Human Rights in South Africa
High School Specials for 15-18 Year Olds
- Placement location: Cape Town
- Types of placement: Work at the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office
- Accommodation: Host Families
- Age Requirements: 15-18 years old
Our Human Rights High School Special in South Africa is perfect for young volunteers who are eager to see more of the world and get actively involved in the fields of law and human rights. Combine practical legal work with raising awareness of human rights in local communities as you experience the dynamic cultures that make up Cape Town.
In your first week at the project, you will participate in a moot court held at the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office in Cape Town. You will research and build your case at the office and visit places relevant to your work, like a police station or rape crisis centre. This is a great introduction to practical legal work and you will get an insight into what the day-to-day life of a lawyer might be like. The moot court is held at the end of your first week, and our staff will be there to hand down a verdict and provide feedback to everyone. If your group has less than six volunteers, you will do a community presentation instead of the moot court.
Your second week will involve community-based human rights work. Get involved in activities like helping with evaluating our legal clinics, running a needs assessment in an area where we’re looking to provide more support, or working with street children and raising awareness about their rights and needs. We regularly run legal clinics in disadvantaged areas around Cape Town, providing free legal assistance and advice to those looking for help. The people who attend these clinics cannot afford legal representation, so these clinics are critical and you can help us evaluate their success and identify areas of improvement.
The human rights work you do depends on the needs of the community at the time.
In addition to the work you do, you will learn more about South Africa’s history of colonialism and apartheid by visiting historical landmarks like Robben Island, the District 6 Museum, and the Slave Lodge.
Living with a local host family will give you the chance to experience South African hospitality. Over a home-cooked biryani, you can discuss your exciting day with volunteers from around the world. In your free time, experience breath-taking views from the top of Table Mountain, spend time with the penguins on Boulders Beach, and travel along the Garden Route.
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work. If you want to know more about their achievements, read our 2017 High School Specials Impact Report.