Summary: Repair the World commissioned The Worth of What They Do: The Impact of Short-Term Jewish Service-Learning on Host Communities to examine the positive, long-term effects of short-term service projects—often called alternative breaks—on communities-in-need both in the United States and overseas. To date, a number of studies have been conducted on the impact of service projects on individual participants, such as a sense of accomplishment and first-hand experience of global problems such as poverty and food insecurity. However, relatively little research has been done on the impact of service projects—Jewish or secular—on the communities they serve beyond the concrete gains of the service project itself.
Among its findings, the study notes that short-term volunteerism jumpstarts local volunteerism, provides host communities the opportunity to develop local leaders and engage in cultural exchanges with the volunteers, contributes to a shift in community self-identity, and offers additional tangible resources they gained from even short-term projects that they would otherwise not have.
Author: BTW: Informing Change (BTW)