Nonprofit Photography Internship, South Africa

Build a great portfolio while contributing to important grassroots causes in Cape Town

Join the award winning photography internship program in Cape Town, South Africa! It’s a great opportunity to improve your skills through tutoring by a professional photographer, to build a diverse portfolio, and to contribute to nonprofit work through your photography.

You’ll be part of an NGO that uses photography as a tool to drive positives change. As an intern, you’ll spend most of your time documenting nonprofit projects happening in and around Cape Town. Depending on your skills and interests, you’ll spend time with various environmental, social development, or animal welfare nonprofits. You’ll learn about the organisation’s mission and projects, and document the work with your camera. The images can be used for communication and fundraising purposes. You’ll also get involved in the coordination and development of the different programs, with communications, and possibly with fundraising activities. Depending on the time of year you’ll join us, you’ll have a chance to help facilitate photography workshops for teenagers from underprivileged communities. Throughout this Cape Town photography internship, you’ll enjoy regular workshops by Anna Lusty, a professional humanitarian photographer.

Cape Town, South Africa
Photography Social Enterprise
4-12 Weeks
Fees coming soon

As an intern 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.

Penda Trust also runs Ibali, a project that teaches photography to high school kids from underprivileged communities in Cape Town. The program’s mission is to empower young people by teaching them basic photography skills, creating a space for creative expression, and offering ongoing personal mentorship. In addition, their photography has the power to positively impact the broader community by creating awareness of social issues through the eyes of young people. Their images can start conversations that inspire these youths and their community members to bring about solutions to some of the challenges they face.


Throughout this photography internship, you’ll be guided by the Penda Trust team in the office, and by professional photographer Anna Lusty. You’ll start your internship with a full-day workshop with Anna, who will help you improve your technical photography and post production skills, and introduce you to nonprofit photography. She’ll give you a solid understanding of the nonprofit sector in Cape Town, the way photography can contribute, and how to approach it in the most effective and culturally sensitive way. Every two weeks, you’ll enjoy another half-day session with Anna, which will allow you to learn further, reflect on your experiences, and asses your work.

What you’ll do

As a photography intern on this program, you’ll be able to gain a wide range of experience. Depending on your skills, experience, and interest, your tasks will include;

  • Photographing nonprofit organisations and donating a selection of images to them. You’ll spend enough time with one organisation to ensure you’ll get a full understanding of how they work, which type of images will be most beneficial to them, and to take enough photographs. We have a large database of NGOs and we make sure to place the right photographer with the right projects, allowing everyone to photograph what they feel most passionate about.
  • Assisting with the coordination of our nonprofit photography program. This can include vetting NGOs, matching local photographers with nonprofit projects, and assisting with setting up logistics.
  • Assist with teaching photography to teenage kids from underprivileged communities of Cape Town as part of our Ibali program.
  • Managing social media channels and writing blog posts.
  • Assisting with fundraising activities.
  • Assisting with setting up exhibitions or online campaigns to highlight photography of important causes.
  • You need to be an intermediate / advanced photographer. (You don’t have to be a seasoned pro, but you do need to have a decent camera, good 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.
  • A willingness to help drive our program forwards by assisting with communications, fundraising, and possibly logistics.
  • You’ll need to bring  your own laptop with editing software.
  • You’ll need to 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 can join us for 8 to 12 weeks. Ideally you’ll arrive on a Sunday, so that you can start your program on the Monday. There’s a level of flexibility, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your preferred dates. We can take up to three interns at a time on this program.

2021 Rates

Rates coming soon

  • Accommodation in a shared room in a 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
  • Check-in and feedback as well as a reference letter after your internship
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to 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 Social Enterprise
8-12 Weeks
Fees coming soon

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
  • Get practical experience in nonprofit photography
  • Contribute to a social enterprise organizing photo tours but also using photography as a tool to support important conservation and community projects in developing countries
  • Gain insight in the daily operations of a nonprofit programme
  • Possibility to also get involved in communications, fundraising, and project management
  • 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
Fees coming soon

See Detailed Rates

Other internships 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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