Each summer Mercer students have the opportunity intern with a variety of non-profit organizations located in Cape Town, South Africa. Mercer's South Africa Internship Program covers a wide range of interests such as HIV/AIDS education, clinics, schools, human rights organizations, children’s rights organizations, environmental organizations and also small business support organizations.
South Africa Internship Program
The following is a list of current opportunities. Opportunities for semester internships are also available. Please note, however, that these are subject to availability and may change each year. For more information on a program or specific opportunities please contact the direct of the program Dr. Eimad Houry.
Click here to apply!
Internships with South African Organizations operating in the Cape Town area:
Black Sash is a 59 year old organization that works to advance equality, social justice and human rights in South Africa. The organization works in three areas in the social protection arena, with an emphasis on women and children:
- Rights-based information, education and training
- Community monitoring
- Advocacy in partnership
Molo Songololo’s programs aim to advance the rights and protection of children. The organization provides direct support to children in need of care and protection. The organization empowers children with skills that builds their human dignity, self-esteem, social confidence, and increase their future prospects. Songololo also educates and trains those who work with children and raise awareness and advocate about children in difficult circumstances.
This organization prefers to only have 2 or 3 interns at any given time. Interns are utilized throughout the year. A 3 – 6 month commitment is preferred.
This organization recruits, trains and supports literate adult volunteers from local communities to help disadvantaged primary school children who struggle to read. Help2Read works in public primary schools with learners in grades 2-4 who are struggling with literacy. They pair each learner with a trained volunteer from the community who provides twice weekly one-on-one tutoring.
As many as 4 interns can be utilized at any given time. The program runs throughout the year. A minimum of 3 month commitment is required.
Dockda is an NGO working in partnership with home based care organizations in the rural areas of South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. These partnerships serve as a vehicle for building trust, sharing knowledge and information, and exchanging learning between community organizations, particularly those that are under-serviced by the government. Dockda also provides leadership training for women.
Their head office is based in Cape Town although their projects are in the Northern Cape Province. There will be opportunities to travel to the Northern Cape for onsite work. The organization has place for one intern at a time, and can utilize interns throughout the year. They are flexible regards the time commitment but would prefer a commitment of 2 months or longer.
Ikamva Labantu, "The Fate of Our Nation," is an NGO that delivers many social support services to underdeveloped communities in Cape Town. These services include learning and development and primary healthcare programs, as well as provision of resources and hands-on support required to meet the needs of communities. Ikamva Labantu’s grassroots work focuses on the most critical issues in communities, namely the lack of quality early childhood development programs, the growing number of orphans, abused and neglected children, and the large number of unsupported and isolated elderly who financially support their families.
The organization has space for a maximum of 2/3 interns in each of its programs (ie OVC, ECD and health). There is no preferred time, but interns are required to commit to a minimum of 2 months.
This is a community newspaper operating in Mitchells Plain and the Cape Flats that reports on news, concerns and topical issues in the community. Peoples Post is keen to take on journalism and marketing students as interns.
Peoples Post can take on one intern at any given time. There is no preferred time. Internship lasting longer than 2 months is preferred.
Although Yabonga is an established HIV/AIDS NGO, it uses student interns mainly in their aftercare projects and with high school education support. Interns are sometimes also included in their HIV Education and Awareness Campaigns and as general support to their Nutrition Program.
There is only one internship position available at Yabonga. A minimum of 3 months commitment is preferred. Also it is preferred that interns start in mid January or mid July.
Cape Town Child Welfare
Cape Town Child Welfare is South Africa's oldest child welfare organization. They assist children to emerge from crisis situations ranging from drug & alcohol abuse, poverty, homelessness & crime, to severe neglect, physical & sexual abuse. Their overriding goal is to ensure the survival & protection of children at risk - to help them break the cycle of despair in their lives, so that, ultimately, they are free to live fruitful, productive lives as flourishing members of society.
The organization prefers a 6 month commitment, starting in January or July. Two positions are available.
