IPSL South Africa partners with one comprehensive social service organization. This international non-profit recognizes that the challenges of homelessness and mental health requires innovative solutions. Giving people employment helps to give people a sense of belonging, purpose and dignity. They offer rehabilitative employment helping vulnerable people a chance to heal themselves mentally and emotionally. Your specific placement within the organization will be determined by community and agency needs, as well as your interests, goals, and skills.
Employment and Skills Development though Urban Gardening
Garden planting, maintenance and planning
Community Education for youth and adult beneficiaries
Counseling and Mental Health
Sports and Recreation
Ethical Service in South Africa
As an IPSL service-learning participant in Cape Town, South Africa, you will have the opportunity to perform volunteer service in one of IPSL' most innovative partner organization focusing on social services for the homeless, those struggling with substance abuse and the displaced and unemployed. IPSL does its best to match your skills and interests to the placement, but please remember that the notion of service is, first and foremost, to respond to the needs of others. You will play a role not only by actively participating with a determined role among the team members, but also by enriching the projects and programs with your knowledge, experience, and hard work. Therefore, each project or program is improved and enriched with your participation. Your impact on other people's lives will be powerful and sustainable, even if you don't see the results right away.
Advocacy Research and Sponsored Research
Advocacy Research is a framework for reimagining ways to provide service to others. Through Advocacy Research, IPSL Institute for Global Learning students serve the host organization by conducting primary research that provides data and analysis that supports the organization in its mission.
The IPSL Advocacy Research Program provides students an opportunity to learn about and engage in professional research that produces relevant, useful information for the benefit of nonprofits, NGOs and community development organizations around the world. Unique to the IPSL program, Advocacy Research permits students to develop insight into the ethics of human subjects research in an international context with immediate, practical application.
“Researching while aboard gives students the opportunity to really immerse themselves into a new culture. In Asia, I was able to cross cultural barriers and really talk to my participants and learn about their past experiences. I gained an understanding into their lives and by doing so enriched my experience abroad.”
A student’s service organization abroad serves as the “field study location.” The research results in data that is at once beneficial to further the IPSL student’s education and career while at the same time being of use to the host organization. Resource-scarce organizations simply do not have the ability to examine, evaluate, and analyze their programs in a qualitative or quantitative way. With the assistance of the IPSL student-researcher, IPSL’s host organizations are presented with data that can be used to impact their work and the constituencies they serve.
Advocacy Research generally refers to original, primary research that IPSL students design in collaboration with IPSL, its teams abroad, the host organization, and other local resources. This can be a more time-consuming undertaking. To accommodate the time frames where students are living in the host community (sometimes just one semester), IPSL students also have opportunities to engage in what we call Sponsored Research projects where the research topic and protocol are pre-identified, reviewed, and approved well in advance of the student’s term abroad. Research topics and protocols are proposed in-country by a host organization and then collaboratively designed and reviewed by IPSL, in-country staff and community members, and the IPSL Institute for Global Learning’s IRB (Institutional Review Board), which is legally authorized to approve the research. The student researcher then has the opportunity to “adopt” the project and conduct the research within a given semester. The data and analyses from one student often prompts further inquiry, which a future student can then adopt as his/her/their research project. In this way, Advocacy Research presents a sustainable model for ethical service.
Partners contribute expertise and share decision-making and ownership of the research. Data is collected over time with multiple student researchers, leading to an increase in value. The sponsored research program is especially useful for beginning researchers who may want to engage in international research but who do not have previous experience.
Graduate students participate in a Sponsored Research project during their first semester abroad. At all IPSL sites, there will be one or more sponsored research projects at a variety of NGO’s and community organizations. The goal of Sponsored Research is to create an instructive and supportive process that removes barriers and enables students to experience ethical, human-subject research in a real-world setting.
IPSL’s mission of service is rooted in advocacy for the NGOs, organizations, and communities in which IPSL students serve. Advocacy Research and Sponsored Research are meaningful and transformational manifestations of IPSL’s advocacy for the communities we serve.