Vocvo is the Flemish Support Centre for Adult Education. We support the 13 Flemish Centres for Basic Education and 10 independent centres for Adult education in Flanders. We are responsible for the execution of the 5 year Strategic Literacy Plan of the Flemish Government. Vocvo also edits a newspaper and books for low -literate adults and supports companies and organisations to tackle literacy problems. Finally, a very important part of our work is the coordination of prison education in Flanders. We do not teach in prison but we make sure the educational offer of the local centres for basic and adult education can be organised in prison.

Approximately 35 people work for our organisation, 15 of which are working in the field of prison education.

Involvement with Foriner

Vocvo is the coordinating partner in the FORINER project. As an experienced partner in the coordination of prison education in Flanders and Brussels, Vocvo fully understands the importance of education for foreign national inmates. On the one hand the educational offer for inmates in Belgian prisons has grown substantially over the last five years and guarantees a broad range of courses for all inmates. On the other hand there is a lack of educational offer for foreign Belgian nationals at this moment. This is in conflict with the foreign nationals human rights.

Therefore at a certain point Vocvo realised that in order to work this out, closer cooperation on European level with the important national stakeholders from different European countries was necessary. Not only to design a solution that could be spread across Europe, but also to be able to give an appropriate answer to the vast challenge we face. Vocvo thus initiated the FORINER project application, together with relevant stakeholders seeking to realise the same goal.

It is our strong belief that by implementing a structure in each participating country and building a strong network through advocacy and the delivery of quality work, we can spread this practice further to come to a Europe-wide solution in the end. This solution will not only serve for our own foreign nationals, but as a logical result also for the foreigners in our local prisons. Indeed they will be given access to an educational offer from their home country, which would complement perfectly the (often limited due to language issues) offer which is provided locally.

We take up several roles in the FORINER project apart from our role as coordinator of the project. We also lead a number of work packages, including the piloting phase with its pilot projects in different European countries.