Volunteer Service

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Volunteer Service May Include:
These are agencies where IPSL students have served in the past or may be able to serve. Other service placements may be available. Your placement will be determined by community and agency needs, as well as your interests, goals, and skills.
Youth Development NGO
Students have an opportunity to assist in program development and implementation, program assessment, grant writing, event planning, social media, etc. in a new and dynamic NGO that focuses on youth educational and psycho-social development. Self-empowerment and self-sufficiency is modeled and taught with a structure based on reaching youth where they are. Using a variety of tools to engage pre-teens and teens, the aim is to increase self-love, self-confidence, respect for diversity within their own culture, knowledge and respect for their own culture and life-skills within these young Tanzanians. This NGO, run by a young Tanzanian professional, is forward thinking and seeks to replicate this programming throughput the continent of Africa.
Service involves working with the Founder and CEO as well as the Clients working on:
  • Social Media and website development

  • Designing Curriculum and workshops

  • Editing 

  • Assisting with teaching sessions 

Small Community Hospital
Service involves working with the health care professionals assisting with patient care:
  • Clinic intake and patient assessment and vital measurements (height, weight, temperature, etc.

  • Charting

  • Assisting in exams


Community Health Clinic

Service involves working with the health care professionals assisting with patient care:

  • Clinic intake and patient assessment and vital measurements (height, weight, temperature, etc.

  • Charting

  • Assisting in exams

Childcare Center and School for Orphans

Service involves working with abandoned and orphaned children of all ages teaching:

  • English

  • Life Skills

  • Recreation, art, music

  • Establishing a running a "Girls Group"



Service with elementary and secondary schools are in the areas of:

  • Teaching English

  • Health Education

  • Youth Leadership

  • Life Skills

  • Sports and Recreation

  • School Website Design

  • School database work

Ethical Service in Tanzania

As an IPSL service-learning participant in Arusha, Tanzania, you will have the opportunity to perform volunteer service in one of several local partner organizations/agencies. 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.

Service-Learning™ versus Internship/Practicum

IPSL service-learning placements are determined, in part, by student interests and skills (and, in some cases, language abilities), but primarily by community needs. Central to the philosophy of service-learning is the notion of service. Service-learning is not the same as an internship or practicum although it may look very similar. The service in service-learning may or may not be career-related. An internship is designed mostly so that the student will benefit by learning about his/ her future profession. In contrast, in service-learning, the outcome of the student's work - that is, the service – is as important as the student’s learning. There are — or should be — identifiable benefits to those served. Thus, reciprocity is a key component in international service-learning.

IPSL Service Placements

IPSL's service-learning placements are in agencies that have sprung up from the grassroots, where locals have identified a need, and where the change effort is owned by them. What they need is additional assistance of all kinds from the outside. So, IPSL participants should remember that they are stepping into a moving stream of initiatives and efforts that began long ago, and that will continue after the participant departs. Your work is important, but your individual contributions may not be visible for many years. Change takes time. In the meantime, you are fulfilling an important need, and the needs are huge.

A single agency may need hands-on assistance from IPSL participants (direct service) or assistance in the background building capacity (indirect service) so that the agency can one day experience more stability in the delivery of its services. Either way, both direct and indirect service are needed to accomplish the goals. Each is valuable. In actuality, because nearly all non-profits and NGOs experience resource scarcity, IPSL participants do a little bit of everything. And this is as it should be. Nothing says "I'm a partner in your community" more than a willingness on the part of a service-learning participant not only to do higher-level tasks, but also occasionally to pick up a broom and sweep the floor so that the setting is clean and presentable to the client population being served. Such actions serve to break down stereotypes about Americans, and build relationships based on equality. That is why many of the service agencies with which we work have been our partners for years.

The IPSL website lists areas of service, and a few examples for each program site. This list is not exhaustive, nor static. The types of work listed do not each represent a distinct agency; they represent the types of work that IPSL participants can expect to encounter at the different service agencies with which we work. The number and selection of service agencies may change at any time. Sometimes there are logistical (transportation, scheduling, etc.) issues that arise that complicate certain service agency placements and make them unworkable. Sometimes students need to be proficient in the local language in order to serve in a particular agency. Also, we do not place too many students in any one agency. Doing so would undermine the immersion environment for which IPSL programs are known.

Look What our Students are Doing!

Current students are working with AriseAfrika and Afyamax Clinic and engaged in the week-long Service-Learning PLUS program at KARANGA Institute where they taught English to students studying various trades in order to launch their own enterprises or work for companies making furniture, doing masonry or welding, tailoring, etc.

Here are Veronica and Parthenia with their students!