Student Involvement

Are you passionate about social impact? Do you want to make a difference in the lives of those around you?

As part of our commitment to student learning, Keru offers opportunities for ambitious young leaders to join our consulting projects as co-creators of impact. Learn about the latest thinking on social issues and receive mentorship as you develop solutions for groups in need.

How It Works

Keru trips involve students directly into our consulting projects with social impact clients. Students join our team as 'junior consultants' and travel to one of our field locations where they are challenged to develop a solution for an issue facing our client.

In the field, junior consultants are introduced to the social issue through an experiential and inquiry-based approach. We provide training for project-related skills, and organize students in teams under the guidance of a professional mentor to develop their solution. At the conclusion of our program, junior consultants have the opportunity to present their ideas to our client. The Keru team works to implement these solutions into our longer-term project with the client. While in region, our team takes time to enjoy local culture and entertainment activities.

Upcoming Trips

Learn skills, understand complex social issues, make your impact

Water Safety: Educating Healthy Habits

Fujian, March 26th-April 1st

Client - Siyuan Water

SiyuanWater is a social enterprise that exists to improve access to clean drinking water in underserved communities in China. Their social program involves three elements: the donation of water filters to schools, the collection on analysis of water quality data, and the teaching of water safety awareness classes to students. Founded in 2014, Siyuan has reached over students 14,000 in 3 provinces.

This March, a Keru team will be traveling to Wuping, Fujian, the site of Siyuan's first program. Our goal is to collect data and distill insights to improve the effectiveness of Siyuan's programs.

Project Objectives

Help Siyuan revamp its education curriculum to better serve the needs of the students

  • Align Siyuan's education classes with Siyuan program objects
  • Understand student knowledge gaps

Deliverable: Develop a curriculum outline that meets Siyuan's program objectives of encouraging safer water consumption among rural students

Themes

Social Enterprise

  • What is Social Enterprise?
    • How is a social enterprise different than the public sector, government, NGO, private sector
    • What are the principles that guide a social enterprise like SiyuanWater
    • Is social enterprise an effective form of making an impact, vs. government action etc...

Water Safety Awareness

  • How do locals view the issue of water safety?
    • What is their attitude towards water?
    • Is this attitude a problem?
    • What is the local awareness of water safety?
    • If awareness is a problem, why is that so? What should they be thinking about?
  • What are the gaps in water safety awareness among local students? What do the students lack in terms of information?
  • What is safe drinking water consumption in this context? What does this population group need to drink water safely?

Incentivizing behaviors - methods

  • How should students be incentivized to practice safer drinking consumption?
  • What methods can be used to change behaviors?

Education

  • What role does education play in influencing water consumption behavior?

Understanding a Community

  • Who are the influencers in this community?
  • What are the needs of the community?

Key Skills

  • Needfinding
  • Interviewing
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Backwards Planning
  • Curriculum Design
  • Survey Design
  • Behavior Change


Project Schedule


  • Stage 1

    Chat with YY, determine project scope and objectives for education curriculum

    • What are the problems?

    • What are Siyuan's expected outcomes?

  • Stage 2

    Determine project flow

  • Stage 3

    Determine week-long trip objectives, follow-ups


Priority Deadline 4/23/17

Regular Deadline 5/14/17

Apply here

Water Safety: Program Expansion Strategy

Yunnan, June 27th-July 11th

Client - Siyuan Water

Consumption of polluted drinking water is a serious problem that endangers the health millions of students in rural China. In 2014, SiyuanWater, a social enterprise, created and launched a social program to address this issue in Fujian province. Since then, the program has expanded to other regions of China.

As Siyuan broadens its influence, it wants to ensure that its program is delivering the right impact. How should Siyuan think its program expansion? What processes should it implement to ensure that it selects the correct local partners? How should it monitor and report on program results?

Join us this summer and help us develop a solution to this challenging problem.


Our Client

Shanghai-based Siyuan Environmental Technology Inc. (Siyuan) is a social enterprise with the bold vision of ensuring access to safe drinking water for every child in rural China.

Their social program consists of three elements: the donation of free water filters, the collection of water quality data, and the teaching of water safety consumption classes to educate local students. Founded in 2014, Siyuan’s programs have reached more 14,000 students in 3 provinces across China.

Project Objectives

Our client seeks to improve its process for evaluating and selecting partner communities with the most potential for program impact. Using design-based thinking methods and approaches from the field of behavioral economics, the Keru team will refine Siyuan's partner selection rubric and conduct a field test on one of Siyuan's newly expanded regions.

