Karenni Social Development Centre

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, a civil society organization in Mae Hong Son, Thailand, 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 KDSC’s Advanced Community Management Training Course. The Advanced Community Management Training Course is a six-month course specifically aimed at equipping our students with the skills to become activists for our Karenni people to create a new society, a free and democratic one.

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 Burmese and will have a grasp of legal aspects related to the rule of law, constitutional law and refugees. This position would include programming areas such as:

  • Teaching English and legal subjects: 2 hours of law-related classes, 2 hours of English classes, and .5 hours on the intern’s area of expertise (e.g. the legal rights of indigenous people) for 10 – 12 students daily
  • Courses related to advocacy and community engagement (such as campaigning and lobbying (legal advocacy), community organising, etc.)
  • Guiding 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

Karenni Social Development Center trains students in the subjects of Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights. KDSC 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. The organisation works with refugees and migrant people from Karenni (Kayah) State, Burma.

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 SDC. 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 they have a daily rota for the chores they need to complete everyday. Living and working together with the students creates a strong sense of togetherness and community and 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, 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) 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 and interns will be part of 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 UVic student (law and graduate students preferred, but not necessary).
  • 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. CAPI will provide assistance in all of these areas.
  • You must be available to complete the specified overseas placement between May and and November 2017 (6.5-7 months).

Prospective interns must meet the basic eligibility criteria CAPI program (as stated above) and have the following qualifications:

  • an interest in mobility and legal issues surrounding mobility
  • a strong work ethic and willingness to learn
  • resilient in new environments
  • knowledge or interest in the following subjects would be desirable, but not necessary:
    • Campaigning and Lobbying (Legal advocacy), Community organising, Consultations, Project Planning, Report Writing, Office management, Proposal Writing
    • An ESL teaching qualification (e.g. TOEFL) is preferable
    • 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 24-28 April 2017. 

  • Interns will post at least one blog or podcast each month focusing on a key social issue to the CAPI website between May 2017 and January 2018. 

  • Host a public engagement session between January and April 2017 to speak about their experiences, a key social issue, their research, etc. 

  • Act as a mentor for future interns. 


Successful applicants will receive $5,000 in funding 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



22 September 2016

Positions posted

16 November 2016

Information session (Sedgewick C168 1pm-2pm)

27 January 2017

Information session (Sedgewick C168 1pm-2pm)

17 February 2017

Application deadline

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

First week of March 2017


Middle of March 2017

Letters of offer sent to interns selected

End of March 2017

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

April 2017

Prepartation and paperwork

24-28 April 2017

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

May - November 2017

7-month work placement (with SDC) including a monthly posting of a blog or podcast

1 January 2018

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

January - April 2018

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 transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable for the interview stage)

Complete application packages MUST BE submitted by email to Robyn Fila at rfila@uvic.ca by 17 February 2017 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 – Humphrey Joolini - transcript”). All attachments should be in PDF format only.

We thank everyone for their applications and interest in our International 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