South Africa is home to one of the world’s most liberal constitutions and at the very heart-and-soul of this nation’s new Constitution is the defense of every individual’s basic human rights. Apartheid left deep cultural scars in South Africa and the new government is still working to purge society of prejudice, xenophobia, gender inequality, poverty and racism. Cape Town is home to the South African Parliament and as a result, there are many wonderful NGOs and government organizations based in and around the city that promote the causes of social justice and human rights. The Cape Town Human Rights Internship is an individualized placement where you are placed in an internship that best suits your professional interests and experience. Note: This internship site replaces the Cape Town Refugee Centre and includes the Refugee Centre as an option.
The following organizations are examples of the organizations you may be placed with through this internship, however, there are many other options as well. A clearly-written, detailed cover letter and “Individualized Placement Statement,” part of the application process, will enable us to place you in a suitable organization. All internship sites offer good learning opportunities. If a particular organization interests you, feel free to mention this in your application, but please note that placement with a certain company cannot be guaranteed. Placement decisions are based on the skills and interest of the intern, the needs of the worksite, and position availability.
Cape Town Refugee Centre: http://www.ctrc.co.za/
The Cape Town Refugee Centre (CTRC) caters to the interests and needs of vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers. They provide short-term and medium-term social assistance to refugees and asylum seekers through is Psychological Service Provision, Self-Reliance and Education Programs. The Social Cohesion Program empowers and educates both locals and refugee on refugee and human rights issues. CTRC strives to improve the quality of life of refugees via programs in education, counseling and therapy, entrepreneurship and job creation. The centre is not a refugee camp and does not operate one.
Kheth'Impilo specializes in solution development and implementation for health and community systems and services strengthening in marginalized communities. The comprehensive Health care solutions include treatment, care and support for people infected and affected with HIV and TB as well as a range of innovative community based models of care that include community adherence, early childhood development, school health and accredited training
PASSOP (People Against Suffering, Oppression, and Poverty): http://www.passop.co.za/
PASSOP is a community-based, non-profit human rights organization devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants in South Africa. PASSOP also works with LGBTI advocacy and fighting xenophobia throughout all of South Africa. PASSOP creates and strengthens networks of communication, dialogue and interchange for the advancement of peace, understanding and justice in local communities.
MOSAIC is focused on preventing and reducing abuse and domestic violence, particularly for women and youth living in disadvantaged communities. They emphasis the clear links between Gender-Based Violence and sexual and reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS, and underline Women's rights to make choices about this vital component of their lives.
ARESTA provides education and skills training to refugees, asylum seekers and South Africans, helping them develop their own strengths in order for them to become self-reliant. Moreover, the organization empowers South Africans and foreign nationals on social cohesion, mediation and peace building through workshops in local communities. Furthermore, ARESTA provides refugee legal assistance, policy reform, refugee right awareness and health interpretation through its advocacy department.
Job responsibilities will vary depending on placement and may include direct client service provision, research, advocacy, grant-writing, teaching, etc. Please describe in your "Individualized Placement Statement" any specific skills that you would like to learn or apply in your internship.
Students interested in issues of social sustainability may find this internship of interest.
Estimated One-Time Expenses
*This host site fee reflects a discount exclusive to IE3 Global Interns
**Interns pay an upfront refundable damages deposit of $250 (not included here) to be refunded after vacating housing.
*** Costs vary based on medical history and insurance coverage
Estimated Monthly Expenses
Budgeting Note: Past Cape Town interns have suggested that incoming interns may want to bring additional money so that they may participate in the wide range of activities Cape Town and surrounding areas have to offer. Do some research about suggested activities for visitors and the related costs and think about if you will need to budget additional funds.
Additional Expense Information
The Host Site Fees Includes:
Interns will be accommodated in private student-oriented housing in the Observatory neighborhood. Interns will have a fully-furnished private room, and shared common areas: living room, bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities. Houses have 24-hour security. A housekeeper comes at least 2 times a week.
Interns pay a $100 cleaning fee and a $250 refundable housing deposit, directly to the housing company. The $250 deposit will be refunded, assuming there is no damage done to the house.
House Wifi: Students pay $20.00 per month for wireless internet connection on 2 devices. Internet reliability and speed are not as good as in the U.S.
Other Costs: Other utilities costs are split amongst the housemates.
“…I feel like I have had a lot of great cross-cultural experiences since I have been here. Through my work I have been to several different townships multiple different times. Each time I learn something new or have a different experience. One that specifically stood out to me took place on Mandela Day. My department visited two of the townships where we do lots of work, to attend their Mandela Day events. One of the events we went to was a clean-up for the local town hall building, because it had been badly vandalized. The town hall hosted community programs and was the only place where people in the township could meet and youth could congregate during non-school times, so it was a very important asset. The people who did the cleaning were not the ones who destroyed the hall in the first place. This to me said a lot about the community, that they were willing to fix what others had done because they saw it would help rebuild their community. I loved seeing the community come together!...After completing my internship I still want to pursue my original goal of going to law school and becoming a lawyer. My internship further advanced this aspiration. After learning about the laws in South Africa through my internship, I realized how interesting this subject is for me. I enjoy learning about how laws influence different societies and how they are interpreted in courts…The most rewarding aspect of this internship was the friendliness and willingness of local people to engage with me and share about their culture and experiences…”
-Rose Garber, University of Oregon
“As for professional goals, I was told that my name will be on the 2015 annual report which is sent to USAID and PEPFAR, to name a few, so I am very excited about that. By the end of my internship I will have contributed to the annual report as well as the website redesign, which is great because I will have tangible products to show for my work…I have definitely became much more aware of all the professional avenues available to explore that don’t fit into the classic “career paths” of doctor, lawyer, journalist, etc. There is so much overlap between fields and it is exciting to know that I’m not limited to exploring just one path…
This trip could not have come at a more pivotal point in my life and I have grown so much over the past 2 months. I have become increasingly flexible in my plans, both short term and long term, and this increased open-mindedness is allowing me to consider career paths and travel plans I haven’t considered before. Being around so many foreign people has also made me extremely aware of my biases and differences as an American and I am constantly being humbled as I am reminded of how much I don’t know about the world. It is also very, very motivating and makes me want to travel and read so much more than I have.”
-Madison Rasmussen, University of Oregon
Interns will be living in Observatory, and will be supported by local host organization Volunteer Adventure Corps. Observatory, or “Obz” as locals call it, is one of the most exciting student neighborhoods in all of Cape Town. It features an eclectic sundry of nightspots and restaurants, and an atmosphere that is surprisingly cosmopolitan given its intimate size. Much of this unique vibe is attributed to the presence of many international visitors. It is not uncommon to overhear conversations in several different languages while walking along the street. Yet, Obz is also intrinsically South African. Living in Obz and experiencing its cultural and political vibes will help interns better understand, on a greater scale, the complexities of the “new” South Africa.
Observatory is popular among the international student/ volunteer community because it is located halfway between the city center and the False Bay coastline. Visitors have an endless selection of outdoor activities to choose from, such as hiking, surfing, scuba diving, golfing, outdoor concerts and wine tasting. Cape Town is surrounded by oceans and is home to many beautiful beaches! The city centre, known to Capetonians as the “bowl”, is the ideal place to go on cultural excursions.
Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15
- Psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, social services, business and non-profit administration, accounting, finance, education
- All interns are expected to have an open mind and willingness to work and interact with marginalized populations