11th Aug 2020 3:33:42 PM

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Internships 2020

Children of Fire is an independent, nonpartisan organisation established to improve the lives of impoverished badly-burned children and young people through direct assistance. By conducting interdisciplinary research, it develops pragmatic solutions to Developing World problems that are the root cause of most of the injuries. It convenes experts, practitioners and policymakers to enable knowledge-sharing. Through this work the charity aims to contribute to and strengthen the global framework for preventing and treating burns injury, improve living conditions that lead to injury, mitigate disasters and promote sub-Saharan medical excellence through the design of a specialist paediatric burns hospital with associated academic facility.

Children of Fire provides temporary opportunities for graduate/ recent graduate students. Recruitment takes place on a rolling basis each season. Children of Fire is a demanding and flexible work environment with an international and highly-motivated team. It is based in London and Johannesburg with outreach to different African countries and academic links in Europe and North America.

Information about Internships
Children of Fire Johannesburg is currently recruiting suitable candidates for its 2020 Autumn-to-Spring Internship Programme (25 March-25 September 2020). A few three-month placements are also available from October 2020.

Duties and Responsibilities
Interns contribute approximately 45 hours per week to the Institute, and assist with the following tasks:
  • Project related research;
  • Drafting reports, policy briefs and other publications;
  • Organising expert meetings and providing support during events;
  • Hands-on assistance with the children
  • Medical mission preparations
  • Rehabilitation outreach
  • Disaster mitigation
  • Applicants must have an honours degree and ideally be enrolled in a Master's Programme in public health, human rights law, international relations, architecture, media or other related discipline at the time of the internship; OR have recently graduated from such a Master's programme;
  • Applicants would ideally be UK or EU-citizens with permanent residence in South Africa OR already possess the necessary authorisation to live and work in both South Africa and the United Kingdom; We acknowledge the changing work environment in the UK 2019 shifted the goal posts of regulations into uncertain terrain.
  • Demonstrate commitment to the mission and objectives of Children of Fire and a strong desire to work on improving healthcare for indigent Africans of all hues;
  • Excellent analytical and organisational skills;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language and preferably one other significant African language, especially French.
Candidates should be available from 25 March-25 September 2020; some programmes might be extended to a full year. Some interns might be taken on from October 2020 or in the subsequent two months. We would consider requests to start in January or February 2020.

Interns will be self-funding. A few interns might be offered a gross monthly stipend of R4000 (pro rata) for the duration of their internship. Additional costs such as housing, travel, living expenses and health care/insurance must be borne by the intern.

Application Process
Email firechildren@icon.co.za to submit your application package. You can only apply via email. Along with your name please indicate the programme of interest in the subject-line of your application email.

For example:
  • Media A Mile in Their Shoes (AMile) - (your name)
  • Medical African Outreach (MAO) - (your name)
  • Human Rights and General Law (HRL) - (your name)
  • Architectural Hospital Design (AHD) - your name
If you wish to apply for more than one programme, then include the abbreviation of each programme in your subject line (e.g. AMile/MAO/HRL/AHD - (your name)).

The following documents should be included in your application package:
  • A Curriculum Vitae (resumé) which includes the following details: Skype handle, residential address, mobile/cellphone number
  • A cover letter
  • A current writing sample (of 700 to 1000 words - it can be part of an academic assignment; plagiarism checks will be done)
  • Two letters of reference
  • Police Clearance / current DBS/ or equivalent
  • A filled-in Volunteer Form which can be downloaded here; while that form is geared at a different type of involvement, we find it gives more insight than a conventional CV or Resumé
Please confirm that you are eligible to work in the South Africa without restrictions. Preference will be given to people who are also able to work in the United Kingdom. Note that documents written in a language other than English will not be considered; please use UK English spelling.

Selection Process / Interviews Candidates will be shortlisted on the basis of their application. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed via Skype. The interview may take 20 to 45 minutes and will be followed by a one-hour writing assignment, which will be provided to you via e-mail after the interview. Children of Fire will begin interviewing candidates from 22 October 2019 but will still consider applications submitted until end February 2020.

Please note we are only able to contact shortlisted candidates. The deadline for submitting an application for the Southern Hemisphere Autumn 2020 is 29 February 2020.
These positions are for remarkable people of the highest ethical fibre. The work undertaken is extremely demanding and not limited to conventional office hours. Children of Fire is a non-smoking organisation. Applicants should be healthy, have a passport valid until at least June 2021; a yellow fever certificate valid until at least June 2021, should be able to drive a manual car and to be able to travel at no notice for extended periods of time. A strong work ethic is essential. The team is multidisciplinary and people are expected to turn their hand to anything if the need arises.

Human rights and general law Intern

An intern is required to research and prepare for very varied cases in all levels of South Africa's court system, from Magistrates' to Children's, High and Constitutional Courts; once we even had to defend the charity in the small claims court against the malicious claims of a witchdoctor. The ability to prepare material for other legal jurisdictions is needed as well. This can include registering the charity in Francophone African countries; protecting trademarks and patents locally and globally; drawing up Memoranda of Understanding for international surgical expeditions. Assisting with Court of Protection paperwork for the UK or Curator Bonis and Guardianship in RSA is needed. Work in International criminal law is a rare but essential field to prevent 419-type scams and theft of charity images or misrepresentation in other countries. There is a possibility of a class action against one government department in SA and there may be involvement in a UK-based class action as well. Additional legal action concerning the abuse of power and/or malfeasance by an English local authority may be required and knowledge of the Children's Act in England and Wales would be useful as well as knowledge of the Equality Act and of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. It will be pertinent to understand the ramifications of the Hague Convention in our work, regarding children and vulnerable young adults. A case of Personal Injury in relation to PTSD might be brought in England and Wales against a local authority.

