Cape Town Women’s Empowerment Short Term Internship

Travel to sunny South Africa and help us make a difference and increase long-term gender equality efforts in Cape Town.


Program Information

When you travel to Cape Town, South Africa, you will join forces with a team of international participants working towards addressing UN Sustainable Development Goal #5, Gender Equity. Help us to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by ensuring women in township and rural communities have access to equal education, health care and income opportunities.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

The majority of people living below the poverty line are women. Many girls around the world are still denied a basic education and women continue to dominate the world's illiterate population.

By supporting women in society and giving them access to equal opportunities such as an education, jobs and health care, everyone benefits. Infant mortality rates go down, more children stay in school, incomes increase and the cycle of poverty can be broken. Interning with GVI, allows you to join a dedicated team of international interns assisting on sustainable and invaluable women’s empowerment initiatives.



Although gender equality has come a long way for women from disadvantaged communities in South Africa, there is still quite a lot that needs to be done to ensure women have equal opportunities and skills to participate actively and effectively in South Africa’ economy. In the traditional township and rural culture, gender discrimination stems from patriarchal cultural and religious beliefs. This has spilled over into the workplace, especially in senior management roles, with only 16% held by women.

GVI aims to assist in gender equality through various educational, healthcare and income initiatives. We also aim to facilitate and encourage dialogues between empowered women, helping them to share positive stories of change and increasing the opportunity for them to become more involved in key community issues.

All internships are geared at developing your leadership and role model skills, allowing you to develop a variety of key soft and hard skills that will put you a step ahead the rest of the pack. Our highly experienced field staff will help you gain and improve vital skill sets to improve your future job prospects.

After a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organisations in South Africa, or in other countries around the world where GVI operate. Field work positions can be paid or unpaid, range in duration from one month to one year, and availability varies. Qualification for possible positions is at the sole discretion of GVI.

Highlights
Contribute to impactful and sustainable women’s empowerment initiatives; explore Cape Town and revel in all its natural beauty; immerse yourself into a fascinating culture; experience South Africa through the eyes of the locals; visit iconic landmarks like Table Mountain and Cape Point; enjoy life in one of the world’s most beautiful cities and make a serious difference in the lives of girls and women in the local community.

Program Details

Program Type:
Location: Africa - South Africa - Cape Town

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Life on the Internship

While living in the idyllic town Of Gordon’s Bay, you will be sharing accommodation in houses/apartments with your fellow interns. Rooms are generally shared between 2 -3 people, with access to hot running water, electricity and western style bathrooms. The accommodation is located in safe and secure communities with plenty of amenities nearby.

Upon your arrival, you will receive an introductory orientation by the staff covering health and safety, a basic local language lesson, a tour of the township, an introduction to our local partners and some initial training to prepare you as much as possible for life on the project.

From Monday to Friday you will be working at your internship placement in the local community. Interns can expect to be involved in numerous facets of our women’s empowerment programme depending on the needs of the projects at that given time and as such, should be prepared to be flexible and adapt to changes in the field. From providing one-on-one educational lessons with girl children in local township schools, to hosting alternative income and health workshops around the community or working in local educational centres, all your time and effort will be geared towards uplifting the women of South Africa and providing long-term solutions to gender imbalance and discrimination.

The weekends are yours to explore the beautiful country you find yourself in! With a myriad of activities to choose from such as shark cave diving, hiking through the Silvermine Nature Reserve, taking a cable car up Table Mountain, experiencing the bohemian lifestyle of Kalk Bay and wine tasting, you will be spoilt for choice with immersing yourself in the culture, natural beauty and local wildlife.

Project Details

After 20 years of democracy in South Africa, women are still struggling to compete with men, especially in the work place. Women living in township and rural areas are often in the dark about opportunities available to them and have been socialized into taking lesser roles by traditional mind-sets. By ignoring this gender imbalance, women will continue to become less likely to be employed and increasingly vulnerable to social ailments such as poverty. In order to counteract this, GVI has set up numerous initiatives in local communities to help give women and girls a more equal future.

