An opportunity to research issues of the migratory phenomenon across Africa.
If you have research skills and a passion for human rights, this Refugee Research Internship is your chance to make an impact where it really counts. You’ll be interning with the Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility (SIHMA) in Cape Town to help realize their vision: “An Africa where the human rights of people on the move are ensured and their dignity is promoted”
Through publishing their scientifically researched journals and reports, SIHMA raises awareness and advocates legislative change for migrants in South Africa. As part of their team, interns help to strengthen rights and improve integration of asylum-seekers, refugees, and diasporic communities.
And, of course, SIHMA provides a fruitful exchange for their interns too. You’ll gain valuable experience in Human Rights work and academic publishing, professional development in scientific research and data-analysis, and unique insight into the running of an NGO. From writing up key findings to conducting interviews to managing databases; there are a bounty of opportunities for interns to take advantage of.
Founded in 2014, the Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa (SIHMA) is a Cape Town based research institute advocating for the rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Their mission is to conduct and disseminate research that contributes to the understanding of human mobility and informs the policies that ensure the rights of people on the move. As part of a large network of secular nonprofit organizations, SIHMA has partnerships in over 30 countries, strong visibility, and produces vital research into the plight of refugees and migrants.
TASKS & REQUIreMENTS
- Assist with qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis
- Conduct interviews
- Carry out literature reviews
- Appraise the quality of research and writing up findings
- Provide administrative assistance with the upkeep of records and databases
- Take part in forums and workshops for stakeholders
- A degree in a relevant field (Human Rights, Social Sciences, Statistics, etc.)
- Experience with qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis
- Organizational skills and attention to detail
- Fluent English skills are required and knowledge of other languages are a bonus, specifically French and Portuguese
- Motivation to understand and help the domain of migrants and refugees
- A minimum commitment of 6 months
WHERE YOU’LL STAY
You’ll be staying at The Lenox, a comfortable guesthouse in the heart of Cape Town. Built in the old Cape Dutch style, The Lenox is characterful and historic. It has multiple balconies, a large dining room, and many other communal spaces. Shared bedrooms include 2 twin beds, and there are plenty of single rooms available as well (at an extra fee). You’ll be walking distance from many shops, cafes, restaurants, and some of the touristy highlights Cape Town has to offer as well.
Safety & Support
Be sure to prioritize hydration in the summer to avoid heatstroke. South Africa does have high crime rates, so it’s important to be aware and use common sense to stay safe. Some safety guidelines are to always walk in groups, take a taxi/Uber in the evenings, know safe/dangerous areas, secure your belongings, don’t walk around with large sums of cash (you can pay everything with a card), minimize wearing flashy accessories, and be cautious of overly friendly strangers.
The accommodation offers free Wi-Fi to keep family and friends up to date via WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. Cafes/restaurants also offer free Wi-Fi. You can also consider getting a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked, or setting your phone’s status to roaming, depending on your provider’s rates.
A simple breakfast, lunch and a delicious cooked dinner (vegetarian & vegan options available) from Monday to Friday are included in your fee. Indulge in local dishes, like bobotie and South African Braai! For desserts, don’t miss out on milk tarts and malva pudding. There is a diverse food scene in Cape Town, so no matter your cuisine preference or dietary restrictions you’ll have plenty of options. Let us know in advance if you have any allergies/dietary needs.
Discover Cape Town’s attractions: Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, city tours, historical sites, and the Cape Point Peninsula. There are also opportunities to surf, kayak, paraglide, cage dive with sharks, and more! Cape Town has a mediterranean climate with cool winters and hot summers so be sure to check what the temperature will be like during your stay.
DATES & RATES
Internship start and end dates are flexible and will be discussed with your during the selection process.
What you’ll pay (2024 rates)
20 WEEKS USD 3,273
26 WEEKS USD 3,987
- 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.
- An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
- Accommodation in a shared room (2 pax). If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices.
- Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
- Meals from Monday to Friday
- Wifi access
- Housekeeping service
- Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
- An orientation program with your supervisor
- Supervision and support during your stay
- Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
- Troubleshooting if needed
- A reference letter at the end of your internship
- A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots Interns
- Flights to Cape Town
- Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
- Transport to the office
- Meals during weekends
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- Develop your research skills while working in a nonprofit context
- Get practical experience with human rights work and academic publishing
- Gain insight into legislative and policy reform and its proper implementation
- Meet, work with, and support migrants, refugees and diasporic communities
- Live and work in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town
- 8-26 weeks
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Research, Awareness, Case Assistance
Migrants & Refugee Charity Internship
- 12-26 weeks
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Refugees and migrants, all-round
Empowerment of Refugees Internship
- Min. 5 months
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Refugees and migrants, skills development, monitoring, reporting, social welfare