Ensuring the validity of in loco parentis documentation internationally and checking on the veracity of international documentation to prevent child trafficking or abduction. This can also require co-operation with medical colleagues on paternity or kinship testing. Liaising with human rights law organisations to assist individual children to bring cases against those that hurt them by malice or negligence, those that have failed them medically/surgically, those that have failed them educationally. This requires knowledge not just of South Africa's legal system particularly e.g. the Children's Act and amendments, but also the international conventions to which it is signatory. It also requires knowledge of how to hold professionals to account for failing in their duty of care as per the Schools Act, the Social Service Professions Act, and allied fields. The purpose is not just to protect the children in our care, to always place the Best Interests of the Child first, but also to raise the level of accountability of a broad spectrum of child care professionals.

The Legal Intern will also become well-versed in the laws of defamation as applicable to charities internationally and how to quantify the delict.

The chance to liaise regularly with attorneys/solicitors, advocates/barristers in leading firms in South Africa, other African countries, the USA and the UK is part of the internship. Drafting suggested improvements to existing legislation and contributing to new legislation is part of the envisaged role. International travel is likely. Compiling competent Power Point and other presentations for conferences and publication of papers is expected.

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: Media Intern
This person will devise and implement a media campaign for Walk a Mile in Their Shoes or alternatively it might be named: Medical Monuments. This is a walk (next scheduled for about 12 September 2020) around a large area of London, focusing on monuments and sculptures, to fundraise and awareness-raise for the charity. He/she should have a broad understanding of print, electronic and broadcast media. He/she will be required to produce press releases for local and international media and to handle press events in at least three countries, working with translators when necessary. Mentoring will be by colleagues with reporting and feature-writing experience at The Times (of London), documentary producing for BBC Television, radio news production, book-writing and book-publishing skills and more.

He/she will handle a social media presence effectively and carefully for three associated entities. Skills in Publisher newsletter layout are essential. The ability to take medically-accurate and/or aesthetically-pleasing photographs is needed as well as be able to resize and store them logically. Also the ability to be able to shoot video footage and to produce anything from postcards to calendars, leaflets, books, awareness adverts, safety adverts, tolerance adverts, billboards and mini documentaries for radio and television. Additionally the intern must know children's law and media law, both locally and internationally. He/she will research the changing face of global media law in the past few years and look at how this impacts upon charities.

The intern will liaise with international producers for the rights to film burns survivor climbing expeditions especially in relation to Ethiopia and to film a surgery and occupational therapy outreach in sub Saharan Africa either in Botswana or in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There will be follow-up required on previous media projects. The Media Intern needs to be bright and biddable in equal portions, eager to learn and prepared to contribute their own unique perspective.

Medical African Outreach Intern
This person will assess the overall health of children in our care (on site and long-distance) and be part of the team determining their surgical and therapeutic needs. This is a planning-ahead exercise that will cover immediate needs and at least a decade of each child's life. More than 20 detailed research projects are available with particular focus on improving the outcome for children suffering extensive TBSA third and fourth degree burns. The focus is on top-end science as in facial transplants, digital distraction, microsurgery and a range of techniques not-ever or not-routinely carried out in Africa, while at the same time looking at pragmatic and economical methods for improving burns care and long-term rehabilitation in the African setting. Additionally the intern will assist with the planning of a specialist paediatric burns hospital to be located in Francistown, Botswana. Not only will that hospital be a place of brilliant medical care and unique academic excellence but it, as in its working name Chishamiso (Place of Miracles), will be a place where the positive philosophy behind it will infuse all who work there. It has the blessing of our friend Dr Patch Adams who understands the need for holistic medical care. The intern will assist with surgery or occupational therapy outreach in sub-Saharan Africa, training medical staff in thermoplastic splinting, the use of pressure garments and ways to avoid the reoccurrence of disabling contractures and keloids. This is not a role for someone who failed to get into Medical School so much as someone interested in taking a different or more-diverse training-and-career-path.

Architectural Hospital Design Intern
Southern Africa is full of fake-Italian buildings. Our intern will devise the parameters for the Place of Miracles / Chishamiso/ international hospital design competition which will not emulate another continent's style but will work in an African setting with largely African materials.

This most challenging internship will require travel to Botswana and to the UK. It will require networking with hospital chief executives right down to the hospital porters, to establish what works and what doesn't work in existing health facilities.

The Intern will have to consider the unique health challenges of Africa, climate restrictions and the political future of the region to determine the optimum location in terms of stability, safety and usefulness. Ensuring that there will be enough water available to run a hospital is one of the particular challenges and will involve use of grey water and black water recycling throughout.

Permaculture principles will be included in the gardens and energy conservation in the buildings as well as the latest sustainable energy harvesting and storage technologies. See the Place of Miracles website section for more background.

This material is Copyright © The Dorah Mokoena Charitable Trust and/or Children of Fire , 1998-2020.
Distribution or re-transmission of this material, excluding the Schools' Guide, is expressly forbidden without prior permission of the Trust.
For further information, email firechildren@icon.co.za