Youth Social Work Internship in Cape Town


Help spread the message of Ubuntu and achieve happiness for the children.

Join a grassroots social development charity to support their meaningful work and provide support to children with troubled backgrounds. Based in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, you’ll be working with a community center that hosts up to a hundred children each day to ensure they have a safe and stimulating space to learn and grow.

During this internship you’ll enhance your professional skills, including communication, problem-solving, and case management, which are crucial in the fields of social work and education. Apply your theoretical knowledge in this hands-on learning experience and engage with diverse communities to foster cultural competency and the ability to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams.

As an intern, you’ll assist with the day-to-day running of the center and create stimulating, educative, and fun activities for the children. This social work internship is a great opportunity to gain on the ground experience in social work and education that involves working with vulnerable populations and promoting equitable access to education. Embark on an a unique professional and personal growth journey, while contributing to a worthwhile and very much needed project.


Projekt Ubuntu is a social development organization that works in Masiphumelele, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town that deals with a high level of social issues such as poverty, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, and HIV/AIDS. The project’s main focus is the Ubuntu Center, a community center that directs resources to the community and cares for between 60 and 100 children every day. The children are from families that lack the resources to provide them with daycare, and the center offers a safe and educative space on a daily basis. They also offer the children healthy meals for a full fledged care program. Many of the children have experienced traumas and receive as much emotional support as possible at the center. The organization also supports a number of daycare centers in the township that are run by the grandmothers and mothers of the community.


Projekt Ubuntu is an active community organization that runs various initiatives, so you may be asked to assist with tasks that are outside of your internship description (ex: helping chop vegetables for the weekly meal distribution). You should be prepared and willing to help the running projects in any way you can which allows you to connect more closely with the community.

There are three groups of children in the afternoon aftercare program every day: 1-6 years 6-10 years, 10-14 years. As an intern, your role will be designed according to your specific skills, academic focus, and desired learning outcomes.


  • Help create stimulating, educative, and fun activities for the children in the after care program
  • Assist with the coordination of other volunteers who come to help with the activities
  • Participate in regular training sessions and workshops on relevant topics (i.e. child development, trauma-informed care, counseling techniques, classroom management)
  • Assist with the development of the center, which can include fundraising, communications, partnership management, and organizational structuring
  • Offer organizational support to a number of daycare centers in Masiphumelele beyond the Ubuntu Center
  • Engage in research projects and advocacy initiatives related to social issues or education policies

Project hours (Monday-Friday)
08:30-12:00 Community projects
12:00-15:00  Lunch
15:00-17:30  Ubuntu center
The weekends are off unless you are assisting with volunteer house arrivals/departures.


  • Enrolled in an academic program, background, or experience in sociology, psychology, social work, community development, education, 0r pedagogy
  • Willingness to learn, adapt, and contribute to project objectives
  • Willing to help with day-to-day operations tasks if needed
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and adhere to ethical guidelines
  • Openness to the culture and community
  • Enjoy working with children and people of different cultures
  • Interest in community projects


You’ll stay at a comfortable and welcoming volunteer house in a picturesque suburb of Cape Town, on the Southern Peninsula. It’s a great setting; you’ll be surrounded by beaches and mountains, and the penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach is only a 5-minute drive away. The house hosts people from around the world that are volunteering in the surrounding communities, which creates a wonderfully international vibe. The nearest shops and restaurants are a 5-minute drive away, and Cape Town’s city center is a 40-minute drive away. It’s easy to take Ubers and make your way around.

Safety & Support

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 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.

Location details

Location details

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.


Fee Breakdown

You can start your internship with this organization every Monday. Please keep in mind: this organization is closed for one month at the end of the year.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

8 WEEKS USD 2,655

12 WEEKS USD 3,630

16 WEEKS USD 4,605

20 WEEKS USD 5,580


  • 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. If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices.
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Breakfast and dinner from Monday to Friday
  • Wifi access
  • Daily transport to the project
  • 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 International Airport
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals over the weekend
  • 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: Cape Town, South Africa
PROGRAM FOCUS: Community Development
TASK FOCUS: Youth Development, Social Work, Education, Mentoring
LENGTH: 8-26 weeks
COST: From USD 2,655


“During my time here, I worked with all those children in different morning projects and with the children at the Ubuntu Center in the afternoon. I planned the activities for the younger and the older children at the Ubuntu Center to bring in more structure. It was a great chance to see all the differences in the development and structure of each project. My work was always different and there was always something new for me to explore. It became a great challenge for me to experience all those parts of working in and for the township.”

Paula, GermanyYouth Social Work Internship, Cape Town


  • Gain experience in social work and community outreach in one of the townships of Cape Town
  • Contribute to a charity on a mission to spread the message of Ubuntu and achieve happiness for the children
  • Gain a full insight in the day to day running of a community project
  • Live and work in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world
  • Enjoy exploring South Africa’s many highlights during your time off


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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