Food Security and Urban Farming Internship in Cape Town

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Assist with a food garden and eco-education to support a healthier and more sustainable way of life for school children

Are you enthusiastic about gardening, fresh food, and nutrition? And keen to think of ways to share your knowledge and improve systems to optimize benefits of gardens for the community? This Food Security and Urban Farming Internship might exactly be what you are looking for.

This organization is South Africa’s oldest edible garden service that installs (and maintains) food gardens in homes, businesses, schools, and communities. By helping South Africans to grow their own food, they are supporting a healthier, happier and more sustainable way of life for everyone. This Food Security and Urban Farming Internship will challenge your coordination, social, gardening and community development skills when you work on bringing their food gardens at schools, that are used for eco-education and to provide vegetables for school meals, to the next level.

ORGANIZATION

Urban Harvest is South Africa’s oldest edible garden service that provides installation, maintenance, and support of organic food gardens in homes, businesses, schools, and communities. This organization is based in Cape Town and makes it easy for South Africans to grow their own fresh, nutrient-rich and chemical free food and have a great time doing it. By helping South Africans to grow their own food, they are supporting a healthier, happier and more sustainable way of life for everyone. In addition, using an ecological approach to food gardens supports natural systems and helps to cut down on the harmful effects of the packaging, travel miles and chemical pollution created by the mainstream, store-bought foods. Urban Harvest also offers courses and coaching sessions on natural farming.

To date, they have installed and maintained more than 300 beautiful and highly productive food gardens at homes, hotels, restaurants, schools and community projects.

TASKS & REQUIreMENTS

The food gardens at schools are used for eco-education and to provide vegetables for school meals. Urban Harvest is assisted by an intern to manage these gardens. Generally, you will spend your mornings working outside in the gardens, nursery or at the school. The afternoon, you can spend in the office doing research, preparations for workshop, project work, etc.

Responsibilities

  • Evaluate the way of working between school, kitchen, and garden and think of ways to increase school engagement by integrating the garden into the school’s education and food system.
  • Facilitate and develop eco-education workshops/classes for the school to increase the children’s (and teachers’) interest and enthusiasm about gardening, fresh food, and nutrition.
  • Develop new/improved systems and suggestions to optimize the produce and use of the school garden. For example; sales of excess vegetables to parents, teachers, and community instead of letting it go to waste, new meal suggestions with more vegetables but in line with local customs, ways to preserve vegetables and herbs for future use (instead of wasting it).
  • Research into eco-education, nutrition, local customs, etc. to contribute to the above mentioned tasks.
  • All interns will spend a few hours every day working in the garden and nursery, assist with school workshops, help take care of the chickens, and sorting & cleaning the work spaces, as well as making food products that are gifted to clients.

What will you gain from this internship?

  • Hands-on organic gardening experience in a multitude of different garden situations, mentored by our team of experienced gardeners.
  • Freedom to experiment in the office garden and nursery with interesting food plants and various propagation methods.
  • Organic produce to take home!
  • Free participation in Organic Food Growing courses.
  • Experience in working with children of differing abilities and from a range of backgrounds.

Requirements

  • Interest or background in environmental management, biology, sustainability, gardening, community and social development, nutrition, agriculture.
  • Practical experience in home vegetable gardening or have attended a course in organic gardening/permaculture is handy.
  • Interest in contributing to and developing new systems to bring these community projects to the next level.
  • Pro-active and independent worker.
  • Good social skills.
  • Love working with children and people with different backgrounds.
  • Love getting your hands dirty.
  • Nice to have: interest in social enterprise and business development.
  • Bring your own laptop.

WHERE YOU’LL STAY

You’ll be staying at The Lenox, a comfortable guesthouse in the heart of Cape Town. Built in the old Cape Dutch style, The Lenox is characterful and historic. It has multiple balconies, a large dining room, and many other communal spaces. Shared bedrooms include 2 twin beds, and there are plenty of single rooms available as well (at an extra fee). You’ll be walking distance from many shops, cafes, restaurants, and some of the touristy highlights Cape Town has to offer as well.

