Quirine Govers, International Intern with Natural Justice February-May 2016 reflects on her experience based with the Cape Town Office.
My internship at Natural Justice, Cape Town has given me more than I ever could have imagined. Arriving in mid-February I was tasked with helping to develop a shadow report for the United Nations(!). The report focused on the current situation for the indigenous people of South Africa. Whilst interning I was also able to help develop other projects, including the Traditional Knowledge Bill in South Africa and the Khwe Bio-cultural Community Protocol.
The invaluable experience I got from working at Natural Justice was in part not only due to the interesting projects that I was working on but also the colleagues who worked alongside me. Their passion and enthusiasm were truly inspiring, in particular Yvette Fleur, indigenous fellow, and Lesle Jansen, my internship supervisor.
One of my most memorable experiences is a trip to Bwabwata National Park in Namibia where I worked on the Khwe Bio-cultural Community Protocol. The focus of which is to assert the rights, challenges and visions as a community for the Khwe, a San-grouping in Namibia. Living and working amongst them, I got to fall asleep to sounds of Hyena’s howling and waking to the growls of Hippos. The Khwe let me become a part of their culture, helping with traditional cold burnings that prevent wildfires, as well as teaching me how they track animals. Whilst it is nice to learn about different cultures in a classroom or at work, it does not quite compare to eye-opening experience of real-life interactions.
If you have any interest in Human Rights, Indigenous People and Environmental Law then I highly recommend working at Natural Justice, you will not be disappointed.