NGO Storytelling Internship in South Africa


Get experience in communications within the context of a Social Impact program.

Become a storyteller for a community development initiative in rural South Africa, and help this program reach a wider audience. This internship is a wonderful opportunity to develop your writing skills, gain experience in all aspects of nonprofit communications, and – not unimportantly – to live right on the beach.

You’ll be based in Coffee Bay, a rural community on South Africa’s stunning Wild Coast, and you’ll be part of an education focused nonprofit organization. Addressing the poverty and unemployment that many communities face in this area, the nonprofit offers quality education for children, skill development programs for adults, and access to various social services. As an intern, you’ll gather stories in the field, and help manage and develop the organization’s communications platforms. You can expect a highly varied work experience, and a good insight into the role storytelling plays in raising awareness for a good cause.

This communications internship is an excellent opportunity for someone who’s passionate about social development, creative with their writing, and excited about the prospect of living in a beautiful rural location. (The surfing and hiking opportunities are phenomenal!)

Learning outcomes of this communications internship;

  • A wealth of practical experience in content gathering, writing for a variety of platforms, managing social media channels, and communications strategy
  • An understanding of digital marketing and fundraising
  • Field-based experience in community development
  • Insights into of the day to day running of a nonprofit organization
  • International work experience


Sustainable Coffee Bay is a nonprofit organization based in South Africa’s Wild Coast, a rugged area on the country’s east coast. The nonprofit is on a mission to improve the quality of education and increase career prospects for the rural communities surrounding the town of Coffee Bay. They do this through three main focus areas; early childhood education, education and youth development, and rural assistance. By offering quality education for children of all ages, improving people’s access to social services, and providing skill development opportunities, Sustainable Coffee Bay ensures that poverty and the rural nature of this area stop being obstacles to people’s livelihoods.



As an NGO storytelling intern, your tasks will include the following;

  • Managing and developing social media channels
  • Gathering stories and visual material on the projects that can be put out on all communications platforms
  • Doing communications and digital fundraising research
  • Assisting with website management and development
  • Running online fundraising campaigns
  • Creating newsletters and writing blog content
  • Assisting with system development


  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • An ability to translate stories in the field into powerful communication tools
  • Some experience in social media management would be good
  • Ideally an eye for photography and/or videography
  • An ability to work quite independently and take initiative
  • A love for rural locations
  • A passion for the community development work Sustainable Coffee Bay is doing


You’ll be lucky enough to stay at Coffee Shack, a comfortable backpackers lodge with a phenomenal setting. Located right on the beach, Coffee Shack consists of thatched-roof huts as bedrooms and a number of charismatic common areas, including a restaurant & bar, kitchens, and a barbeque area. There are hammocks to relax in and spectacular views to take in. You’ll also have free access to Wifi and a laundry service.

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

Make sure to visit your doctor and dentist for a check-up before yor internship and to get all the recommended vaccines and/or medications necessary to stay healthy. You are not located in a malaria risk area, so the people who live here do not take malaria medication.



Wifi is available at your accommodation, although it can be spotty as the network in the region is not reliable. You can also buy a local mobile SIM from a South African provider (Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom and Virgin). For this your phone must be unlocked for international use, however this option can be costly.



Your dinner is included in the fee. This is a home-cooked, two course meal (starter and main-course, or main-course and dessert). Vegetarian options are available for all meals.

Location details

Location details

This setting is the perfect place to relax and enjoy rural Africa. The surfing opportunities are unbeatable, and keen hikers are treated to a great number of stunning trails. There are also opportunities to explore the striking caves, cliffs, and waterfalls along the Wild Coast, and should you want to explore further afield, there are shuttles that go into Mthatha, from where there are many exciting travel options.


Fee Breakdown

Internship start and end dates are flexible and will be discussed with your during the selection process.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

8 weeks USD 1,615

12 weeks USD 2,110

16 weeks USD 2,605

20 weeks USD 3,099


  • Accommodation based on a dorm room, upgrades are available at an additional fee
  • Daily dinner
  • Airport transfers
  • Wifi access
  • Laundry service
  • 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
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • Supervision and support during your internship
  • Check-ins and feedback from your supervisor
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Personal account on NexGen Careers, a career development platform that offers content & courses focused on exploring different career opportunities
  • Troubleshooting if needed


  • Flights to South Africa
  • Visa and medical & travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Breakfast, lunch, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities


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!


LOCATION: Coffee Bay, South Africa
TASK FOCUS: Social Media, Storytelling, Content Creation, Fundraising, Writing
LENGTH: Min. 8 Weeks
COST: From USD 1,615


  • Gain practical experience in a range of communications areas within a nonprofit context
  • Help raise awareness for important social impact work
  • Get insights into the day to day running of nonprofit community programs
  • Enjoy comfortable accommodation with an idyllic location (right on the beach!)
  • Enjoy a range of outdoor activities during your time off, including surfing, hiking, and exploring South Africa’s stunning Wild Coast


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


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


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


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


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.


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 below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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