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Legal Support & Capacity Building for refugees in South Africa

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The Scalabrini Center of Cape Town provides education and assistance to refugees and migrants from Zimbabwe, Congo, Somalia, Burundi and Rwanda. The program’s aim is to facilitate them access to the labor market and integration into the South African society. Particularly for women it is difficult to reconcile their role as mothers with their personal, social and professional development. Xenophobia, poverty, isolation, lack of legal protection, and lack of access to employment opportunities are just a few of the challenges that female migrants and refugees in South Africa face.
You can set your priorities on Capacity Building and Employability of Women or Legal Advice. Futhermore there are placement opportunities as an assistant at the English school, and in Communication and PR.

Project Details


Capacity Building and Employability of Women

As an intern for the Employment Program, you will be working at the Employment Help Desk in the mornings with, among other things, helping women and men with job hunting and job applications. Together, you are looking for suitable job offers and provide help with CVs, cover letters and applications. You offer assistance with opening e-mail accounts and the use of technology (e.g. phoning, faxing, emailing, scanning, etc.). Your responsibilities include gathering and collecting data (entering/updating databases), as well as providing skills that prepare your clients for their job interviews.
In the afternoon you will be working with other activities in the field of employability: The center conducts workshops that strengthen the self-confidence of women and men, prepare them for everyday work, and increase their chances of employment. As an intern, you perform administrative tasks, which include registering participants to workshops, carrying out placement tests, doing follow-up calls, creating certificates, preparing lunch, coordinating daily operations, and conducting workshops.
As an intern with the Women's Platform, you will help in guiding women on their way to independent living, and help them realize their personal and professional ideas in South Africa. Through trainings, workshops and discussions, the Scalabrini Center offers women the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial and personal skills.
The aims of the personal development program include competencies related to health, human rights, leadership and communication, as well as moderation skills. With increasing competence acquisition, the participants can take leading roles in the women's platform.
The goal of the business development program is to provide entrepreneurial skills and resources to run and grow small businesses. The women are provided business consulting related to company evaluation and planning for new and existing companies, and trained in the disciplines of business administration, accounting, marketing, income generation, personnel management and financing.
Your responsibilities as an intern at the Women's Platform include project coordination, which means preparing workshops and meetings to create opportunities for the exchange of skills between the participants; communication which includes updating and managing the network database, booking rooms for meetings and updating the booking calendar, applying for and distributing scholarship grants, sending SMS reminders, working with different management systems, monitoring and evaluation.

You can also directly become active in Business Development: You manage the operations and systems of one or more companies within the platform, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement; create weekly reports and financial summaries for platform managers, attend meetings with platform partners, coordinate business workshops, and assist in the creation and evaluation of business plans.

Legal advice for refugees and migrants

As an intern in legal counseling you support persons who are affected by hate crimes or xenophobic violence, you conduct independent research, and support the NGO in administrative tasks.
Persons affected by discrimination, hate crime, or xenophobic violence, refugees with special needs or unaccompanied minor refugees and migrants, can seek legal advice and assistance from the Scalabrini Center.
In addition, there is an advocacy group that works to change existing legislation or to ensure that laws and policies are implemented in line with the target group.
As an intern in legal counseling you work in the following areas:
Documentation: You provide information and recommendations on asylum application procedures, advise on expired documents / residence permits, appointment procedures and returns.
Hate crimes / xenophobic cases: You conduct and consult with stakeholders about their issues, document the details taken, and conduct individual follow-ups when needed (for example, through contact with local law enforcement agencies, Human Rights Commission, and complaints agencies).
Child protection project: You conduct comparative research and research on unaccompanied refugee minors, support the Legal Advice Center in case work (client counseling, database maintenance, translation, etc.) and provide individualized support (e.g. accompanying them to the authorities)
Research: You conduct research on South African legislation, as well as the refugee issues in Africa. In addition, you support the legal profession in upcoming tasks, e.g. Research on specific project-related questions.
In addition to above tasks, you support the centre wherever it is needed, e.g. making telephone calls, helping with administration, participating in forums for stakeholders, creating a weekly press review from newspapers and Internet sources, or assisting at the reception.
Your tasks can depend strongly on your prior knowledge, skills, and personal interests. You might even work on your own small project (for example, a little research, including data collection through surveys and interviews).

Further internship/volunteering opportunities with Scalabrini Centre

  • Assistent at the English School
  • Communication and PR
  • Sick leave cover including all activities

What skills should you have as an intern?

  • You are open-minded, self-motivated, well-organized, disciplined, and you can work customer-oriented
  • Good computer skills (very good in Microsoft Word, Excel and Internet) and you can very well type and format documents
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English (French also of advantage)
  • You are interested in interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds and you are willing to learn from them
  • You have your own laptop with you
For Legal Advice:
  • You have an academic background in a related field such as political science, human rights, law, etc. (your degree does not have to be completed) and ideally you have prior practical experience in working with refugees / migrants and / or have knowledge of refugee law and / or migration issues.
  • You should speak fluent English. Knowledge of French, Swahili, Lingala, Somali, Arabic or Portuguese is of advantage.
For Communication:
  • Very good written and spoken English skills, good writing skills and good ability to express yourself
Info Box
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Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Availability: throughout the year, flexible starting date
Minimum duration: 3 months
Maximum duration: 6 months
Language skills required: English
Further language of advantage: French
Accommodation: Hostel or Host family
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Internship possible: Yes
Qualification of supervisor: from all subject areas mentioned in the text
Minimum qualification intern: see text
Further contribution to the project: -
Remuneration: -
Volunteering possible: Yes
Expected qualification volunteers: see text
Further contribution to the projekt: No
We expect:
Professional work, the "right" attitude

Our Partners

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