British Council and VSO Bahaginan partner to bring UK volunteers to Philippines

The British Council Philippines has announced a partnership with VSO Bahaginan to bring volunteers from the United Kingdom to the Philippines to provide classroom support to English teachers in local schools. The new scheme, targeted at current university students or recent graduates in the UK, will help children in selected schools to gain international exposure and to develop more confidence in the English language.

The programme will place the UK students into partner schools for eight weeks, working with a designated mentor teacher. Over the course of the assignment, the volunteer will support classroom teaching in English, delivering lessons hand in hand with a partner teacher at the local school. They will also assist in organising activities to enhance the English communication skills of the students.

The British Council, with its extensive experience of English and English teaching, will provide training to the volunteers to give them the skills they will need for their volunteer work. The new scheme will also benefit from VSO’s many decades of experience in managing volunteering programmes in countries around the world, including the Philippines.

Announcing the new scheme during a breakfast reception for HRH The Princess Royal to celebrate education ties between the UK and the Philippines, Nick Thomas, Country Director of the British Council, said it was the first step in what he hoped will be a closer partnership with the Philippines in English language teaching, an area of enormous importance to the country’s future.

UK volunteers support teaching of English in the Philippines.
UK volunteers support teaching of English in the Philippines.

“It’s always been about sharing skills and changing lives,” says Marco Flores, the Executive Director of VSO Bahaginan. “From all of our years working with international and national volunteers, we know that it’s not just the communities receiving help that benefit from the volunteering experience. There is as much change seen in the volunteer for every help shared by that volunteer. We’re excited about this new program, excited to see changed lives.”