South Africa - Johannesburg (Emzingo)

Population facets: 

Partner Organization:  Emzingo

Location:  Johannesburg, South Africa

Number of Students:  3 or more students

Dates: Determined by site

In person opportunities summer 2022: Yes

Virtual opportunities summer 2022: Yes

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:  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/engagement.

This site can be in person and/or virtual for summer 2022.

This section reflects the most recent scope of work for students who deployed in the last few years to South Africa. 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.

Scope of work in person:

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 15-25 University undergraduates from across the U.S., Canada and Europe.  Students will be divided into teams of 2-4 with each group working on a predefined project with a local organization.  Each group will be determined based upon students’ skills, experience, and 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, able to deal with uncertainty, take initiative and be highly adaptable to working in a multicultural team environment.

ISSLP 2019 students worked with Afrika Tikkun and Karani Leadership. Afrika Tikkun, provides education, health and social services to children, youth and their families through centers of excellence, using a holistic model that focuses on early childhood development and continues into training and support services for young adults. Project stages at Afrika Tikkun involved an organization assessment and analysis to inform future growth. Karani Leadership is a leadership and entrepreneurial development consultancy. It engages with organizations by supporting the next generation of African leaders ad businesses to design and implement human-centered interventions to nurture leadership practices for entrepreneurs and graduates. Project Stages at Karani Leadership involved creating and launching a crowdfunding campaign, and planning and executing a launch party involving various stakeholders.

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 providing 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.

Scope of work virtual:

In summer 2021, 3 ISSLP students interned with Emzingo through the Virtual Impact Program that provided an opportunity for the students to consult directly with a social enterprise or non-governmental organization in South Africa while receiving leadership and professional development training. ISSLP students worked in virtual teams with other students from various geographical locations while collaborating with Emzingo’s field partners in South Africa. The scope of work ranged from designing an online course on negotiation in a business setting, developing a marketing plan, and a workshop toolkit, logo designs, as well as research on marketing trends in specific industries. Emzingo will provide a similar program for summer 2022.

Housing & Lodging Information:

The entire cohort lives in B&B style apartment settings or in residential housing in a safe neighborhood of Johannesburg.  This site does accommodate vegetarian, vegan diets. Students primarily shop and provide their own meals. Shared kitchens are available.

For More Information:

See the official website:  

Former ISSLP Participants :

Sean Seidl '23 (ISSLP 2020)* (Virtual 2020 Ecuador VSEC)
*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.


upd 09.01.21
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