Organizational Planning and Development: South Africa

Program overview

Our community partner in South Africa is Education without Borders, an international NGO that focuses on supporting school age youth in further developing skills and confidence academically, particularly in math and science. This organization was formed in 2002 and seeks to improve educational opportunities and facilities for youth.

Education without Borders’ long term vision is to empower youth through education. They believe that the development of knowledge and skills gives individuals greater control over their lives and more possibilities and choices for their future. Enhanced educational opportunities build communities from within, and facilitate bridging between communities.

The program runs in a township outside of Cape Town, South Africa. You will be working closely with the founders and in country staff of the organization. Examples of possible projects are listed below:

Library Project – This project will be assisting in the transition of library management from Education without Borders to the school administration and new, school-identified, librarian. This project will include strategic and operational thinking about how to effectively manage the transition; research and development of grant and alternative funding streams for upkeep and development of the library, and paying the staff. Other areas of project work may include training the new librarian into new operating system. Ultimately, the project aims to make the library a sustainable program within the school, something that is not common in the area.

In addition to the above project, students will partake in the ongoing library programming such as assisting with the reading and after-school programs which include the African Storybook project. This project aims to develop and foster reading culture by producing literature and documenting traditional stories in local languages.

Community Partnerships – Through this project student will be looking at both strategic and operational plans for extending the organizations reach into the community through the use of partnerships with other NGOs. Students will examine the environment for this initiative by exploring the questions around stakeholder expectations, and strategies on how to actualize the partnerships. Community partnerships are currently among the key activities of the organization and students will be working collaboratively with the program coordinator while working on this initiative. In order to be most effective in the project, it is recommended that the students take part in all aspects of the organization’s programming in order to better understand how the organization runs, and how the partnerships will be most effective. This program will be concentrated in high level organizational and strategic planning with some opportunity for acting on implementation.

In addition to all listed projects, students will also take part in core programs of Education without Borders such as after-school tutoring. Students may also participate in a Monitoring and Evaluation project by supporting the work of a South African institution brought in to externally evaluate the math bridging program.

Program dates

Date Activity
Rolling deadline until March 1st, 2015 Application intake and interviews
One week after receiving an offer letter Acceptance and deposits are due
March – May 2015 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions
June – August 2015 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBC)
September – October 2015 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and International Development Symposium.

Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed before you receive an offer of a placement.

This program will close when full. Please apply ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Leading up to your placement (Pre-departure)

Pre-departure learning sessions take place in the term before you leave for your placement; it prepares you for an intensive International Service Learning experience.  During pre-departure you will:

  1. Create a learning & development plan and review with your ISL Advisor
  2. Explore learning topics at regular meetings with your placement team


You will be staying in modest host family accommodations. In most cases students will have to take public transportation to and from work.

After you’ve returned (Post-placement)

After you’ve returned, you’ll regroup, reflect and work at unpacking the intensive experience you’ve had.  The schedule of post-placement activities includes:

  1. A full day to debrief with advisors and peers (September 2015)
  2. Presenting at an International Development Symposium (October 2015)

Program cost

We expect the program fee to be approximately $3,900. Fees may be adjusted prior to offer and include:

  • Room and board
  • Pre-departure learning sessions
  • Transportation from the airport to your placement
  • Orientation in host country
  • In Session debrief and workshop
  • Community partner management fee
  • Centre for Community Engagement project management fee

All expenses not covered in program costs are responsibility of the student. Costs not included are airfare, visas, vaccinations, local transportation while in country, transportation from the project site back to the airport at the end of the placement, personal item, and daily incidentals.


To apply for a 2015 placement, please submit an online application. Contact an advisor if you have any questions about the program eligibility before applying. The application consists of basic demographic information and essay questions. Set aside at least two hours to complete the application.

Eligibility & Awards

ISL Award – $1,500
If accepted into the ISL program, your eligibility will be automatically assessed for the $1,500 International Service Learning Award. Please follow the link for more information. No separate application is required.