This summer, our group of 45 Northeastern University students will travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to study how businesses, universities, legislators, and communities are working together to improve the quality of life in the city. We will academically analyze these partnerships and their impact, but we will also dive in and serve directly with our partners.

Below you will find descriptions of our service-learning partners, and some of the projects we hope to work on this summer.

Food for Life South Africa:
Affiliated with Food for Life Global, Food for Life South Africa is aims to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by providing free vegetarian meals in Durban, South Africa, and surrounding communities. Food for Life also strives to create sustainable food projects that empower disadvantaged South Africans to earn a livelihood. We will be helping to cook and serve meals in the community with Food for Life, and assisting in educational programs regarding education, environmental health and sustainability, and health care.

Nonceba Family Crisis Center:
Catering primarily to women and children who are victims of domestic abuse, Nonceba provides counseling/safe housing for children who have been raped. The rape crisis in South Africa, particularly amongst children, is frighteningly high : A South African girl will have a greater likelihood of being raped than learning how to read. Nonceba provides afterschool programming to protect children in the community of Khayelitsha, and provides shelter residency to women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. At Nonceba, we hope to engage in projects like renovating office spaces, painting a mural, and working with children at their aftercare program.

Food Pods: and
Empowering the townships of South Africa, Food Pods helps residents to lift themselves out of poverty by enabling them to grow and sell fresh, organic vegetables in their communities . We will be learning how these gardens supply communit ies with fresh produce, and we will help clean up the garden by planting, weeding, etc.

Etafeni Center in Nyanga:
Providing a wide variety of services to families affected by HIV in Nyanga, Cape Town, the Etafeni Project offers nutrition counseling, income-generating activities, and homework help for children. We will travel to the Etafeni Project to volunteer with both women and children at the center, and we hope to raise money to support various efforts that help strengthen families affected by HIV.

Service-learning in South Africa will enhance our Cape Town experience by allowing us to give back to our partners, and to see how much it takes to keep their programs running year round. These organizations will give us opportunities not only to serve, but they will also offer academic insights from the field, educating our student group on how different organizations can address Cape Town’s intertwined social problems in uniquely effective ways.

Service-learning will help us improve the townships of Cape Town, enrich our own educational experiences, and teach us lifelong lessons that we can bring back to our studies at Northeastern.