Migrants and Refugee Charity Internship in Cape Town

Are looking for an opportunity to gain working experience in a nonprofit organization? Do you like meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures and have an interest in refugee and migration issues? During this Migrants and Refugee Charity Internship in Cape Town you will work as an allrounder to assist this nonprofit with their daily operations. Migration is perceived as an opportunity by this organization, so they are on a mission to alleviate poverty and promoting development in the Western Cape while fostering cultural, social and economic integration between migrants, refugees, and South Africans. One day you might find yourself teaching English or helping out at the Employment Helpdesk and the next moment you are at the reception or busy designing a flyer. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn how to work in a nonprofit environment, interact with people of diverse cultures and gain insight into the different project areas.

As one of their previous interns phrased it:

“”I’ve been volunteering as an All-Rounder three times already, and after working there for 9 months in total, I can honestly say, it was one of the best things I did in my life! You work wherever help is needed, which makes it the perfect opportunity to get to know all the different projects and topics at this nonprofit. And the best thing is you are part of a team with the most amazing colleagues! I would definitely come back a fourth time too…” 



Quick Facts

  • Destination Cape Town
  • Type of Organization Nonprofit
  • Work focus Refugees and migrants, Assist with daily operations, all-round
  • Length of internship minimum 3 months
  • Accommodation Choice of several types
  • Fee on demand

This organization started in Cape Town in 1994 as religious assistance to different communities of migrants but soon expanded to offering more tangible assistance as they were confronted with the problems experienced by refugees from Angola, the Congos, Rwanda, Burundi and other African communities. In 2003 a secular non-government organization was started to run these projects, the Scalabrini Center of Cape Town (SCCT).

Migration is perceived as an opportunity by this organization, so they are on a mission to alleviate poverty and promoting development in the Western Cape while fostering cultural, social and economic integration between migrants, refugees, and South Africans. In providing their assistance they advocate respect for human rights and use a holistic approach that considers all basic needs.

Every month around 2000 people visit the center, which offers service through six main programme areas:

  • Advocacy: Protecting, promoting and advancing the rights and freedoms of migrants and refugees by providing paralegal advice and practical assistance to individuals on a walk-in basis. In addition, this team works on driving deeper systemic change in the South African society and immigration and asylum systems.
  • English School: Providing a specialized English language school for refugees and migrants.
  • Employment Access: Providing a gateway to employment by providing support to foreign nationals who are legally entitled to look for work in South Africa. The organization provides a combination of skills training, professional development, and resources needed for success in the job market.
  • Unite: A unique extra-curricular curriculum for grade 8-11, which provokes a deep exploration of the themes of identity, integration, and diversity to promote activism and critical thought in youth living in South Africa.
  • Welfare: Accessing services for migrants and refugees in need. Through a process of consultation, they assist individuals to access basic services such as medical care, schooling, shelter, South African Social Grants (SASSA grants) and assistance with advice/application for voluntary repatriation.
  • Women’s Platform: A multi-national network of women that strengthens individuals to enhance economic independence and integration into the broader South African community.

Scalabrini  Womens Platform

Your project

In order for a multifaceted NGO to run smoothly, they need the assistance of capable, willing, and flexible people to assist with a variety of day to day tasks. This Migrants and Refugee Charity Internship is an all-round internship. It introduces you to a wide range of duties while familiarizing you with all the different aspects of this nonprofit organization. You will learn how to work in an NGO environment, get to interact with people of diverse cultures and gain insight into the different project areas.

Your tasks and responsibilities

  • English School – Filling in for absent English School teachers, tutoring students, assisting with extra-curricular activities where needed and providing English School resource support.
  • Reception – Covering the reception area for a period of time daily when the receptionist is away from the desk; assisting the Receptionist with various tasks.
  • Programme Support – Assisting various programmes where needed; joining the Employment Help Desk team when shorthanded, providing support to our Women’s Platform, attending meetings and events on behalf of Scalabrini when necessary.
  • Creative and Organizational Projects – Plan and execute a variety of hands-on projects around the Centre, such as designing and creating flyers and posters for programmes and events, developing tools and resources for programmes and clients, and planning and organizing events.
  • General – Wherever and whatever help is needed. This may include data entry, running errands, making photocopies, helping out with day to day tasks to ensure all the projects of the Centre can run smoothly.

This organization also offers internships in Communications, English School, Human Rights and Advocacy, Female empowerment, and Employment Access and Skills Development.

NB. Please note that the internship is based on a volunteer work placement, so you are not receiving any payment or stipend.


Where you’ll stay

Your accommodation is included in the internship fee, and we’ll arrange it all for you! We’re excited to offer a variety of options, ranging from dorm rooms to twin and single rooms. The options available depend on your internship period, but we’ll always make sure you’re in a comfortable, central, and safe place. Please get in touch to find out what options are available during your preferred period

Guesthouse  Guesthouse


  • Pro-active engagement and willingness to get involved in various activities, from the repetitive and mundane to highly demanding and independent projects.
  • Independent and very flexible, able to deal with changing daily needs of the organization
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English, French an advantage
  • Enjoy working with people of different cultures
  • Minimum age 20 preferred
  • Minimum availability of 3 months

The Application Process

If you’re keen on this work placement and feel that you could make a good contribution, we’d love to hear from you! Here’s what to do:

  1. Fill in the  (it will show in a slider pop-up!) and send us your CV.
  2. If we might have a placement available for you, we’ll chat with 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 contact form. We’ll be happy to assist!

When can you start making an impact?
You can start your internship every week, so your final starting date is based on what suits you and the organization the best.


At Roots, we do everything we can to make your internship experience smooth and hassle-free. We offer an all-inclusive service, which means we will help you find the right internship (we believe we are great matchmakers!), help you with visa arrangements, book accommodation for you in Cape Town, give you all the pre-departure information you need before arriving, pick you up from the airport and check in with you while on your work placement to ensure you feel supported.

Your exact fee depends on the accommodation you choose, but start at the following level:
12 weeks – USD 2,028
16 weeks – USD 2,521

What is included in the fee?

  • Full accommodation rental fees
  • Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day
  • Assistance with finding the perfect work placement
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • On the ground support during your stay
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots interns

What is not included in the fee?

  • 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

Academic Guidance Apart from the logistical support we offer, and regular check-ins, we also offer additional academic guidance during your internship. At an additional fee of USD 75 a month, you’ll receive monthly sessions with a local lecturer, who will support you in placing your work experience in the context of your academic course, and assist you with any report writing and/or research you’re required to do.

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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