Saartjie Baartman Centre
The Saartjie Baartman Centre is a centre for women and children who are survivors of abuse. Their vision is the creation of a safe and secure society and a human rights culture where women and children are empowered to exercise their full rights. The centre provides a variety of services including:
- A 24 hour emergency shelter
- Residential care
- Childcare services
- Legal and economic empowerment services
- Research in gender-based violence
- Job Skills training
There are many schools situated throughout the black and colored townships in Cape Town that are very eager to accept interns at their schools for a variety of posts. These include:
- Teacher assistants in class
- Literacy and numeracy support
- Extra-mural programming and support
- Marketing and research
- Support in the school library including reading clubs
Tembeka is a social finance company which addresses socio-economic problems in a relevant, efficient and sustainable manner by investing in innovative community serving /driven social enterprises. Their mission is to create jobs & eradicate poverty by initiating and nurturing a sustainable chain of financial solidarity. Tembeka brings relevant and affordable finance to social enterprises that address key problems identified in disadvantaged communities, most notably job creation. Over the past 10 years Tembeka has successfully channeled funds into disadvantaged communities throughout South Africa. About 80% of funds are used to support rural women owned micro enterprises. Tembeka's Business Development Trust provides technical support to its clients.
This internship opportunity is ideal for a finance student interested in micro financing, entrepreneurship, fundraising and financial inclusion. They have place for one intern at a time who they can accept at any time of the year. They are flexible regarding the length of the placement.
Cape Community Newspapers
Cape Community Newspapers is part of Independent Newspapers, South Africa’s leading newspaper group. Cape Community Newspapers has a distribution of approximately 646 000, and has 14 different newspapers serving 14 different areas. The newspapers operating in many Communities in Cape Town and surrounds and reports on news, concerns and topical issues in the community.
Cape Community Newspapers is keen to take on journalism students as interns. The intern should have an adventurous spirit and will sometimes be expected to work fairly independently on stories in the communities.
Cape Community Newspapers can take on two interns at any given time. There is no preferred time of year. Internship lasting 2 months or longer is preferred.
The Scalabrini Centre offers development and welfare programs to migrant and local communities in Cape Town.
Five intern positions are available, one in each of the following programs
- Advocacy Program (Conduct research and assist clients with issues such as documentation, family joining, bank account opening, and xenophobic issues). 4 to 6 month commitment required.
- Employment Access (assist the Employment Help Desk team and assist clients to develop CVs and cover letters, and apply for work. In the afternoons facilitate digital literacy workshops and assist in exploring the more specific problems and needs of the client base). 3 month minimum commitment required.
- All-Rounder (diverse tasks such as teaching English, covering reception, developing materials, and helping to coordinate and facilitate events and workshops). 3 month minimum commitment required.
- English School (Assist the English School Manager with registration, testing, graduation and day to day administration of the school, as well as teaching an English class). 4 month commitment required.
- Women’s Platform (Assist the Women’s Platform Manager with a variety of tasks such as membership management, communications, and small business development). 3 month minimum requirement.
Hope Cape Town
HOPE Cape Town is a nongovernmental organization providing outreach, education and counseling at community level, focusing on HIV/AIDS and TB in the Western Cape. The team consists of medical doctors, nurses, community workers and administrative staff in gaining experience in the field of HIV/AIDS and NPO administration. HOPE Cape Town has offices at the Medical School of the University of Stellenbosch - Tygerberg Campus and at the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital. These facilities are located on the same grounds. The volunteer should be flexible and will have a variety of responsibilities. The duties of the volunteer include administration, marketing and community service at Hope Cape Town’s projects in townships.
Internship placements are quite competitive and only one or two spaces are available at any given time. Preferred times are September, January and April. A minimum of 3 months commitment is required.
False Bay Ecology Park
False Bay Ecology Park is a nature conservation and biodiversity management project run by the City of Cape Town. It leads conservation, environmental education and ecotourism initiatives in the False Bay region.
Interns are used for a variety of projects which include heritage resource management, nature conservation, energy management, urban planning, and environmental awareness campaigns. Interns may be accepted throughout the year, but a minimum of 3 months commitment is preferred.
SOS Children’s Village
SOS Children’s Village is a child and youth care facility that provides services for vulnerable children. It runs a children’s home consisting of 12 “family” houses, a family strengthening program, and a non residential program.
Services are provided by a team of childcare workers and social workers that aim to provide a caring and supportive environment to the children. Interns would particularly be useful to assist with the aftercare programs, homework support and general childcare support.
There is space for two interns at any time of the year. A minimum of two or three month commitment is preferred.
Iziko Museums is an amalgamation of 12 national museums in Cape Town. An internship opportunity exists for in the Education and Public Programs Department which aims to make Iziko services accessible to the public. Projects include school programs, public programs, commemorative projects, and a mobile museum.
There is space for one intern at any time of the year. A minimum of three months commitment is preferred.
Click here to apply!