Repair the World: New study shows social impact of short-term service learning programs

 Repair the World this morning is set to release a study into the long-term effect of short-term service learning programs such as alternative spring breaks.

In the lead up to the report, which will be released in a conference call at 11:30, Repair officials say that they recognized that within the broader service community, skepticism exists about the impact of short-term service and volunteerism. Beyond that, they say they know that within the Jewish community, there has been discussion about the purpose of Jewish service-learning programs — the balance between impact on participants and impact on communities in need.

Because of this, the survey Repair is set to release today focuses not on the participants in the programs but on the communities in which they operate and looks a the impact that the programs have. 

Repair officials say they wre surprised at the survey’s findings, and think they will have significance both within and beyond the Jewish community.

In particular, they say, the report finds that that short-term volunteerism jump starts local volunteerism. 

“Young volunteers bring energy and excitement to the community and help residents realize that the work they are doing is both fun and important to the community,” a spokeswoman form the organization told The Fundermentalist. “The volunteers’ presence is an incentive for residents to get involved, especially community residents who are in the same age group as the volunteers.  In one community, for example, immersive Jewish service-learning volunteers are helping spur a whole movement of volunteerism by young people in a way that had not happened there before.”

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