SOME WORKING DEFINITIONS
- Volunteer: Someone who wishes to give their time freely to the Black Sash with no expectation of payment, or accredited learning or extensive supervision. In this case, the agreement is made between the Black Sash and the individual or his/ her agent.
- Interns on study assignment: Someone who is engaged in formal study where the work experience at the Black Sash will form the basis of an accredited assignment. In this case, the agreement is made between the Black Sash and the University concerned.
PURPOSE OF INTERNSHIPS AND VOLUNTEERS
The Black Sash recognises that volunteers and interns can make a valuable contribution to our work and services. Through their contribution of labour, skills and enthusiasm, the time needed to complete projects is reduced, and paid staff are able to devote more time and attention to tasks requiring their specialised knowledge. In return, we seek to help volunteers and interns achieve their personal goals while making a worthwhile contribution to a non-profit organisation.
BLACK SASH OBLIGATIONS
In all cases the volunteer or intern would be given a contract, an induction, agreed learning opportunities, regular work supervision and an exit interview. The intern/ volunteer would be equipped with the appropriate software, an email address and would have access to office infrastructure. Approved travel costs would be reimbursed.
STIPENDS & SOLIDARITY CONTRIBUTION
The Black Sash would like to be able to pay African (including South African) interns and volunteers in financial need a modest stipend while at the Black Sash to cover their out of pocket expenditure. However, we do not have regular donor funds for this purpose and so this support is not guaranteed.
We request interns or volunteers from European Union countries, North America and Australia to consider making a voluntary donation to the Black Sash to enable us to support African volunteers to benefit from an learning experience at the Black Sash.
Applicants should submit their application via the application form. Applicants may need to provide more information on request or participate in a telephonic interview.
Applications will be considered three times a year. Our next deadline for the consideration of applications will be 1 July 2013. Please ensure that your applications are submitted before this deadline.
We are particularly interested in candidates with expertise, experience or interest in human rights, with an emphasis on social and economic rights.
All volunteers and interns would need to demonstrate that they are committed to human rights issues, be fluent in written and spoken English, and be computer literate.
While volunteers might be able to be accommodated for shorter periods of time depending on the area of work, interns would need to commit to a minimum of 3 days per week over a minimum of 8 weeks, with full time working hours, with some flexibility.
Interns and volunteers would preferably bring their own laptops (if computer work is envisaged) and would be contactable by cell phone.
WORK AREAS AT THE BLACK SASH
The National Office is based in Mowbray, Cape Town, and we have Regional Offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. While field work is undertaken by the Regional Offices, the work in the National Office is largely office-based.
We currently make use of volunteers and interns in five main capacities, depending on the skills, experience and interest of the applicant, the current needs of the organisation, and the availability of a supervisor for the work required.
1. ADVOCACY RESEARCH AND SUPPORT
We would require volunteers or interns with the equivalent of a masters’ level degree, or someone currently enrolled for such a degree. Please note that we do not use our interns/volunteers in direct advocacy work, which we believe requires contextual experience, but utilise such interns/volunteers in research, analysis, document development, logistics for meetings and events etc. Interns and volunteers who are able to fund their own travel arrangements may be offered the opportunity to accompany Black Sash staff on working trips around the country.
2. MEDIA AND MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT
While graduates would be very welcome, many undergraduates would be suitable for aspects of this work. We would require volunteers or interns with strong computer skills, and at the very least a high level of proficiency in MS Office and internet-based research; communications, public relations, photographic, website, social media and/ or public media experience.
3. LEGAL RESEARCH AND SUPPORT
We would require volunteers or interns with a law degree or who are senior law students, and who have strong research, analytical, writing and presentation skills.
4. COMMUNITY OUTREACH
We require volunteers and interns with a strong human rights ethos, knowledge of the law, adult education and/or community development experience to assist in activities and events in communities. As community work is complex, we prefer mature applicants. Undergraduates may be able to assist in support capacities.
5. ADMINISTRATIVE AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT
While graduates would be very welcome, many undergraduates would be suitable for aspects of this work. They would need to be prepared to be involved in data capture and analysis, filing and resource management, materials compilation, events preparation and organisation, communication with stakeholders etc. We are looking for applicants who are especially efficient, organised and methodical in their work, with a good understanding of systems and logistics.
6. FUNDRAISING (ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT, WORK ON SPECIFIC PROJECTS AND EVENTS)
While graduates would be very welcome, many undergraduates would be suitable for aspects of this work. We would require interns or volunteers to have some experience in a fundraising environment, for example, an alumni or development office, or have some experience in event planning. We are looking for applicants who are especially efficient, organised and methodical in their work, with the ability to do desk top research, and who have strong communication and presentation skills.
7. HUMAN RESOURCES (HR ADMINISTRATIVE/ HR GENERALIST SUPPORT)
While graduates would be very welcome, many undergraduates would be suitable for aspects of this work. Interns or volunteers with knowledge of HR processes would be required. We require applicants who are especially efficient and organised and methodical in their work, with a good understanding of HR systems.