Meet our past interns!
Nora Röders, Germany
I applied to intern at PASSOP to learn more about the work of a civil society NGO, it’s structures, strengths, and limitations. During the three months with PASSOP, I believe I experienced all of those. As soon as I walked into the office, I fully emerged in the organization. Since day one, I was responsible to deal with legal cases on my own, had to organize events and help with technological updates in the office. It is a great strength that interns are considered full members of the team and their input is highly valued in all aspects of the organization. Definitely, this internship is not the right one for someone that requires guidance but if you are up for a challenge, wish to emerge yourself fully in the Cape town refugee community then go for it! After all, I am happy to have learned so much about various African countries, conflict, and reconciliation.
Oriana Philippe, France
Initially, I applied for a volunteering position in PASSOP since I was already working with asylum seekers and refugees in France. I chose PASSOP because I wanted to discover the processes to seek asylum in another country and how South African grants (or doesn’t grant) asylum in South Africa.
I interned with PASSOP for about six weeks. From the moment I walked in, I received a really warm welcome. The entire team is extremely friendly and welcome interns and volunteers. They involve themselves in the NGO and there is a strong sense of comradery within the office. I saw especially two high qualities in an experience with PASSOP. First of all, an intern/volunteer in PASSOP is not the one doing a typical “intern duties” such as fetching coffee and copies. The team entrusts us with real tasks to do. From the first beginning, we’re involved in the main tasks of the NGO and this is really appreciable. Secondly, as the agenda of PASSOP depends mainly on the number of clients we receive each day. But PASSOP extends a free hand to interns and volunteers to take initiative and create projects and activities to support the organization. Furthermore, PASSOP’s Director and staff are really open-minded and easy to offer ideas to. Every suggestion is more than welcome and we’re trusted from the beginning to start projects.
This experience was really nice for me. I had the opportunity to meet asylum seekers and refugees from different countries and to discover a lot about the situation and issues in their origin countries. I understand the legal process to seek asylum in South Africa and the migratory policies in another country.
My only sadness might be to realize that there is maybe no one country in the world ready and willing to welcome and host with dignity migrants and asylum seekers.
Thanks for a great summer PASSOP!