South Africa Global Health Short Term Internship

Join our healthcare internship and assist in running primary healthcare educational workshops in Cape Town’s townships


Program Information

Discover the beautiful “mother city” when you intern in sunny South Africa and contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goal #3, Good Health and Well-Being. You will work with an international team running educational workshops on general health and hygiene practises for child-carers, teachers, children and their parents. Take in the sights and sounds of vibrant city life and the dramatic landscape of the Western Cape in your free time.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

Live and work with the GVI team in the beautiful city of Cape Town and experience the wonderful culture and people of South Africa.

The project work involves running educational workshops on general health and good hygiene practices. These are aimed at child-carers, teachers, children and their parents. You will be directly involved in setting up and implementing these workshops to create a fun and interactive, informal environment.

This project will ensure that these communities will be better prepared to care for and protect their young children from general illness and will offer advice on how to live in a healthy environment.

Interns work and live in an attractive coastal village close to Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with direct exposure to local culture and communities. Optional side trips are available to Robben Island, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Cape Town wildlife safari and wine tasting in Stellenbosch, to name but a few! Any side trips you wish to take can be arranged on arrival in Cape Town. For those travelling onwards there is easy access to the Garden Route and cheap domestic flights to Kruger National park from Cape Town.



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.

Testimonial

I joined GVI to gain insight into the real world applicability of my studies in global health and social medicine. The biggest injustice I saw at the Masiphumelele Educare was that these individuals would not have otherwise had the opportunity to learn about their health. In Xhosa "Masiphumelele" means "we will succeed." I have no doubt in my mind that the people I had the pleasure of meeting will succeed, lead healthier lives and go on to make the difference which is at the core of GVI's mission.
- Emily Hogan (USA)

Program Details

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

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Life on the Internship

Monday to Friday
During training you will learn about the different customs and cultures in South Africa, general life inside a township as well as some common local language sayings. You will also be given training on how to work with individual children and how to best cater for their needs and monitor their progress. Ongoing support is provided by GVI staff.

You will spend the week days in the townships working with the local communities and later in the day you will return to your shared accommodation and prepare for the next days.

Field Conditions
Accommodation is in houses/apartments with shared rooms and bathrooms, with access to hot running water and electricity.

Free Time
Weekends have been left free for your own leisure so that you will have time to explore the spectacular sites and scenery in and around Cape Town.

Project Details

Workshops will include a combination of lectures, stories, interactive games, activities, drama and role plays. Some of the topics you would cover will include:

  • General hygiene practise

  • Healthy food and its importance

  • The importance of exercise and some examples

  • Common illnesses and their symptoms


The workshops aim to inform local children about basic healthcare and also to educate parents and child-minders on how to adequately care for their infants and children - including how to identify common childhood diseases as well as symptoms which require immediate medical attention.

How this project makes a difference:
In South Africa, each year approximately 75,000 children die before the age of 5 due, in part, to a lack of education in general healthcare practises. This project aims to increase knowledge and awareness about healthy eating and general hygiene in township communities.

*During the holiday time all participants will join Cape Town’s construction project and work on projects involved in the maintenance and beautification of Educational Institutions and Community Organisations in the Townships outside of Gordon’s Bay. Depending on the needs of the community, you will assist with basic construction aimed at improving or maintaining educational facilities and resources in line with 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 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 kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

Exploration

An internship with GVI not only allows you to participate in programmes 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 programme. Many decide to travel after interning, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on the programme.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Cape Town field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in South Africa!

Optional Side Trips
These two trips below (additional cost) are popular trips with our interns in Cape Town:

Cape Town Cultural and Activity Weekend – This trip includes 2 nights in Cape Town near Long Street so that you can sample the lively weekend city life. On Friday afternoon you will travel through to Cape Town after finishing your internship work. The Saturday is a free day and you may wish to take the opportunity to visit some of the following iconic Cape Town attractions: Robben Island, Table Mountain, District 6 Museum, Castle of Good Hope or the Green Market Square craft markets. Sunday includes a full day in Cape Point and a visit to an African Penguin colony. You will have the opportunity to explore the Cape Point nature reserve on mountain bike where you may see antelope, zebra, ostrich, seals and possibly even whales. During the day you will enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the reserves beautiful beaches.

Wildlife Safari – Visit a private game reserve which is located one and a half hours from Cape Town. Here you will enjoy lunch and an afternoon safari before returning home. Transfers to and from the project accommodation are included. There are many other fantastic trips in the area around Cape Town that can easily be arranged once in-country such as shark cage diving, skydiving, wine tasting tours, Hermanus day trips for whale watching (seasonal) or a typical township experience.

Further Travelling Opportunities
South Africa has such a wealth of fantastic opportunities for further travel. In Cape Town, you have easy access to the famous Garden Route, chances to explore the Cederberg Mountain range or take more time to enjoy the vibrancy of Cape Town. Other possibilities include the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, the beauty of the Kalahari Desert, historic Zululand, the fantastic Southern Coast, the world-renowned National Parks of Kruger and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and many more amazing options in this stunning country.

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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  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

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