Virtual Livelihoods School initiative in Africa

The Virtual Livelihoods School initiative in Africa (VLSA) was started through Ford Foundation grants in East and Southern Africa in 2010.The initiative was a result of an inspiring learning mission to the Livelihood School programs undertaken in five states in India. A scoping study, covering 4 Countries by the Livelihood School India in conjunction with Africa based partners, was undertaken in 2011 as basis for establishing the initiative.

The School aims to provide capacity building services to key livelihoods sectors, in each country, by addressing the critical shortage of skilled staff and leaders in the face of increasing livelihood and food insecurity as well as humanitarian crises in Africa. Therefore, this underlines the belief that the key to successful professional development is collaboration by multi-disciplinary and like-minded institutions.

The VLSA has a vision to be a regional and national reference hub or school promoting tested livelihoods models, building knowledge and skills of a critical mass of livelihood promoters.The VLSA has a mission to help communities improve their livelihoods in sub-regions by facilitating concerted efforts of partners.


In each country, partners consisting of local and international NGOs, relevant Government departments, Universities, research and private sector institutions form the core group or consortium. A national level task-force works closely with the selected national nesting institution. The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), Africa Regional Centre, has been facilitating the establishment and coordination of the livelihood school programs in Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. IIRR is nesting the initiative in Kenya and Zimbabwe, where the regional hubs are located. Lima Rural Development Foundation (Lima) is the nester organisation in South Africa.