22 Apr 2008 - 03 Mar 2022
About the BBC World Service Trust
The BBC World Service Trust is the BBC's international charity. We use media and communications to reduce poverty and promote human rights, thereby enabling people to build better lives.
It is an old saying that knowledge means power. The better informed you are, the greater your chances of success.
Kofi Annan, Former Secretary General of the United Nations
The BBC World Service Trust (WST) is the BBC’s international development charity. We believe media can inspire and support individuals and transform societies. We work with media to help reduce poverty and promote human rights around the world.
Media helps people make sense of events, engage in dialogue, and shape their own lives. Yet many millions still lack access to free, reliable and practical information. We work with local partners to help poor and marginalised people access their own rights, increase their choices and lead healthier lives. We help people be heard and to hold their leaders to account. The aim is to inform, connect and engage people around the world.
BBC WST trains journalists and works with different types of media format (such as radio phone-ins, drama ‘soaps’, and ‘Question Time’ style debates) to deliver our mission. Increasingly we are using mobile telephony and social media ways of sharing ideas and providing access to information.
We uphold the same editorial values and editorial standards as the BBC but focus explicitly on activities that benefit the poorest and most marginalised in societies across the developing world.
We have an established network of country offices with 500 staff in 13 countries. Where we can we work in partnership to build the capacity of national and community level partners.
Established by the BBC in 1999, BBC WST draws on the reach, skills and creativity of the BBC, but it is legally, financially and operationally independent.
We are funded by external grants and voluntary contributions, mainly from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the European Union, UN agencies and charitable foundations. We receive a small amount of core support from the BBC (both in kind and cash).