The Gambia

Partner Organization: Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

Location:  Banjul, The Gambia

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates: Determined by site 

In person opportunities summer 2022: Yes

Virtual opportunities summer 2022: No

Additional information:
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, if we are unable to deploy students in person, students will not be obligated to complete the ISSLP and may withdraw without penalty. For students wishing to continue with the ISSLP in virtual mode, ISSLP staff will work with them to be placed with a virtual international service option.

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement: English.
  • Gender Requirement: None
  • Required Experience: Basic research including computer skills on a variety of software platforms and previous experience in the field; writing skills
  • Major Requirement: Willingness and interest in the international development sector and experience working in an NGO field office. Ability to learn and adapt to key institutional principles and values according to the local context; strong interest in contributing to team building and team work to address CRS priority issues
  • Student Minimum Age: recommended for students between sophomore-junior or junior-senior
  • Special Requirements: commitment to cope with basic ethics and confidentiality guidelines, and to protect information and human subjects involved in any activities. This site requires students who can take initiative, are highly motivated, adaptable, and flexible
  • Other: advanced organizational skills, able to multitask and prioritize; and ability to adapt to local cultural context

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment: 

The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the spring semester. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.

  • Research methods, project management, and other trainings as identified and required by the site partner
  • Self Defense Session
  • HIV/AIDS Training
  • Any other issue of interest

Site Description:  

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is a non-governmental organization that was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. CRS works with local organizations around the world to help poor and vulnerable people overcome emergencies, fight diseases, and nurture peaceful and just societies. CRS works in the spirit of Catholic Social Teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person. CRS aspires for a world in which all people – with a preferential option for the poor, vulnerable and marginalized – have opportunities to fulfill their human potential.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has been supporting activities in Senegal and The Gambia on a continuous basis since 1960 and 1963 respectively and has established long-standing relationships with the Governments of both countries, development partners, and local communities. The CRS Country Program has provided support and funding for various projects in the areas of health, peacebuilding, microfinance, agriculture, emergency response, and food security. The CRS Senegal office also supports programming in The Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde. CRS supports vulnerable populations from all five countries through its work which responds to natural disasters, separatist violence, economic fluctuations, public health emergencies and malnutrition. With a strong focus on partnership, CRS and its partners implement projects that yield immediate results that are sustainable for years to come.

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival/engagement.

This site will be in person for summer 2022.

This section reflects the most recent scope of work proposed by CRS The Gambia  for Notre Dame students accepted into the program. This scope of work may change based on the needs of the organization at the time of student arrival and/or due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Students will work in close collaboration with the CRS Head of Office and Deputy Head of Programs (DHoP) and will be exposed to all phases of project implementation as well as conception of new projects. The students will also learn how to support data collection and sharing of best practices and experiences, all while ensuring high quality programming.

Students work alongside CRS’s team members and community partners in assigned projects that may encompass a range of issues including peacebuilding, micro finance, agriculture, health, nutrition, gender and emergency response. Students could contribute in a variety of areas that include; drafting quality reports, writing high quality proposals, review Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning  (MEAL)  systems, developing communication materials e.g. stories, newsletters; participate in meetings, stakeholder trainings and field work; supporting project creation and design; and other office administrative duties. Students will work from CRS main office in The Gambia and could potentially accompany staff in field visits to partners in various parts of The Gambia.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner given their roles in the community.

In summer 2021, 2 ISSLP students worked virtually with CRS The Gambia. The students provided assistance on a project focussing on working with women in rural areas of The Gambia to combat climate change. The students developed communication materials on the project to be shared with donors.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students will stay in housing identified and approved by CRS to ensure that minimum safety, security and health standards are provided.  

For More Information:

Visit the CRS Senegal/The Gambia website:

Former ISSLP Participants:

*Did not deploy due to COVID-19 pandemic

Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.


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Upcoming Events

October 2021

Application Close | ISSLP 2022
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm
Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 7:00pm
Postgraduate Service Lunch | Alliance for Catholic Education
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 11:30am to 1:30pm

November 2021

Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
Getting Something to Eat in Jackson
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
Mini Postgraduate Service Fair
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Taste of PATH
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 7:30pm
Information Session | Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor (PSIM)
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 8:00pm to 8:30pm
Dignity and Justice Workshop
Friday, November 12, 2021 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Catholic Social Tradition (CST) Minor Brunch
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 11:30am
Higgins Film CLASSics | Blue Collar (1978)
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00pm
Virtues & Vocations Presents Howard Gardner: What is Good Work?
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

December 2021

Signs of the Times Brown Bag Lunch Series | Housing
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 12:00pm
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm