Humanitarian Photography Project, Cape Town

learn new photography skills while documenting the work of grassroots charities

Use your photography skills for a good cause during this humanitarian photography project in Cape Town! It’s an exciting opportunity to learn new skills, document the work of grassroots charities, and enjoy spending time in this stunning place.

You’ll start your program with a one-week workshop by humanitarian photographer Anna Lusty. This workshop will teach you all you need to know about nonprofit photography in a South African context. From the second week, you’ll take on one-week photography assignments at nonprofit organizations, and document their work. The projects you’re photographing could, for instance, be focused on education, early childhood development, female empowerment, sports education, food security, or animal welfare. After each week, you’ll have the opportunity to review your project with Anna, and to prepare for the next. Weekends are time off, and a chance to explore Cape Town and its stunning natural surroundings. You can join this photography volunteer program for 2 to 4 weeks, and there are regular start dates.

Cape Town, South Africa
Photography Nonprofit
Humanitarian photography
2-4 Weeks
From $1995

As a photographer on this program, you’ll be part of Penda Trust, a nonprofit organisation that uses photography as a tool to drive positive change. Based in Cape Town, Penda Trust offers free photography to grassroots nonprofits, so that they have the right visual tools for their communication and fundraising programs. These images are donated to the nonprofits, and they are regularly used for exhibitions or online campaigns to help raise awareness for their causes. The nonprofits Penda Trust supports have a wide range of focus areas; from environmental and animal welfare, to social development and female empowerment.

What you’ll do

This photography program in Cape Town will kick off with a one-week workshop by humanitarian photographer Anna Lusty. She’ll teach you all about nonprofit photography; how to approach it in the most effective way, how to document the essence of a cause, and how to be culturally sensitive in a South African context. The workshop will be partly theoretical, and partly practical; Anna will take you to a number of nearby charities so that you can start photographing and put any new skills into practice. It will also give you a good sense of cultural nuances, and an understanding of the issues that the communities are facing.

You’ll have the weekend to relax or explore Cape Town, and from week two, you’ll embark on individual photography assignments. Each week, we’ll pair you with a nonprofit organization that’s doing important work, and that could benefit from having some quality photography. You’ll have time to learn about the organization’s mission, get a good feel for its projects, and document it as you go along. You’ll be working in a small group of 2 or 3 photographers, and you’ll spend about half of your time photographing, and the other half on editing your work.

After each week, Anna will sit down with you to assess your project, review your work, and prepare you for the next assignment.

  • You need to have basic photography skills to join this program. (You don’t have to be a seasoned pro, but you do need to have a good camera, decent technical skills, and some experience.) We will adapt your projects to your photography level.
  • An ability to work fairly independently.
  • A passion for using photography as a tool for positive change.
  • Bring your own DSLR or mirror-less camera. Nice to have: range of lenses (but not a must).

You’ll be staying at a volunteer house called Yoga Shala, a house in Capri, on Cape Town’s Southern Peninsula, where people from around the world stay while volunteering in the surrounding communities. Everyone at the house plays a role and assists in the general day to day operation of yoga shala, from the kitchen to gardening and cleaning, creating a great community in the house. There is free WiFi and the nearest shopping center is a 5-minute drive away.


You’ll arrive on a Sunday, to start your workshop on the Monday. You can join us for 2 to 4 weeks.

Start dates
19 July – 16 August – 8 November
2022: 30 January – 24 July – 16 October 

2021 Rates

2 weeks: $1995
3 weeks: $2575
4 weeks: $3155

  • Accommodation in a shared house on the Southern Peninsula, surrounded by beaches and mountains. The fees are based on shared rooms. Single supplements are available at USD 80 per week. Please enquire about availability if you’re keen on a single room.
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Airport transfers
  • Orientation program
  • Workshops and mentorship by Anna Lusty
  • Guidance by the Penda Trust team
  • Logistical support on the ground by Roots Interns
  • Flights to Cape Town
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing).
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities

Optional extra:

Personal Development Sessions
To help you optimise your personal and professional development during your internship, we offer individual monthly sessions with a professional consultant. These 1,5-hour sessions offer opportunities to set goals, reflect on your experience, and ensure your internship will benefit your career as much as possible.
Monthly fee: USD 65
Workshop: Exploring the Nonprofit Landscape
To give you a full understanding of the nonprofit sector in Africa, we offer one-off individual online workshops by a South African digital marketing and fundraising specialist. You’ll learn about the needs of the nonprofit sector, best practices in nonprofit management, and sustainability of fundraising initiatives. You’ll also be given a large amount of useful resources.
Workshop fee: USD 65
Cape Town, South Africa
Photography Nonprofit
Humanitarian photography
2-4 Weeks
From USD 1,995

Penda inspired me, because of the great mission of this organization. Development can be promoted in many different ways. But, storytelling – especially photography – touches upon humans at a different and deeper level. Visual literacy is much more common than alphabetic literacy. For anybody lucky enough to see, there is the chance to talk, inspire and tell stories by capturing a moment.

Gaia, ItalyMarketing and Fundraising Internship, Cape Town
  • Learn how to approach nonprofit photography, and about the role visual media can play in the nonprofit sector
  • Document the work of nonprofit organisations that are working in Masiphumelele or surrounding communities
  • Build a unique and extensive portfolio of images
  • Make an impact by donating a selection of your images to each organisation, so that they can use them to raise awareness (and funds) for their cause
  • Live in Cape Town, arguably one of the most stunning cities in the world
  • Enjoy exploring South Africa’s many highlights during your time off
2 weeks: USD 1,995
3 weeks: USD 2,575
4 week: USD 3,155

See Detailed Rates

Other opportunities with this organization
How to apply?

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

  1. Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) and send your CV and a portfolio of your images to
  2. We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.
  3. If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.
  4. If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, get started with a detailed booking form, and we’ll give you all the information you need to prepare for your upcoming adventure.
  5. 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 on the right. We’ll be happy to assist!


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