a development organisation
rather than a volunteer-sending agency. The keystone of the new organisation
was localisation. It employed staff local to each country, to run
and manage a programme determined by locally identified needs. This
meant that the work of the organisation was not taking place in areas
that would have no benefit to the local communities. The programmes
of work established by IVS in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland
were continued by Skillshare Africa. The end of apartheid in South
Africa in the mid 1990s meant that opportunities arose for the development
of new areas of work and Skillshare was able to open programmes in
Namibia and in South Africa.
In 2000, Skillshare Africa was joined by Action Health, a development
agency with a similar philosophy which had been working in India,
Tanzania and Uganda since 1984. Action Health's principal strategy
was the provision of health trainers to share skills and knowledge
not available locally. The two organisations merged to become Skillshare
How do we work?
We currently work with partner organisations in nine countries
- Botswana, Lesotho, India, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South
Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. These organisations come to Skillshare
International with specific needs. We aim to provide a route for those
needs to be fulfilled. Often, this is with the provision of a development
worker or health trainer. These are individuals with skills and experience
that they share with the partner organisation.
We also work directly with organisations to put into place systems
to help them improve their effectiveness and give them the confidence
to realise their potential. Our Leadership Development Programme (LDP)
concentrates on the heads of partner organisations, providing them
with the skills to improve their leadership qualities.
The bulk of our work is in education and vocational training, agriculture,
healthcare, HIV/AIDS, engineering and planning, the environment and
income generating initiatives. These incorporate rural development,
empowering disadvantaged groups and improving opportunities for young
Do you have a skill?
Skills development forms a large part of Skillshare International's
role in Africa and Asia. We feel that building people's skills and
strengthening the capacity of local organisations is vital for promoting
self-reliance and breaking the cycle of dependence in developing countries.
believes this is the most effective way of encouraging independence
and tackling poverty. And it brings improvements to people's lives
in key areas.
We recruit development workers and health trainers to share their
skills and expertise with partner organisation, usually on one to
two-year placements. They work together with individuals and communities
building on existing local knowledge, developing the abilities and
confidence of their colleagues.
Could you share your skills? Visit our Recruitment
Section to find out.
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