Education is not confined to the classroom. Learning and teaching starts at birth and can continue throughout our lives.

60% of NICVA members provide education, skills, and learning opportunities to people of all ages throughout our society.


Education is vital for social and cultural reasons, and is part of enabling the full development of children and adults in our society. It is a critical element to help reduce poverty and social exclusion as well as promote and support the development of social, emotional, cognitive and communication skills. According to the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report and the Education Commission’s Learning Generation Report there is clear evidence that links the impact of education on individual’s earnings and economic growth. The reports detail that 171 million people could be lifted out of extreme poverty if all children left school with basic reading skills. That’s equivalent to a 12% drop in the world total while for each $1 invested in an additional year of schooling, earnings increase by $5 in low-income countries and $2.5 in lower-middle income countries.

There are several reasons why people in Northern Ireland may not have a level of education that enables them to gain employment or have developed social skills and confidence, including a lack of access to essential items, additional needs and caring responsibilities.

From providing grants and essential equipment to informal skills development or formal teaching, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector contributes a significant amount of time and resources to providing education to our society. The sector supports the educational attainment of children and young people, as well as providing opportunities for adults to adapt, refresh and qualifications and skills.  


Click here to read case studies that demonstrate the value of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland. 



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