Participants on this project will have the opportunity to help empower disadvantaged local women in the following ways:

  • Providing access to education, literacy skill, fulfilment of basic right, and furthering life skills

  • Hosting alternative income generation skills workshops

  • Providing additional educational support to young girls in local schools


 

How this project makes a difference
Through the various facets that this project focuses on, GVI is able to turn the tables on gender discrimination and highlight how gender parity is key to South Africa’s economic and social prosperity. By educating local women on family health, we can reduce infant and child mortality rates, thus creating healthier families and generations. By giving women access to the same local resources as men such as an education, we can help more kids stay in school, thereby increasing the income threshold of that household, break the poverty cycle and help women become more financially independent.

*During the holiday time all participants will join Cape Town’s Holiday Library program, which focuses on providing educational and interactive activities for students in the townships around Gordon’s bay. Depending on the needs of the community, you will assist with educational, sports and health related workshops aimed at improving or maintaining high educational standards. SDG 4 – Quality Education.

Cape Town's short, mid, and long-term objectives
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Cape Town:


  1. Improve the quality of education in Nomzamo and Zola.

  2. Promote gender equality in the local community

  3. Increase the health and wellbeing of less privileged people in the community

  4. Increase in-country capacity by providing training to less advantaged people in South Africa

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Exploration

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. There are many local tour operators offering a wide variety of excursions; or alternatively, many of our volunteers like to team up in country to plan weekend trips together.

Here are some of the exciting local sights and activities that you might want to check out during your stay:

Scenery:

  • Take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain.

  • Go hiking in Table Mountain National Park or the many other nature reserves.

  • Travel to Cape Point, noted for its natural beauty, where you can see baboons, antelope, and zebra.

  • Make the trip to Cape Agulhas, Africa’s Southernmost point.

  • Visit a private game reserve, two hours outside Cape Town, where you can spot lions, leopards, cheetah, rhino, hippo, and buffalo.

  • Book a Garden Route tour, traveling along the lush Indian Ocean coast and visit the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park. From June to November this is the ideal location for spotting whales.

  • Travel to the Cederberg mountains, to hike the mountain trails and admire San rock art.

  • Visit the vineyards of Costania, under the shadow of Table Mountain, or Stellenbosch, about one hour outside Cape Town.

  • Explore Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, where many of the indigenous plants unique to the region can be seen.



Adventure:

  • Surfing at one of the many beaches.

  • Diving or snorkeling.

  • Sea kayaking.

  • Shark cage diving.

  • Rock climbing and abseiling on Table Mountain or the many other ranges in the area.

  • Horse riding on the beach.

  • Skydiving.



History:

  • Robben Island, which use to function as a jail for notable political prisoners including Nelson Mandela.

  • Castle Of Good Hope, the first colonial building in Cape Town.

  • The District Six Museum, which honours the forcible removal of residents from the area during the apartheid era.

  • The Bo Kaap Museum, which reflects on the Islamic traditions in the area since colonial times.

  • The Slave Lodge, creates awareness around the past influences of slavery on the city.



Further Travel In South Africa:

  • Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest wildlife park, in the North of the country.

  • The Drakensberg Mountains, the ‘Mountain of Dragons’, and its famous river canyon.

  • Addo Elephant Park, a refuge for African Elephants.

  • The desert habitats of the Karoo and Kalahari.

  • The historic and verdant Zululand region.

The Team

Shayle Havemann

Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.

When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!

Katelin Ryan

Service Learning Manager Cape Town

A sustainable development extraordinaire with a great commitment to create sustainable solutions for local communities. Katie has worked in South Africa for many years before her role with GVI and after completing her Master's degree in International Education she joined our team of professionals.




Her credentials include over eight years of volunteering, teaching, managing, and leading international education programs around the world. This includes working in zero-waste policy communities in New Zealand, and in an orphan bear refugee center in Croatia.




As our Service Learning Manager she is excited to use her experience designing experiential education programmes and managing community programmes.

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  • 2020

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Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Herritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

live base updates

Follow GVI Cape-Town's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
 
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