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Explore our Community Development Internships

If you’re passionate about tackling issues affecting groups of people through collective action, community development internships are perfect for you. As an intern, you’ll join nonprofit organizations that promote sustainable social development. With community development coming in different shapes and sizes, these social development internships cater especially to those with many academic interests. These opportunities are invaluable to anyone striving to foster change at a grassroots level. By applying your knowledge with these organizations, you can be part of substantial social change in communities.

Read more about our community development internships options

Why choose Roots Interns for Community Development Internships?

Grassroots  work

You’ll join an organization that works directly with their community to solve problems on the ground and make a real impact.


We’ll help you find and prepare for an internship with the organization that’s right for you and your skills, background, and passions.

Academic placements

Working abroad is an experience like no other and your internship will be tailored to your studies and interests.

Browse All Community Development Internship Projects

A woman smiles while holding a young girl in Ecuador

Open for applications

Galapagos Development Internship

  • Min. 8 weeks
  • Galapagos, Ecuador
Dive into a transformative journey at the heart of Isabela Island, actively contributing to making a meaningful impact on the local community.
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Community Development Internship

Open for applications

Community Development Internship

  • Min. 8 weeks
  • Nkhata Bay, Malawi OR Remote
Engage in community development initiatives, fostering positive change and empowerment within a rural community through sustainable projects.
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Events Internship

Open for applications

NGO Event Management Internship

  • Min. 8 weeks
  • Cape Town, South Africa
Gain practical event management for community development projects by coordinating logistics and fostering connections within the community.
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Youth social Work Internship

Open for applications

Youth Social Work Internship

  • Min. 4 weeks
  • Cape Town, South Africa
Make a positive impact on young lives through meaningful activities, support programs, and community engagment initiatives in Cape Town.
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Migrants and refugee charity internship

Open for applications

Migrants & Refugee Charity Internship

  • Min. 12 weeks
  • Cape Town, South Africa
Promote the welfare of migrants and refugees, fostering inclusivity in diverse communities and participating in the daily operations of programs.
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Empowerment of Refugees Internship

Open for applications

Empowerment of Refugees Internship

  • Min. 5 months
  • Cape Town, South Africa
Empower migrants and refugees in South Africa to rebuild their lives and contribute to their new community through social and economic support.
Find out more

Other Academic Focus Areas

Benefits of Community Development Internships

Community Connections

Live, work, and be inspired by people from a different culture that will welcome you with open arms.

Make an impact

Community development internships are designed to make a tangible impact while being a valuable working experience.

Practical Experience

Apply your studies and skills in a real-world setting to see how you can make a true difference in a community.

Personal Network

Community development internships allow you to meet people from a variety of backgrounds and bridge cultures.

Well-rounded tasks

You’ll be a large part of a small team, so you’ll get to be involved in multiple roles and work on a variety of tasks.


During a sustainable development internship, you’ll have opportunities to take charge on your own project.

Best Places for Community Development Internships

Community Development Internship Reviews

Find out from our previous interns how internship positions in Community Development can boost your professional career and grow your interpersonal skills.

Living on the eco-lodge and being directly involved with community development projects further inspired my passion for sustainable tourism, and my goals of pursuing a career that values the circular economy. By being exposed to new business models I expanded my knowledge to apply what I’ve learned in different settings and industries around the world. The people at the lodge and in the community were so welcoming that I grew to feel fully part of life in Malawi. I got the chance to explore around the country while being immersed in the culture and making incredible new friends. Each day brought something new and my internship abroad has truly shaped my future.

Amanda, Indiana University, USA – Community Development Internship, Malawi

Going into this internship I had no idea what to expect and what the outcome might be. I hoped it would help me find and solidify what I want to do as a career but also expose me to many different opportunities and open new doors for places to explore around the world. Interning at Baobuyu did it all and more! I was able to work in collaboration with other interns and our supervisor on daily tasks and activities with our community programs but I was also given tremendous support to start my own initiatives and projects. While I was there I started my own club and facilitated a fundraising campaign all on my own. Now that I am reflecting on my time with Baobuyu I am cherishing everything we were able to accomplish, create, learn, and grow together during this time. I know I will take everything I have learned into the future with me as I move forward and will always remember how I was able to find my passion and a new home across the world. I am forever grateful.