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

Be sure to prioritize hydration in the summer to avoid heatstroke. South Africa does have high crime rates, so it’s important to be aware and use common sense to stay safe. Some safety guidelines are to always walk in groups, take a taxi/Uber in the evenings, know safe/dangerous areas, secure your belongings, don’t walk around with large sums of cash (you can pay everything with a card), minimize wearing flashy accessories, and be cautious of overly friendly strangers.

Communication

Communication

The accommodation offers free Wi-Fi to keep family and friends up to date via WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. Cafes/restaurants also offer free Wi-Fi. You can also consider getting a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked, or setting your phone’s status to roaming, depending on your provider’s rates.

Meals

Meals

A simple breakfast, lunch and a delicious cooked dinner (vegetarian & vegan options available) from Monday to Friday are included in your fee. Indulge in local dishes, like bobotie and South African Braai! For desserts, don’t miss out on milk tarts and malva pudding. There is a diverse food scene in Cape Town, so no matter your cuisine preference or dietary restrictions you’ll have plenty of options. Let us know in advance if you have any allergies/dietary needs.

Location details

Location details

Discover Cape Town’s attractions: Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, city tours, historical sites, and the Cape Point Peninsula. There are also opportunities to surf, kayak, paraglide, cage dive with sharks, and more! Cape Town has a mediterranean climate with cool winters and hot summers so be sure to check what the temperature will be like during your stay.

DATES & RATES

Fee Breakdown

You can start your internship with this organization every week. Please keep in mind that the project is closed for a few weeks in December – January.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

8 WEEKS USD 1,817

12 WEEKS USD 2,321

Inclusions

  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
  • Accommodation in a shared room (2 pax). If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices.
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Meals from Monday to Friday
  • Wifi access
  • Housekeeping service
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • Supervision and support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots Interns

Exclusions

  • Flights to Cape Town International Airport
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Transport to the office
  • Meals during weekends
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
SCHOLARSHIP & FUNDING

FAQs

Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in South Africa.

What can I expect from a NGO internship in South Africa?

During your internship in South Africa you can expect to meet people from around the world, as well as indulging yourself into the culture of this beautiful country! If you want to know more about what to expect, make sure to check out our top 7 reasons for an internship in Cape Town.

Will I have time to explore South Africa during my internship?

Yes! We partner with various activity organizers that can offer discounts exclusive to Roots Interns, for example, a road trip through the Garden Route and bungee jumping off the world’s largest natural bungee. You may also explore the country on your own and we are happy to give recommendations.

Am I able to do an internship while on a study program in Cape Town?

Yes! You are able to do a part-time internship with certain organizations so that you can continue your studies, while also gaining valuable work experience.

Will I receive a stipend of any kind during my internship with Roots?

Unfortunately, no. When working with a nonprofit organization, your internship will be unpaid, but there are many ways to fund your internship. Your experience will bring a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for both professional and personal growth that are invaluable!

QUICK FACTS

LOCATION: Cape Town, South Africa
PROGRAM FOCUS: For profit garden service with CSI projects
TASK FOCUS: Food security, urban farming, education
LENGTH: 8-12 Weeks
COST: From USD 1,814

REVIEWS

“This internship is genuinely so much fun. The gardens are amazing, the kids are curious to learn, and I gain more knowledge about produce and organic farming every day. On a personal note, I love seeing the direct impact that I have in my role because the company is small. They say it only takes one seed to make a difference, and it brings me so much joy to feel like I get to be a seed here!”

Vera, United StatesFood Security and Urban Farming Internship, Cape Town
READ MORE REVIEWS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hands-on organic gardening experience mentored by a team of experienced gardeners
  • Freedom to experiment in the office garden and nursery with interesting food plants and various propagation methods
  • Work with children of differing abilities and from a range of backgrounds
  • Organic produce to take home
  • Live and work in Cape Town, arguably one of the most stunning cities in the world.
  • Enjoy exploring South Africa’s many highlights during your time off
ENQUIREAPPLY NOW

HOW TO APPLY

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

APPLY

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

GET STARTED

SPEAK WITH AN ADVISOR

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

INTERNSHIP MATCHING

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

PAYMENT

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.

CONFIRMATION

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

NEED TO MAKE AN ENQUIRY FIRST?

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!

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