Social Development Internships in Africa

If you’re passionate about making a social impact, and you’re looking for an internship abroad, have a browse through our social development internships in Africa. As an intern, you’ll be part of a cause-driven organisation that runs social impact programs in an African community. These have a range of focus areas, including early childhood development, refugee support, women’s empowerment, and skill development. Whichever nonprofit you join, you’ll be supporting important work on a community level. The focus of your internship depends on your skills and interests, and can range from fundraising and communications to teaching, organizational development, and event management.

Apart from offering unique learning experiences, these social impact internships will also allow you to live in some incredible places; you could be based on the banks of Lake Malawi, in a Zambian village next to the Victoria Falls, or in the vibrant South African coastal city of Cape Town.

Browse through our social development internships in Africa below, or get in touch if you have any questions!



Female empowerment internships in Livingstone

Where you can do social impact internships in Africa

Our social development internships can take you to some pretty spectacular places in Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa. In the first three countries, our internships offer picturesque rural settings; as a social impact intern, you’ll be working in a welcoming community surrounded by natural beauty. During your free time, you’ll be able to encounter wildlife during game drives, explore mighty African lakes and rivers, and visit neighbouring communities.

As an intern in South Africa, you’ll live and work in Cape Town, a vibrant city with a stunning location. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in the local cultures, and during your time off, you’ll be able to explore some of the many highlights Cape Town has to offer. This includes climbing Table Mountain, whale watching trips, venturing to the Cape of Good Hope, and visiting the penguin colony in Simon’s Town.

Who can apply for a social development internship?

Since our social impact internships are pretty diverse, it’s hard to give a short answer to this. Our internships cover a wide-ranging amount of focus areas, including education, gender equality, human rights, and early childhood development. Similarly, the intern roles vary greatly. As an intern, your job might be to manage and develop communication channels, to assist with fundraising, to teach workshops or classes, or to help overall project management. It could even be a combination of these things. Therefore, the requirements for each internship are quite different – and you’ll find them listed if you click on the individual internships.

What all our social impact internships have in common, is the fact that they’re with grassroots nonprofit initiatives doing meaningful work. As an intern, you can play a vital role in the development or implementation of their mission. So if you’re passionate about social impact work, and the idea of being a large part of a small, passionate team excites you, these internships might be exactly the type of experience you’re looking for.

Why should I go to Africa for my social impact internship?

For one, many communities in Africa deal with various social issues, including a lack of quality education, skill development and limited access to jobs. There is often a cycle related to poverty and lack of opportunities that is hard to break, and that affects the daily lives of many people. At Roots, we partner with nonprofit organizations that are working on the ground to tackle these types of issues, and as an intern, you can join one of these NGOs. So doing your internship in Africa will ensure that your work will be meaningful; your contribution will add value to people’s lives.

In addition, doing an internship in Africa is a wonderful opportunity to spend some time living and working in a place that is culturally rich, scenically stunning, and – most likely – very different from what you’re used to. It’s an opportunity to test yourself in a foreign environment, and to have an adventurous internship experience.

We’ll be here every step of the way to help you prepare for your travels, assist with logistics, and answer as many questions as you’d like. You’ll become part of a larger Roots family, and you can expect to be surrounded by like-minded people from around the world.

What if I can’t travel to Africa?

Some of our social impact internships are available remotely, so if you’re unable to travel, do check out all our virtual internship opportunities. While certain internships require you to be on the ground, some allow for remote working, or a combination of remote and on-site work.

Why should I do an internship with a nonprofit organization?

If it’s social development you’re interested in – or at least a specific element of this field – it’s worth considering doing your internship with a nonprofit organization. This will allow you to be part of an initiative whose mission is designed entirely around creating social impact, and gain relevant and rewarding work experience.

Being part of a small nonprofit during your internship also means that your work really matters. What you’ll achieve will make a tangible difference in the lives of people who need support, and you’ll get a sense of what purpose-driven work can look like. You’re also very likely to enjoy a wide range of tasks, and quite a bit of responsibility, which adds a richness to your experience – and your resume.

Find out more about why to do a nonprofit internship.