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Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students

Human Rights Work in South Africa with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Law & Human Rights volunteer placement with Projects Abroad

I spent an incredible eight weeks in Cape Town with the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO). Most of my time was spent travelling to townships to meet with clients and researching and drafting legal documents alongside PAHRO’s staff. On Wednesday afternoons, I helped run educational workshops at the Bonnytoun youth juvenile detention centre. While much of what I worked on was challenging, I always had a strong support system in place. PAHRO’s staff were open to any questions and checked up consistently to make sure I was comfortable with my role. As well, I became close with several other law students from around the world who were volunteering within the same placement.

Cape Town is an amazing city, and Projects Abroad encouraged me to take advantage of all it had to offer. During nights and weekends I took part in a number of activities with other volunteers. My favourite memories include surfing at Muizenberg together every Friday, Braais at Mzoli’s, climbing Table Mountain, and Saturday mornings at the Old Biscuit Mill. I also enjoyed spending three days on the Garden Route along the African coast. Undertaking meaningful volunteer activities while experiencing Cape Town’s culture made for a trip that I’ll never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Experience of a lifetime

I spent 5 weeks in Cape Town, South Africa during the summer of 2015. These were 5 of the best weeks of my life.

My host family was amazing. My host mother was a sweetheart. She cooked me dinner every week night, had a packed lunch ready and waiting for me to take to work in the morning, and she even did my laundry! I felt so safe and welcome with the family that Projects Abroad placed me with. I even still stay in touch with host mother and sister through Facebook!

The work at the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office is split into two parts: legal and social justice. On the legal side, you act as a volunteer legal assistant. Meaning you research case study, conduct consultation with appropriate clients and businesses, and even possibly visit the courts or jails in the area. I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be part of a serious criminal case and was able to visit the notorious Pollsmoor Prison. The social justice side is more laid back. You are able to plan and teach life skills classes to juveniles in local detention centers.

The overall atmosphere of the office was incredible. I got to meet and work with students and professionals from all over the world. Many of the friends I met at PAHRO I still stay in touch with today. My experience in Cape Town was something I will take with me forever.

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association