Humanitarian Photography Project, Cape Town

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 charities of your choice; we want to make sure you’re documenting projects you feel particularly passionate about. This could, for instance, be 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 12 weeks, and there are start dates every couple of months.

You might also be interested in our Nonprofit Photography Internship in Cape Town.

Quick Facts

  • Destination Cape Town, South Africa
  • Organisation Penda Trust
  • Focus Humanitarian photography
  • Accommodation Shared house, dorm room (upgrades available)
  • Dates Regular start dates
  • Fee From $1850

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.

nonprofit photography project photography volunteer project

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 practise. 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 organisation that’s doing important work, and that could benefit from having some quality photography. You’ll have time to learn about the organisation’s mission, get a good feel for its projects, and document it as you go along.

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

photography volunteer South Africa

Where You’ll Stay

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.

yoga shala  yoga shala  yoga shala

yoga shala  yoga shala


  • 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).

How to apply

If you’re keen to apply for this photography volunteer project, here’s what to do:

  1. Fill in the (it will show in a separate tab) and send us your CV and a portfolio of images.
  2. If we might have a placement available for you, we’ll chat to you on the phone or Skype to go through your application and make sure it’s a good match.
  3. We’ll set up a call between you and the person who would be your supervisor during the work placement.
  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 shoot us an email, or fill in the enquiry form. We’ll be happy to assist!


You’ll arrive on a Sunday, to start your workshop on the Monday. You can join us for 2 to 12 weeks.

Start dates 2020
2 November

Start dates 2021
8 February
10 May
19 July
16 August
8 November

Program fees: 

2 weeks: USD 1,850
3 weeks: USD 2,350
4 weeks: USD 2,850
5 weeks: USD 3,350
6 weeks: USD 3,850
7 weeks: USD 4,350
8 weeks: USD 4,850

This includes;

  • Accommodation in a shared house on the Southern Peninsula, surrounded by beaches and mountains
  • 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

(The fees are based on shared rooms. Single supplements are available at $80 per week. Please enquire about availability if you’re keen on a single room.)

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a message, and we'll get back to you shortly to help find you a valuable work placement where you can make an impact.

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