Nutrition Internships in South Africa
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Cape Town
- ROLE: Help provide nutritious meals and participate in educational activities to raise awareness of nutrition in underprivileged communities
- TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Community-based
- REQUIREMENTS: None
- ACCOMMODATION: Host family
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
Interning on Projects Abroad’s Nutrition Project in South Africa is a chance for you to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition and gain meaningful practical experience. Based in Muizenberg, Cape Town (where our Surfing Project is also based) the Nutrition Project focuses on improving nutrition in township communities. These areas are deeply affected by numerous hygiene-related illnesses, a lack of access to medical care, and high rates of HIV/AIDS. By providing nutritious meals and conducting assessments, screenings, and workshops, we are aiming to help those facing these challenges.
You don’t need previous experience to participate. All you need is an interest in healthy living and be committed to the communities you are working with. You can get involved as part of a gap year, career break, or summer placement. This internship is a great option for pre-med students looking to gain experience in an alternative field of medicine.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our South Africa Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.
Your Role as an Intern on the Nutrition Project
The Nutrition Project involves a variety of different activities in multiple locations in Cape Town. Your main role will be at the Surfing Project. The children who attend these sessions are often either overweight or malnourished. You will get involved in the following activities every day:
- Preparing a healthy meal for the children and young adults attending surfing classes
- Facilitating and playing educational activities and games with the children
- Planting and maintaining an herb garden
- Running a drop-in clinic for passers-by in Muizenberg
- Creating healthy recipes
- Preparing educational and promotional material
- Marketing project services on social media
There are also various weekly and monthly activities at our partner organizations. Every week, you will travel to care centres for children ages 1-5 to deliver food and give caregivers a workshop on cooking healthy meals. The children at these centres do not receive regular nutritious meals and are at risk of stunting. This food is purchased from our partner organizations and we hope that they will benefit from a healthy meal each day.
Other weekly activities include visiting Where Rainbows Meet to advise those attending the foundations counseling unit. The people attending the unity are often affected by illnesses such as HIV, tuberculosis, and various NCDs, and are in desperate need of specific dietary advice. An improved diet can drastically improve their lives. You can also get involved in nutrition workshops at another organization in Vrygrond, and participate in yoga, Zumba, and walking sessions with members of the community.
Every month, we also work with elderly women from Where Rainbows Meet to implement diet action plans. Each participant will undergo a health evaluation, which will consist of their weight, height, BMI, blood sugar, and blood pressure. They will also inform you of their typical diet, which you will then use to formulate an improved diet plan. In the Village Heights township, you will help families build their own vegetable gardens. You can assist and advise interested families on the most suitable fruits and vegetables to plant.
At the beginning of each quarter, we will hold community events to further promote the Nutrition Project in Muizenberg. Each event will focus on the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. These could include sporting events or cooking competitions.
During your time at the Nutrition Project, you will be supervised by a qualified nutritionist, who works part-time. On days when the nutritionist is not working at the project, work will be allocated for you and you will be supervised by a Projects Abroad Volunteer Coordinator.