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If you are interested in protecting and promoting human rights, this life-changing Internship will give you the opportunity to become personally involved in helping to generate social change.
Having an international human rights internship is a unique opportunity to learn about other peoples, cultures and current human rights issues while being engaged in the process of social transformation. An internship in Cape Town, South Africa is the perfect opportunity for you to expand your cultural and professional horizons!
Cape Town Human Rights Internship Projects
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 hard to eliminate prejudice, xenophobia, gender inequality, poverty and racism in communities.
Cape Town is home to the South African Parliament and as a result, there are many fantastic 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.
Below is a list of possible placement sites, please note however that each internship is individually tailored, based on your internship questionnaire, your background and experience, and what you are looking to gain from the placement. The below is merely an example of possible placement sites, and there is no guarantee this is where you will be placed.
Placement Spotlight—Cape Town Refugee Centre
The Cape Town Refugee Centre is an NGO that strives to improve the quality of life of refugees by meeting their basic needs on a short-term basis and enabling them to become self-reliant and self sufficient through programs in education, counseling and therapy, entrepreneurship and job creation. The centre is not a refugee camp and does not operate one. In South Africa, refugees are given the support needed to operate within South African society.
Interns at the Refugee Centre work in a combination of three areas.
1) Psycho-Social Intervention: Interns are involved in screening refugees to determine whether they have legitimate needs and to direct them for further support. Interns may also assist support groups and counseling sessions, and administer food vouchers.
2) Educational Services: Tasks and responsibilities may include enrolling refugee children in local schools and arranging after-school activities, enrolling students in English courses and ensuring school fees have been paid.
3) Business Administration: Assisting with daily administrative tasks and budgeting. Interns in this position will also be involved in preparing and submitting grant applications and other appeals for funding.
Placement Spotlight – Ikamva Labantu
Ikamva Labantu is a non-profit organization based in Cape Town that focuses on providing the health interventions, education & skills development, food security, enterprise development and community infrastructure within South Africa’s most disadvantaged communities.
Ikamva is an umbrella organization with a network of over 1,000 projects working with and assisting various sectors of the population in South Africa — including children, youth, families, mothers, seniors, and those physically challenged.
Ikamva employs social workers, child psychologists and counselors, occupational therapists, nurses, and more.
Interns are involved in a range of office and field-based projects including research and advocacy; development of multi-purpose relief centers in disadvantaged communities; assisting with the provision of social services including primary health care, psycho-social support, access and improvement to land and buildings, food security, early childhood development training, counseling and career guidance , and more.
Placement Spotlight – The South African Media and Gender Institute:
The South African Media and Gender Institute (SAMGI) is an NGO dedicated to promoting grassroots activism through gender advocacy, media production and advocacy. SAMGI promotes human rights by increasing the range of voices heard in Southern Africa through participatory education, advocacy, lobbying and media production to improve the status of women.
Interns at SAMGI work within the Women’s Media Watch department working alongside a team of passionate South Africans who are devoted to advancing women’s causes through the media. Women's Media Watch focuses on using the media to deepen democracy and entrench gender equity, to produce and distribute media that acts as a forum for South African citizens and portrays positive images of women and men.
The program also monitors and researches the media to provide empirical data on gender in the media. This is a research-intensive internship that also engages interns in the daily political/gender discourse taking place within South African society. Overall, candidates for this position are expected to have strong writing and research skills.
Placement Spotlight – Treatment Action Campaign:
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is an internationally acclaimed HIV/AIDS advocacy organization that was named by The New York Times in 2006 as “the world’s most effective AIDS group.” TAC advocates for increased access to treatment, care and support services for people living with HIV. In addition, TAC campaigns to reduce new HIV infections, and advocates for a better and more equitable public health system in South Africa.
With more than 16,000 members and 267 branches, TAC has become the leading civil society force behind comprehensive health care services for those living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. It is probably the most prominent and high-profile civil organization in all of South Africa, and has served as the inspiration for the development of like-minded organizations across the world.
Interns work with the dedicated and energetic staff at TAC’s National Office in Cape Town. They have a wide range of responsibilities including research; writing articles, policy papers, and submissions; fundraising; assisting with legal-related work, such as affidavits; logistical planning, including the facilitation of meetings and teleconferences; administrative work; and more. Candidates for this Internship are expected to have relevant coursework and excellent researching and writing skills.
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