African Sunrise is an all-female company based in Cape Town, South Africa. We began our business with the sole purpose of creating volunteering and intern experiences that are genuine, transparent, and suitable for the needs of the participant. Since then we have added field studies groups to our packages.
Part of that is working closely with organisations, placing people at suitable projects, and providing as much information as possible prior to arrival. That's why we're looking into some of the main differences between our volunteering, internship and field studies packages.
Volunteer, Internships and Field Studies – the Main Differences –
Due to some feedback from field studies students and volunteers who wanted to have the same level of access as interns, we thought it would be a good idea to explain a few aspects of our internships in more detail. Internships are the most hands-on packages because they're linked to specific university degree courses. That means each intern is in Cape Town to apply their theoretical studies into practise, which includes a direct assessment from a social worker.
They also have university coursework to complete, in addition to applying the work they complete into practical exercises and group sessions. This will include one-on-one sessions with the children and adults at each project. Because of the sensitive nature of these sessions, they can only be undertaken on an internship.
And although it might seem like interns get far more opportunities to do more involved duties at projects, they also have a lot more preparation work that's expected of them. Volunteers and field studies groups are limited in their access to confidential information and certain levels of authority.
However, that doesn't mean that the contribution of a field studies student or a volunteer is any less important than an intern. You'll still have opportunities to take your own initiative by organising events and workshops, making suggestions and implementing activities.
Everyone Has the Power to Make a Positive Impact –
The truth is – everyone that interns, volunteers and participates in a field studies groups makes a positive impact on the community in Cape Town and the Western Cape Province. Unlike countries like Sweden, the provision for people in the NPO sector is low and isn't seen as a priority. Yet the work that the organisations we work with are crucial to the broader societal good in South Africa.
If anything, there should be additional organisations in our network who are equipped with higher levels of funding. This would make it possible to hire more permanent members of staff to undertake the positions that are left vacant. This can lead to staff members doing more than one role and unable to keep up with things like administrative or fundraising duties.
That's why we feel so strongly about matching people with the right project. We want everyone that works with African Sunrise to leave Cape Town feeling like their made a difference by being here. Additionally, we also need to make sure each organisation is benefiting from the situation. For us, the extra work we put in is a win-win situation.
African Sunrise – Creating Meaningful Experiences –
African Sunrise will always maintain with the ethos that working and visiting Cape Town should be an experience. One you'll never want to forget and will be able to carry with you for the rest of your life. Meaning comes through participation, challenging norms and preconceptions, especially our own. And at the end of your stay with us, we hope that you'll feel a sense of accomplishment.
In life, it's easy to fall into the trap of judging a situation before we start something. This can lead to us focusing on things to the point where we don't feel we have the necessary skills to undertake certain tasks or projects. At African Sunrise, we know that this is often an incorrect assumption that many students have before that arrive. And they end up leaving South African with more confidence.
It's possible to make a long-lasting positive impact on the project and the people you work with. Many of our volunteers, interns and field studies people keep in contact with their organisations after the return home. And we see a significant amount of field studies students and volunteers return to Cape Town for follow-up visits and internships.
If real positive change is something you'd like to be part of, contact us today. The African Sunrise team are ready and waiting to talk about the discuss our volunteering, field studies and internship packages.