Project Description

Refugee Internships in South Africa

Refugee Internships in South Africa

The VACorps internship program has a history of placing passionate individuals in the refugee services field in Cape Town. You will intern at a professional organization that is committed to improving the lives of refugees in South Africa. Prospective candidates for our refugee internships in South Africa should have a strong interest in social services, an understanding of the challenges that refugee and asylum-seekers face, and/or a background in human rights, development studies, international relations, or a related field.

Refugees in South Africa

Although South Africa did not start recognizing refugees until 1993, it is now home to one of the highest populations of refugee and asylum seekers in the world. While many refugees travel to South Africa with the intention of drastically improving their lives, most find it difficult to find jobs, earn a sustainable living, and gain access to social services. Unlike many other African countries, South Africa does not have refugee camps. Refugees and asylum seekers live in urban areas and survive largely on their own. If they do need assistance, they are instructed to approach the local government structures. For this reason, a focus has been placed on professional social services to support this vulnerable population.

Benefits of VACorps refugee internships in South Africa

  • Create an impact- While participating in a refugee internship in South Africa, you will participate in the process of welcoming, integrating, and supporting refugees who seek asylum in South Africa.
  • Leave the classroom behind– During your internship, you will leave the classroom and directly interact with individuals who have been forced to seek asylum as a result of geopolitical events.
  • Live in the incredible city of Cape Town- An internship in Cape Town will provide you with the unique opportunity to live and travel in one of the most beautiful cities in the world! From exploring Table Mountain to witnessing the incredible marine life of the Cape, your time in Cape Town will be an exciting one. Our weekly program activities will ensure that you make the most of your stay in our special city.
  • Gain valuable professional experience- After completing an internship in the refugee field in South Africa, you will gain invaluable international work experience in a demanding professional social service setting. It will also give you the chance to build your professional resume/CV.
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Meet past participants:

  • Refugee Internships Cape Town

Peyton McGovern – Oregon, USA (2019)

Peyton is an aspiring Human Rights Lawyer, currently studying English and Non-Profit Management at Southern Oregon University. She joined the VACorps program in September 2019 and participated in a Refugee and Human Rights Internship [...]

  • Refugee Internships in South Africa

Jeremy Ode – Paris, France (2019)

Jeremy is studying postgraduate law, sociology, and economics at Sciences Po Paris. He joined the VACorps program in January 2019 and participated in a refugee internship at an NGO that provides support, education, and [...]

  • Law Internships in South Africa

Tessa Bradley – Florida, USA (2019)

Tessa (pictured centre left) is studying pre-law at the University of Michigan. She joined the VACorps Program in May 2019 and participated in a Human Rights Law Internship at a refugee legal advocacy center.  [...]

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