South Africa - Johannesburg (Emzingo)

Population facets: 


Partner Organization:  Emzingo

Location:  Johannesburg, South Africa

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates: Determined by site. 

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  None
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  None
  • Major Requirement: None
  • Special Requirements:  In addition to the ISSLP interview and selection process, ISSLP student applicants may need to go through Emzingo’s application and interview process
  • Other:  None

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.)

  • HIV/AIDS Training (if working in HIV/AIDS related projects)
  • Self Defense Session

Site Description:  

Emzingo’s mission is to inspire responsible leadership, prepare individuals to tackle global challenges and connect business to society through social impact projects. Emzingo helps students prepare for global challenges through programs designed to help students develop various skills of working in international development. These programs address UN Sustainable Development Goals including poverty and hunger, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, economic development, education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. Incorporated in the United States with representation in New York City, Emzingo has staff and/or programming in Madrid, Spain; Johannesburg, South Africa; Lima, Peru; and Rio de Janiero, Brazil. In 2010 Emzingo launched the NexGen program with 9 MBA students from IE Business School working with four field partners over seven weeks in South Africa. 

The South Africa Emzingo ISSLP was initiated in 2015.  Adapted from the NexGen graduate program, the Global Impact Fellowship (GIF) is a leadership program designed to offer purpose driven undergraduate students an opportunity to work with a local social enterprise or nonprofit organization in South Africa.

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.

The undergraduate experience engages students in social impact projects in local communities in South Africa.  Students assist nonprofits and social enterprises in addressing key challenges that these organizations have identified and are addressing in the community.  These projects help field partners-working in various sectors such as health, education, poverty, environment, information technology, arts, and design.

ISSLP students will be part of a larger cohort of 10-12 University undergraduates from across the U.S.  Students will be divided into pairs with each pair working on a predefined project with a local organization.  Each pair will be determined based upon skills, experience, interests, and the needs of the local organization. Project work days will likely be Monday through Thursday with Fridays and parts of the weekend spent together as a cohort in training and learning modules, and additional social/cultural and community events. Students will need to be flexible, take initiative and be highly adaptable to working in a multicultural team environment.

ISSLP 2018 student worked with Alex Arts Market in Alexandra township, Johannesburg. Alex Arts Market enables creative artists to trade their art products and services by providing them with trading space, marketing opportunities and offering training workshops. Project stages involved conducting research and creating a sponsorship template to attract potential investors.

ISSLP 2017 students worked with two different organizations. One with Telescope focusing on low-income communities in Soweto. Telescope aims to address South Africa’s most prominent challenges of poverty, inequality, and high unemployment rates through education. Through programing, Telescope is committed to empowering students to lead progress in their schools and developing the confidence and skills needed to serve the greater community. They achieve this through pioneering and providing the resources for activities such as literacy days, science fairs, sports competitions, the design of a yearbook, and other extracurricular activities. Another student worked with a hybrid social enterprise called eduSOIL. It's mission is to nurture the mental and emotional wellbeing of children and adults in South Africa. Work included completion of a Social Business Model Canvas, Marketing and Communication Strategy, and Corporate and School Engagement to help the business achieve growth in revenue, capacity, and impact. Project stages encompassed research, planning, canvas, strategy, and engagement. The strategy was then implemented in the School and Corporate Engagement event, an African education conference, which showcased eduSOIL's program offerings and established key relationships with clients.

ISSLP 2016 students completed a social impact consulting job in the township of Soweto with an HIV/AIDS testing and counseling center as well as an orphaned and vulnerable child program center. Through interviews, home visits, and community research, they created a comprehensive women's education program to address the community's challenges of high HIV rates, teenage pregnancy, school dropouts, and sexual abuse. This site worked in the local community life of townships and interacted with the community on a daily basis. Past ISSLP students were involved in the following projects: completing case studies tracking an organization’s specific role in helping drive growth and job creation for South African entrepreneurs and provided recommendations; and working with a non-profit committed to help improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children through identifying problems and creating comprehensive plans to address need.

Housing & Lodging Information:

The entire cohort lives in western style apartment settings or in residential housing in a more affluent neighborhood of Johannesburg.  This site does accommodate vegetarian, vegan diets as other than breakfast, students primarily shop and provide their own meals. Shared kitchens are available.

For More Information:

See the official website:  

Former ISSLP Participants :

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

upd 9.12.18


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August 2019


September 2019

October 2019

Postgraduate Service & Social Impact Fair
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm