Early Childhood Development Internship, South Africa

Travel to the tourist town of St. Lucia and discover a South Africa reborn. Experience life in a rural Zulu village, where access to quality, equitable education is still limited. Your service-learning placement will focus on an area of demonstrated need within the service placement organization, and comprise a needs and assets analysis. You will use this analysis alongside theoretical learnings to develop a research paper or to produce a product-based initiative that addresses the need. The project should contribute towards the fulfillment of the program goal of impacting local issues and needs as it relates to Early Childhood Development, and the core principles of engagement, reciprocity, and public dissemination.

You will be guided throughout your internship as you develop your capacity for research, monitoring and evaluation, communication and business development. Your work will contribute to the development of best practices in gender equality and the successful transition of girls into confident, well-educated leaders in their community.

This program provides valuable learning and professional experience, and is particularly beneficial to those in the fields of Education, especially Early Childhood Development, Human Services and Human Rights.

Quick Facts

  • Location Be based in the beautiful coastal town of St Lucia
  • Learning Takeaway Develop a deeper and nuanced understanding of the challenges facing these communities and children
  • Learning Experience Design and implement a research or product-based project that addresses an identified community need
  • Free Time Visit the neighboring iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Destination Description

Blessed by its natural setting, St. Lucia is a unique stunning place. Set in the heart of South Africa’s Zululand, the little town is surrounded by a wildlife-filled World Heritage Site, as well as by beaches and an estuary. Game drives in the area will offer you encounters with elephants, lions, leopards, and other exciting wildlife, and during cruises on the estuary, you’ll see plenty of crocodiles and hippos. Sometimes you don’t even have to leave the streets of St. Lucia for wildlife viewing, as hippos tend to wonder around town at night, monkeys play around, and occasionally a leopard is spotted. Apart from its endlessly beautiful setting, St. Lucia also offers access to some welcoming traditional Zulu communities, and you’ll have a chance to learn about their rich cultural traditions. During your free time, you’ll be able to choose between a wealth of fun ways to explore the area, such as safaris, beach visits, whale watching tours, Zulu village visits, and boat cruises.


Learning Outcomes

Tasks for your internship can be customized around your skills and professional development goals; insofar as they coordinate with the current needs of the community. You will be based at our project office and your tasks and expectations such as weekly journal entries will be monitored and guided by the Business Manager on site, as well as the Internship Supervisor.

Throughout  the course of your internship, you will:

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of early childhood development challenges in a South African context
  • Develop valuable professional skills in the realm of international development and NPO management
  • Build a strong research rapport
  • Be exposed to intercultural learning

In the implementation of your *research tasks, you will utilize Social Research Methodologies and compile your outcomes into a report. Implementing and reporting on monitoring and evaluation strategies, as well as evaluating their efficiency is a key task on your internship. You will also be implementing various business development tasks including fundraising activities, marketing and communication and developing various materials for both internal and external use. The facilitation of targeted workshops forms a significant component of your internship, as does appropriately reporting on outcomes.

Throughout the course of your internship, you will complete 180 hours of service and develop valuable experiential learning skills such as reflection, intercultural engagement, journal writing as a research aid, and presenting learnings. Weekly progress meetings with your adviser will ensure that you are meeting your personal and professional goals.

*If you intend to use any data collected or analyzed during your internship, arrangements must be made prior to your placement and may require additional documentation from a relevant credit-bearing institution for consideration by our board.

Service Impact

St. Lucia is a small town and home to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Heritage site. Within the Umkhanyakude District Municipality, there are two main town areas, viz  Mtubatuba and St Lucia.  The vast majority of the municipality was and remains to be under traditional authority – almost 80% – indicating a high proportion of people residing in scattered, rural villages under the jurisdiction of traditional authorities. This is particularly important as we work very closely with the Induna (chief) for the villages we operate in, to discuss and clear all of our projects with.

According to leading statistics on the population in the Municipality where we work around St. Lucia, out of the total of 79 724 of residents aged between 5 years and 24 years, 79% (62 971) were attending school, with non-attendance at just 21% (16 753). While  19.9% of the population aged 20 year and above  had no schooling;  5,7% had attained higher education and 28,4 had completed matric, which is the final year of secondary schooling in South Africa. The statistics further proves that over 51% of youth in the area are unemployed, which links to the education statistics as well as other historical and current political reasons.

This program is designed to assist and further strengthen the Early Child Development project we run in St. Lucia. Here we support teachers, children as well as parents on maximizing the time the children spend in the Education Centers and continue the learning beyond.

Your impact will be to leave behind the necessary information to sustain and continue to deliver effective and efficient ECD program and apply ECD strategies. You will also impact the teaching and facilitating of actual programming strategies in the ECD centers and help reporting better on the programs we offer and the goals we seek to reach.gender-equality-internship-zambia-1

  • WEEK 1

    Your first week will be dedicated to your orientation and induction. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the structure of your internship, including your tasks, setting goals, scheduling, community development, cultural integration, reflection, research and expectations – both personal and professional.

  • WEEK 2

    Your second week will focus on developing your contextual knowledge. You will be able to confidently begin implementing your tasks, which in conjunction with individual meetings with your supervisor, will allow you to develop your concept note.

  • WEEK 3

    In your third week, you will develop an understanding of international development and NPO management. Over the course of the following weeks, you can expect to develop an in-depth understanding of each in context.

    You will also have your first meeting with your personal professional development coach, who will guide you through aligning your tasks to your professional goals.

  • WEEK 4

    In week four, you will develop your concept note into a research proposal for your final report. Your supervisor will assist you with the design and development thereof.

    You will have the opportunity to reflect on your progress at the half-way mark of your internship through your journal entries, and discuss it with your supervisor, identifying any challenges and creating possible solutions.

  • WEEK 5

    Your proposal will be submitted in week five. At this point, you will have the opportunity to critically analyze your cultural integration and reflect on it’s influence.

  • WEEK 6

    In week six, your proposal will undergo both peer review and review by your supervisor. You will have the opportunity to discuss your progress to date, both personally and professionally with your professional development coach.

  • WEEK 7

    Week seven will be focused on preparing your observations, conducting further empirical research and planning the consolidation of your report.

  • WEEK 8

    In your final week, you will embark on your final reflections, presenting your findings and preparing a handover document to ensure that your contribution to the project continues.

    You will have the opportunity to discuss what you’ve gained personally from the internship and your cultural immersion.

Available February to November
you can Intern from 4-12 weeks

From $2000,

This fee includes:

  • all your accommodation
  • food 3 meals a day
  • Internship project transport
  • Support service for African Impact with daily guidance
  • several personal development session
  • Academic Support and guidance
  • Any administrative support to help you get credit with your home universityInternhousepool

You will be based in our African Impact House which is exclusively use by only African Impact interns and Volunteers. The house us a short (5 minute) walk from the main high street in St Lucia where you will find restaurants, Cafes, Shops and ATM’s/Banks.

  • Participants will be collected from the airport upon arrival and transferred to base
  • Accommodation on base will be simple, but comfortable shared rooms with communal ablutions
  • All meals for the duration of the project, with the exception of free days will be provided
  • You will be given a full introduction to the area and the work you will be doing,
  • You will work daily with our staff making sure you always are developing and alway know what your doing.
  • You will have several personal development sessions as well as academic support to dorsal your objectives.
  • Any transport required for program activities will be provided
  • Participants will be transferred back to the airport for their departurestl3