Empowerment of Refugees Internship with NGO, Cape Town

facilitate access to employment to Promote social-economic integration of asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants

Do you like meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures? And do you like helping them to integrate into South African society? We offer a nonprofit internship you will love.

This NGO in Cape Town runs a program to promote the socio-economic integration of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and South Africans “in need” by facilitating access to employment. During this Refugee Empowerment Internship, you will be part of the Employment Access and Skills Development program. You will assist individual clients with their job application process as well as assist the program manager with a series of workshops as part of the skills training program. If you are passionate about supporting people and have an interest in migration and refugee issues, this is an excellent opportunity. You will make an impact and contribute to cultural, social and economic integration in the rainbow nation.

Cape Town, South Africa
Social NGO
Refugees and migrants, skills development, monitoring, reporting
16-26 Weeks
From USD 2382

This organization started in Cape Town in 1994 as religious assistance to different communities of migrants but soon expanded to offering more tangible assistance as they were confronted with the problems experienced by refugees from Angola, the Congos, Rwanda, Burundi and other African communities. In 2003 a secular non-government organization was started to run these projects, the Scalabrini Center of Cape Town (SCCT).

Migration is perceived as an opportunity by this organization, so they are on a mission to alleviate poverty and promoting development in the Western Cape while fostering cultural, social and economic integration between migrants, refugees, and South Africans. In providing their assistance they advocate respect for human rights and use a holistic approach that considers all basic needs.

Every month around 2000 people visit the center, which offers service through six main programme areas:

  • Advocacy: Protecting, promoting and advancing the rights and freedoms of migrants and refugees by providing paralegal advice and practical assistance to individuals on a walk-in basis. In addition, this team works on driving deeper systemic change in the South African society and immigration and asylum systems.
  • English School: Providing a specialized English language school for refugees and migrants.
  • Employment Access: Providing a gateway to employment by providing support to foreign nationals who are legally entitled to look for work in South Africa. The organization provides a combination of skills training, professional development, and resources needed for success in the job market.
  • Unite: A unique extra-curricular curriculum for grade 8-11, which provokes a deep exploration of the themes of identity, integration, and diversity to promote activism and critical thought in youth living in South Africa.
  • Welfare: Accessing services for migrants and refugees in need. Through a process of consultation, they assist individuals to access basic services such as medical care, schooling, shelter, South African Social Grants (SASSA grants) and assistance with advice/application for voluntary repatriation.
  • Women’s Platform: A multi-national network of women that strengthens individuals to enhance economic independence and integration into the broader South African community.

The aim of the Employment Access Program is to facilitate the socio-economic integration of refugees, migrants, and South Africans through improving their access to employment. It supports foreign nationals who are legally entitled to look for work in South Africa by providing a combination of skills training, professional development, and resources needed for success in the job market. They do this by providing services to clients via the Employment Help Desk as well as through related programs and projects

  1. Employment Help Desk – Assists clients with finding employment by offering support in the job application process. They are assisted with writing up their CV, applying for work online, sending emails and making professional telephone calls, and fax applications. There also is a Computer Lab open for clients who are computer literate and able to apply independently.
  2. Skills Training Program – A series of workshops facilitated by the staff with the assistance of interns. It will provide job readiness skills to clients, as well as increase their confidence and chances of securing employment.
What you’ll do

Your tasks and responsibilities

As an intern, you will divide your time between the Employment Access Helpdesk and the other programs. Every morning, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, you will work on the Employment Help Desk providing the services to clients on an individual basis. And every afternoon, from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, you participate in additional projects as determined by the Program Manager. Your tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Working on the Employment Help Desk: develop and design client CVs and cover letters for clients. creating e-mail accounts for clients, and assist them with finding employment
  • Assistance with the employment-related phone, fax, scan and e-mail services and job applications
  • Managing the PC lab so that clients can complete job searches and applications
  • Capturing and collecting data to be entered and updated in the database
  • Facilitate various workshops
  • Open to various tasks such as conducting telephonic surveys as well as all sorts of other admin and projects
  • Self-motivated, self-disciplined and hardworking
  • Patient, diligent, and have a good eye for detail
  • PC literate (highly proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and internet)
  • Good oral and written communication skills (English essential, French an advantage)
  • Interest in interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures
  • Client orientated and passionate about serving clients in their pursuit towards self-reliance in South Africa
  • Respect and understanding of our client’s circumstances, while maintaining professional boundaries
  • Minimum availability of 3 months preferred

You’ll be staying at the Lenox, a comfortable guest house in the heart of Cape Town. Built in the old Cape Dutch style, the Lenox is characterful and spacious. It has a garden with a barbeque area, a large dining room, and several other communal spaces. Shared bedrooms take four to eight people, and there are plenty of single rooms available as well (at an extra fee). You’ll be walking distance from a wide range of shops, cafes and restaurants, and at a great spot for some of the touristy highlights Cape Town has to offer as well. (As well as for views of Table Mountain!)


You can start your internship every week, so your final starting date is based on what suits you and the organization the best. Please keep in mind this organization is closed for four weeks of summer holiday in December and January.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

3 MONTHS USD 2,382
4 MONTHS USD 2,949
5 MONTHS USD 3,517
6 MONTHS USD 4,084

At Roots, we do everything we can to make your internship experience smooth and hassle-free. We offer an all-inclusive service, which means we will help you find the right internship (we believe we are great matchmakers!), help you with visa arrangements, book accommodation for you in Cape Town, give you all the pre-departure information you need before arriving, pick you up from the airport and check in with you while on your work placement to ensure you feel supported.

what you are paying for:
  • Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day
  • Accommodation based on a dorm room (4-8 pax). If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices
  • Two meals (breakfast and dinner) a day from Monday to Friday
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • On the ground support during your stay
  • Free WiFi
  • Assistance with finding the perfect work placement
  • Supervision during your internship
  • Check-in and feedback as well as a reference letter after your internship
  • Your own account on a career development platform that offers content and courses focused on exploring different career opportunities
  • Reference letter at the end of your internship
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots interns
  • Flights
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Lunch, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Meals during the weekend
  • Transport to the office
  • 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
Social NGO
Refugees and migrants, skills development, monitoring, reporting
12-26 Weeks
From USD 2,382

The feeling of knowing that my work here has an actual impact. Giving gives one so much more than taking. The biggest fulfillment is to know that someone found a job and can stay in the country, because I found a placement for them and guided them along the way.

Bailey, United StatesRefugee Empowerment Internship, Cape Town
  • Help promote the social-economic integration of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and South Africans “in need” by facilitating access to employment
  • Get involved with skills training and professional development workshops
  • Gain insight in the challenges foreign nationals face to (economically) integrate in South Africa
  • 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
3 MONTHS USD 2,382
4 MONTHS USD 2,949
5 MONTHS USD 3,517

See Detailed Rates

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 to info@rootsinterns.com.
  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!

    If you have any questions about this opportunity, please ask us by completing the form below.


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