a Cape Town Human Rights | IE3 Global
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Cape Town Human Rights | Cape Town, South Africa

More photos from this internship can be found here.

More photos from this internship can be found here.

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.

Duration of Internship:

  • 10 – 12 weeks

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.

Kheth'Impilo: http://www.khethimpilo.org/

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: http://mosaic.org.za/main/

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.


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.

Academic Background

  • 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.

Other Requirements

  • English. Interns with French, Arabic and Swahili will greatly improve communication in placements working with refugee populations.
  • Additional qualifications vary by organization and may include writing and research, client service, public speaking, etc.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Program Fee: $3,450
  • Host Site Fees:  $2,475
  • Housing: $21/day plus one-time fees (ex. $1,970 for 10 weeks).
  • International Travel: $2,000
  • Recommended Immunizations: $400 (dependent on immunization history)

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Food: $520
  • Local Transportation: $315
  • Utilities, Phone, Internet: $75

The Host Site Fee Includes:

  • Personalized placement
  • Airport pick-up/drop off
  • In-country orientation and tour of Cape Town
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Weekly organized social and cultural activities

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.

Blog Posts:


“…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

Field Notes Postings:

  • My Hope in Cape Town, South Africa by Kelly Smith: University of Montana student (April 3, 2012).
  • Ndiwelimilambo Enamagama by Kelly Smith: University of Montana student and IE3 Scholarship recipient interning with Individualized Internships in Cape Town, South Africa (December 29, 2011).
  • A Mzungu in Kriminini, Kenya by Megan Meyer: University of Oregon student and IE3 Scholarship recipient interning with individualized internships in Kenya (November 17, 2011).
  • It's the little differences... by Aaron Beerman: IE3 Scholarship Recipient and University of Oregon student interning with Cape Town Refugee Center in South Africa (November 10, 2011).
  • Cape Town’s Robben Island: An Emblem of Change? by Aaron Beerman: IE3 Scholarship Recipient and University of Oregon student.


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.


Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer

Application Deadline

Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15

Basic Requirements

- 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