Katie, Northeastern University, USA – Sustainable Development Internship, Zambia

Interning at Butterfly Space allowed me to not only work on their current projects, but also venture off on my own to make new connections within the community. I was able to meet so many different community leaders, teachers, mentors, and coaches within Nkhata Bay, and surrounding villages. I feel like I was able to not only bring new knowledge and ideas to the people of Nkhata Bay, but also learn so much from them and develop in my own way. It was truly a beautiful experience that I will always be grateful for, and has encouraged a future of volunteering and traveling.

Kya, Harris-Stowe State University, USA – Community Development Internship, Malawi

Blogs about Community Development

social impact internship ZambiaCommunity DevelopmentNonprofit InternshipsA day in the lifeIntern experiencesNGO ManagementZambiaWomen's Empowerment
February 25, 2022

Review of a Social Impact Internship in Zambia

Find out what to expect from a social impact internship in Zambia - the highlights, the challenges, and the learning outcomes!
community development internships in AfricaCommunity DevelopmentNonprofit InternshipsMalawiA day in the lifeIntern experiences
January 12, 2022

What to expect from a community development internship in Africa

Interested in doing a community development internship in Africa? Here are some useful insights from an intern in Malawi.
Community DevelopmentNonprofit InternshipsIntern experiencesSouth AfricaPublic Health
February 10, 2021

Announcing Meaningful Yoga Internship in South Africa

Announcing new yoga internship in South Africa: commit to doing meaningful work with our partner, Project Ubuntu, located in Masiphumelele.

Community Development FAQs


An NGO works to embody the values of sustainable development: humanitarianism, duty, and improvement. You’ll find your tasks aligned with your work environment, prompting an electrifying internship. This opportunity will not only be relevant to your studies and career, but also complement your interests and passions.

Joining an NGO means joining a team. Though it may be small, your contribution will be immense. You will directly help nonprofit organizations expand their scope, gaining invaluable skills along the way. Above all, there is a chance for fulfillment that not all internships grant. Nonprofit work is dedicated to its focus area, rather than profit, which means you’ll be leaving behind a footprint that you can be proud of.


Cherish the magic of collective action? A community development internship is a match for you. Whether you’re a student majoring in a related discipline like business, anthropology, or, social/sustainable development, or a recent graduate seeking work experience – look no further for a meaningful internship. These opportunities are fit for those curious about social change and ready to act upon this concern. You’ll soak up practical adventures that nod to the core of community development: practical involvement.

Interns should appreciate the mission of grassroot initiatives and enjoy making valuable connections with various members of society, such as children and refugees. Anyone excited by the thought of lending a helping hand to others on a strategic level, join us!


If you’re ready to apply for a nonprofit community development internship, here’s what to do;

If you know which internship you’d like to apply for, fill out the application form online. If you’re interested in various internships, or you’re not sure which one would suit you best, just send us an email to internship[at] and we’ll help you figure it out.We’ll set up a short call to discuss your application, find

out more about you and what you’re hoping to get out of the experience, and allow you to answer any questions you might have.

We’ll then pass your application on to the grassroots organization on the ground. If their intern supervisor thinks it might be a good match, there will be an interview scheduled to learn more about the role and how you fit into the organization.


The list is endless! A few include communication skills, strategy planning, and event management. On a more personal level, you’ll learn the values necessary in a flourishing society, like empathy and acceptance. Regardless of your specific focus, community development internships provide first-hand experience that offers knowledge unattainable from a guidebook; it’s only acquired when experienced. Not to mention, you’ll discover how an NGO collaborates with its community and other stakeholders. These small but dedicated organizations will show you how to appreciate the step-by-step journey required to reach bigger goals.

So, dive in! We guarantee there’ll be unexpected lessons learned along the way. Who knows? Be it a story from a coworker or the new perspective of a local, you’ll learn what development is all about from multiple viewpoints.


If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us.



We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!