Goals

  1. Travel to Changning, Yunnan, and investigate the issue of water pollution
  2. Understand the needs and attitudes of locals towards water consumption safety
  3. Create a site selection rubric that allows Siyuan to improve its process of partner selection

Themes

  • What is a social enterprise?
  • The importance of partner selection
  • Water pollution in rural China
  • Understanding local attitudes and opinions
  • Accountability for social programs

Key Skills

  • Developing effective selection rubrics
  • Developing standard operating procedures
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Communicating with locals
  • Exploring China's countryside
  • Mountain trekking
  • Experiencing rural culture and delicacies


Applications will open soon

Education: Life Skills Training

Guangdong, July 15th-30th

Client - Hello Project

More than 100 million students in rural China lack quality life-skills training because of a weak school system and poor family support. This result of this dynamic is a high rate of preventable injuries and mental disorders such as low self-esteem, anxiety, loneliness, depression and aggression among students.

The growth of education technology and increasing connectivity through the internet presents new opportunities for reaching students. Can private and social sector resources be leveraged to create solutions for the life-skills gaps in rural youth?

Join us this summer and help us a social enterprise explore the exciting possibilities.


Our Client

Founded by a former Tina Ding, a former Teach For China staff, HelloProject delivers a holistic and scalable solution for solving the gap of rural students’ life skills, ensuring they are inspired, empowered to make change for better life.

This innovative social enterprise develops teaching toolkits and professional development training to rural teachers to launch month-long projects for students to change life safety, social skills, and community service habits. In their model, rural parents also receive courses simultaneously to improve their parenting skills.

Since its inception, Hello Project has experienced sharp growth in the past 3 semesters, involving over 1,000 teachers and impacting more than 15,000 students.

Project Objectives

This summer, Keru is partnering with HelloProject in Shantou, Guangdong to develop more courses to address the life skills issues of rural Chinese students. We will conduct an investigation and produce an ethnography of these students, and generate ideas on courses that would best serve these students' needs.

  1. Travel to Shantou, Guangdong, and conduct an investigation into local community issues
  2. Hold a summer camp for rural students and learn about life skills gaps
  3. Generate ideas for classes for HelloProject to develop

Themes

  • What is a social enterprise?
  • Education in rural China
  • The importance of life skills training
  • Mental Issues among rural students in China
  • Family and community structure in rural China

Key Skills

  • Course Design
  • Interviewing and surveying
  • Enjoying local delicacies
  • Summer camp with rural students


Applications will open soon

Alleviating Poverty: Specialty Agriculture in Rural China

Yunnan, August 5th-20th

Client - Hello Project

Isolated by mountainous terrain, many rural regions in China struggle to access urban markets. Growth of local economic opportunities is slow, and many rural adults leave their families to pursue jobs outside of their hometown. This dynamic has led to a bevy of social problems, including 'left-behind' children and the overpopulation of the cities.

Recent developments in technology and upgrades of infrastructure, however, have increased accessibility and present new opportunities for rural regions. Can local agricultural products, cultivated over generations, provide a new vista for economic opportunity?

Join us this summer and help us a social enterprise explore the exciting possibilities.


Our Client

As Teach For China teachers in Yunnan, Misters Xu Xianming and Peng Zhiwen spent two years witnessed the upheaval caused in the lives of rural students whose parents left their homes to work in the big cities. After completing their teaching fellowship in 2015, they started Xiaomiren, a social enterprise with the bold vision of providing a warm family environment for rural students.

This innovative social enterprise develops teaching toolkits and professional development training to rural teachers to launch month-long projects for students to change life safety, social skills, and community service habits. In their model, rural parents also receive courses simultaneously to improve their parenting skills.

Leveraging their access to urban markets, Xiaomiren began working with local farmers to develop and market specialty honey from Tengchong, Yunnan. As they expand their presence, Xiaomiren hopes to develop other specialty products, creating prosperity for local farmers and sharing long-hidden treasures with the rest of China.

Project Objectives

Our client seeks to explore the market potential for new specialty products in Yunnan. The Keru team will travel to Tengchong, Yunnan, where we will liaise with local farmers and research the commercial potential of various specialty products. In addition to developing a business plan, we will also develop proposals on how to measure and evaluate local impact.

  1. Travel to Tengchong, Yunnan, and research local agricultural products.
  2. Understand the needs of the local community
  3. Assess potential and develop a business plan for Xiaomiren to commercialize Tengchong's specialty products

Themes

  • What is a social enterprise?
  • Specialty agricultural products in Yunnan
  • Farm to table: the journey of agricultural products
  • China's left-behind children
  • Measuring true impact

Key Skills

  • Market feasibility studies
  • Business plan writing
  • Interviewing and interacting with local farmers
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Communicating with left behind children
  • Exploring China's countryside
  • Mountain trekking
  • Experiencing rural culture and delicacies


Applications will open soon

Get Involved