Karenni Education and Training Internship

Emma De Vynck, 2016 CAPI intern working at the Karenni Social Development Centre in Thailand, telling a story to two of her students.
Emma De Vynck, 2016 CAPI intern working at the Karenni Social Development Centre in Thailand, telling a story to two of her students.

The Karenni Social Development Center (KSDC) is a civil society organization in Mae Hong Son, Thailand. KSDC was established in 2002 by graduates of the EarthRights School Burma. The vision of the Social Development Center is to promote the lives of the Karenni people who have suffered human rights abuses, promote non-violent efforts to build a new society, develop the rule of law, and protect the environment.

Program Objectives

The intern selected will be involved in teaching KDSC’s Advanced Community Training Course. The Advanced Community Training Course is a six-month course specifically aimed at equipping KSDC students with the skills needed to become advocates and activists for the Karenni people as they strive towards a free and democratic future. 

The subjects and teaching are practical and provide the skills for grassroots change. The students speak English at an intermediate level, meaning subjects should be provided in simple English. The students will have already taken a ten-month basic course in English and will have an elementary grasp of legal aspects related to the rule of law, constitutional law and refugees. This position would include programming areas such as:

  • teaching English, social justice, movement builidng and legal subjects: 4 hours daily for 10 – 12 students
  • teaching courses related to advocacy and community engagement (such as campaigning and lobbying (legal advocacy), community organising, etc.)
  • facilitating workshops on consultations, project planning, report writing, office management, proposal writing

Funding for this placement has been made possible with the generous support of the President’s Beyond Borders Fund

Partner Organization

The Karenni Social Development Center is a small community-based organisation located on the Thai-Myanmar Border. KSDC runs training programs for Karenni youth in Human Rights, Democracy, Law, Environment, Community Management, IT, and English. KSDC students then go on to work within organisations in the community including the Karenni Refugee Committee, Camp Justice, Karenni National Women’s Organisation (KNOW) and the Legal Assistance Center. KSDC also runs mobile trainings inside Karenni State aimed at promoting grassroots change. The KSDC's training program aims to spread knowledge and skills regarding human rights, environment and law on the Thai-Burma border.

Students at the Karenni Social Development Center are refugees from Karenni (Kayah) State, Burma. These students have been severely marginalized by the violence of the Burmese regime and the ongoing civil war, now running for over 60 years. The school provides students with the education and opportunity to produce non-violent change within their communities and create a free and democratic society within Karenni State.

Living and Working at the SDC School

As an intern you will be expected to live and work alongside the students and staff of the KSDC. The students board at the school during the week and they are responsible for the basic daily running of the school. They cook three rice-based meals a day, and have a daily rota for the chores they are responsible for. Living and working together with the students creates a strong sense of togetherness and community which makes for a good teaching atmosphere. It also makes it easier to get to know everyone.

The washing facilities are very basic. There is no running or hot water, however there are two community basins filled with river water where students and teachers bathe and do laundry. There is also a private area for bathing. 

There are three tiny family shops around the school, as well as many local shops in Nai Soi village nearby. The nearest big town is Mae Hong Son (where interns will initially arrive) which is 20 km away and is easily reached by Songthaew (bus like public transport) or motorbike. Mae Hong Son is a tourist destination so has all modern conveniences available.

Life is very simple at the school in terms of facilities, but it's very rewarding and engaging. Interns will have the opportunity to be part of the school's close-knit community. 

Download Application Form

General information

Program Eligibility

Applicants to CAPI's 2017 internship program must meet the following basic eligibility criteria:

  • you must be a current, full-time upper level undergraduate or graduate level UVic student
  • you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • you must be committed to completing all requirements of the program including an in-depth pre-departure orientation organized by CAPI, securing visas/work/entry permits as required by the host country, all reporting as required by CAPI, public engagement activities upon completion of the placement and any other requirements as specified by CAPI
  • you must be available to complete the specified overseas placement between May and December 2018 (6.5-7 months).

Prospective interns should have the following:

  • an interest in mobility and legal issues surrounding mobility
  • a strong work ethic and willingness to learn
  • experience with or strong interest in working with youth or with teaching
  • knowledge or interest in the following subjects would be desirable, but not necessary:
    • campaigning and lobbying (Legal advocacy), community organising, advocacy, project planning, report writing, office management, proposal writing
    • experience teaching English
    • legal issues relating to indigenous people, grassroots change and/ or international legal instruments available to marginalized people would be considered an asset.

Interns will also be required to:

  • attend an in-person training in Victoria, BC from 23-27 April 2018

  • post at least one blog or podcast each month focusing on a key social issue to the CAPI website

  • complete all reporting requirements and a community engagement activity in the term following your placement highlighting experiences, a key social issue, research, etc. 

  • act as a mentor for future interns


Successful applicants will receive up to $5,000 CAD for the following:

  • airfare to and from host country (to be arranged by CAPI);
  • a small living allowance to help cover cost of visas, utilities and transportation.

Students will receive accommodation in a private room at the school and three rice-based meals/day as part of their placement. Students will be expected to cover the cost of insurance (depending upon the length of the placement - e.g. approx. $300 for a seven-month placement) and will also need to pay course fees to UVic (co-op program fees or the cost of the UVic credit they will receive for the placement, as arranged with CAPI and their respective department).

Program Timeline



September 2017

Positions posted

22 November 2017

Information session (Sedgewick C168 1:30-2:30 pm)

31 January 2018

Information session (Sedgewick C168 1-2 pm)

16 February 2018

Application deadline

All applications must be received before 4 p.m. PST. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Early March 2018


Middle of March 2018

Letters of offer sent to interns selected

End of March 2018

Signing contracts, paperwork, visa applications, booking flights and preparation for orientation and placements

April 2018

Prepartation and paperwork

23-27 April 2018

1-week pre-departure training (Victoria, BC)

May - December 2018

7-month work placement (with KSDC)

January-April 2019

Completion of at least one community engagement activity in your home community


Supporting CAPI interns as a mentor

This timeline is non-negotiable. Please only apply if you can commit to the timeline as stated.

How to apply

Prospective applicants must submit the following documents:

  • A completed application form 
  • An up-to-date resume (2 pages maximum)
  • University transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable)

Complete application packages MUST BE submitted by email to Robyn Fila at rfila@uvic.ca by 16 February 2018 4 pm PST. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Please include “CAPI-KSDC Application” in the subject line of your email. 

Applications should be saved as “CAPI - your name - a description of the document” (e.g. “CAPI – Your Name - transcript”). All attachments should be in PDF format only.

We thank everyone for their applications and interest in CAPI's Internship Program. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. 


If you have any questions about the program please feel free to contact: 

  • Robyn Fila (Program Manager) by email at rfila@uvic.ca or phone at 250.721.7022