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How our internships are impacting this grassroots project

What we love about providing internships with nonprofit organisations is that the results are twofold; our interns have a unique and rewarding work experience, and our partner organisations get the support they so often need. One of these organisations is Projekt Ubuntu, a grassroots charity based in a township in Cape Town, Masiphumelele. Projekt Ubuntu hosts media and communications interns, social work interns at their community centre and various social impact environmental programs. We recently checked in with Candi Ryan, Projekt Ubuntu’s founder and manager, to find out how our interns are impacting their programs. 

In what ways do your interns assist your projects?  

Candi: “Interns assist the projects by acting as extended staff members; they provide the much needed continuity and capacity that would otherwise make it difficult for us to sustain otherwise. During 2019, our first year of hosting interns, they assisted in managing and co-ordinating our short term international volunteer program and our community program – the Ubuntu centre. Our interns they get a broad range of practical experience. Hosting interns has really contributed to us being able to continue our work in sustainable way and most importantly, it’s given us the energy and support that we need to continue with our vision.”

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Can you give an example / a few examples of work done by interns that has really made an impact? 

Candi: “Our communications interns have assisted greatly with establishing communications channels for our programs. They have also helped us develop a positive, caring environment for young volunteers to step into. This has included identifying skills needed at project level and hosting of weekly project meetings and feedback sessions. This has all greatly enhanced the volunteer productivity, and therefore the impact on the ground.

Our Psychology and Social Work interns have further empowered the women at our projects by providing much needed emotional and practical support. They also assist us in providing support to other social impact programs and really enhanced our capacity and outreach in the community. Our interns have also greatly assisted to keep the balance in the volunteer house; dealing with volunteers who may struggle with home sickness; culture shock or personal issues.”

Learn more about our Marketing and Communications Internship, Social Work Internship, and Psychology Internship in Cape Town

What are your goals for 2020 with Ubuntu? (And how do interns fit into this?)

Candi: “Our goals for 2020 are as follows;

  • We will focus on long term sustainability and self reliance at all projects.
  • We will continue our tree planting and organic gardening program at Yoga shala and Ubuntu c=Centre. We will also be planting Spekboom, an indigenous water-wise plant, to combat climate change.
  • We’ll continue to offer a coherent and structured space for the 91 children from Ubuntu centre, and direct volunteer energy in a sustainable and beneficial way for the community.
  • We aim to provide a daily healthy meal a day for each 91 children, and to extend our outreach to Ocean View, a community plagued by gangsterism.
  • We will continue to offer workshops in the Masiphumelele community around gender based violence, in an effort to promote a message of non violence.
  • We aim to incorporate yoga and meditation into the children’s daily routine and to focus on workshops around nutrition, health, and hygiene.
  • We wish to fundraise for the implementation of solar energy at Yoga Shala and Ubuntu Centre, motivated by power shortages and the monthly cost of energy. We would also like to implement solar energy at a community level.
  • We’ll continue to develop our vegetable gardens, which allows us to feed the volunteer house and projects.”


Who do you think your internships are most suitable for? 

Candi: “Students who want a practical hands on experience, and who want to make a difference and valuable contribution in the world. Those looking to get experience working in a multi cultural, diverse and ever-changing environment. The experience is focused on nation building and service, and on being the change you wish to see. We welcome interns who are willing to take responsibility, who have solution-driven thinking and positive energy, and who will find it is a wonderful opportunity to grow and develop oneself as an individual. It’s a hugely a strengthening experience to prepare oneself for the road ahead, whilst doing something valuable and meaningful.”

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Follow Projekt Ubuntu on their Facebook page