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10 Paid Internships in Peace and Conflict Studies

Peace and Conflict Studies is a people-centered programme that requires more than just theoretical knowledge about peace, conflicts, major actors and their possible resolution. While theories help understand the dynamics of conflicts, their historical antecedents, and possible future complexities are better understood through a participatory hands-on approach; that is one of the reasons behind internships in peace and conflict studies. The learning experiences that internships provide are highly valuable and transformative, as interns have the opportunity to use their skills and knowledge to further their respective organisations goals. This article presents a list of organisations that offer paid internships in peace and conflict studies and provide steps on how to apply for the internships. Suffice to state that the list is not exhaustive as it covers only 10 organisations.

  1. The Berghof Foundation

Organisational Information: The Berghof Foundation was established during the height of the Cold War by Professor Georg Zundel to conduct research in peacebuilding practice and education. With its headquarters in Germany, the organisation supports hundreds of projects across the globe. Its central objective is to support efforts aimed at preventing political and social violence and to achieve sustainable peace through conflict transformation.

Internship Information: The Berghof Foundation offers internships in all programmes as well as the administration and management departments. They only accept interns enrolled at a university during the duration of the internship. Internships usually last up to 3 months unless stated otherwise in the regulations of the study programme. The Berghof Foundation offers paid internships.

  1. The Harrop A. and Ruth S. Freeman Peace Internship

Organisational Information: The Harrop A. and Ruth S. Freeman Internship Endowment was created in 1996. The aim of the fellowship is to create opportunities for interns to gain experience in the War Resister’s League (WRL) while earning stipends in the process. The WRL sets out to seek the full representation and participation of people of colour, women, lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men, and people with disabilities, as well as representing various ages, classes, and cultural backgrounds.

Internship Information: The Freeman Internship provides an opportunity for young people to become actively involved in the process of peacebuilding and peacemaking by undertaking various tasks in a national antiwar organisation. Applicants with experience in youth organizing, popular education/training, and campaign work are especially encouraged to apply. Web and design skills are a plus. There is a stipend provided. Arrangements for room and board are possible for those who could not participate otherwise. College credit can be arranged.

  1. Friends Committee on National Legislation

Organisational Information: The Friends Committee on National Legislation was founded in 1943 to act as an organisation which lobbies Congress to advance peace, justice, opportunity and environmental stewardship. Originally founded by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL has grown to become one of the most active peace-lobbyist groups around. It is nonpartisan and operates with the values of integrity, simplicity, and peace as its underlining principles.

Internship Information: FCNL offers several paid summer internships that provide a broad introduction to federal policy, grassroots organizing, and nonprofit management. The experience is ideal for people ages 18-23, but some older participants have found it to be meaningful as well. Experiences vary depending on what projects are going on at the FCNL office. FCNL offers a stipend of $3600 for the eight-week internship. We encourage those who are students to first apply for stipends or grants that might be available to them through their schools. Interns are expected to follow the FCNL work week which is M-F from 9-5:30 pm every day with an hour break for lunch.

  1. Search for Common Ground

Organisational Information: Search for Common Ground is one of the world’s most visible organisation working for the resolution and prevention of conflicts around the world. The organisation recognises that conflict and differences are inevitable, but it believes such conflicts and differences do not need to degenerate into violence. They partner with people around the world to ignite shared solutions to destructive conflicts, by working at all levels of society to build sustainable peace through dialogue, media, and community.

Internship Information: Search for Common Ground offers a stimulating work environment where interns work for humanity. Interns join a host of organisational staff who works for people living through some of the world’s toughest active conflicts for the communities who are rebuilding after a crisis or those heading towards one. The internships, which are paid, can be taken in all the geographical locations where the organisation functions.

  1. Cordaid

Organisational Information: Cordaid is one of the few organisations that undertakes a participatory methodology in peacebuilding, peacemaking and conflict transformation. The organisation works directly with, and at the heart of communities, where it mobilizes global networks, resources, and knowledge which helps move people beyond survival to living in dignity. Cordaid does not accept this world of inequality, exclusion, and unsustainability. We envisage a world where the basics of a life in dignity are available to all. Where the poorest and the excluded can influence the decisions that affect them.

Internship Information: With over 500 staff at its headquarters in Netherland, Cordaid prides itself as a diverse and equitable organisation that provides a stimulating work environment for locals and experts alike. The organisation provides limited internship positions for committed people who believe in their approach and are committed to reducing the fragility, vulnerability, and poverty of people in conflict-affected areas.

  1. Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

Organisational Information: The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) helps to prevent, mitigate, and resolve armed conflicts through dialogue. Based in Switzerland, the organisation is founded on the principles of humanity, impartiality, and independence. From a small group of 6 people when it was founded in 1999, the organisation has grown to more than 140 staff members from 40 different nationalities, dedicated to making a difference in peace.

Internship Information: HD offers students from all over the world opportunities to acquire direct exposure and hands-on experience through an internship. The internships, which are paid, provide students undertaking degrees in peace and conflict studies, political science, international relations, human rights, humanitarian law etc. with the opportunity to contribute to the achievement of organisational goals while gaining useful life and work experiences.

*Motivated students should send their resume together with an application letter by email to hrmanager@hdcentre.org.

  1. Democratic Progress Institute

Organisational Information: An independent non-governmental organisation, the Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) seeks to promote peace and democracy through strengthened public dialogue and engagement. The organisation which works in conjunction with international experts in peace and conflict resolution provides a unique programme model which combines theoretical foundations and expertise-sharing with practical approaches such as conferences and other platforms for exchange.

Internship Information: DPI provides an exciting paid internship programme that provides interns with first-hand insights into the workings and dynamics of an NGO addressing peacebuilding and conflict resolution. It also helps interns develop skills and gain valuable work experience at the start of their professional career.

  1. Peace First

Organisational Information: Peace First is one of the few nonprofit organisation set up to tackle the challenge of peacemaking and peacebuilding from the perspective of ‘catching them young’. The organisation focuses on teaching children how to act peacefully and inspires and enables teachers to teach peacemaking skills, and encourages the general populace to notice and celebrate the role young people play and can potentially have in changing their lives, their schools, communities and the world at large.

Internship Information: Recognising the sensitive nature of its peacemaking and peacebuilding approach, Peace Direct carefully selects a team of talented professionals who are excited about working in an entrepreneurial, start-up type environment where there is immediate opportunity to have a tangible impact on organisational direction and achievement. Limited paid internships are also offered.

  1. United Institute for Peace (USIP)

Organisational Information: The United States Institute for Peace (USIP) is one of the world’s leading nonpartisan and independent conflict management centres. Created by the US Congress, the USIP works to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence.  Entry level jobs abound at USIP. Often, recent graduates get hired as Programme Assistants, with graduates of peace and conflict studies preferred. Graduates from diverse fields such as international relations, political science, and related fields also find entry-level jobs in the organisation. USIP prides itself as an equal opportunity employer, meaning that it offers equal opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees regardless of race, colour, age, religion, national origin, sex etc.

Internship Information: USIP regularly employs Research Assistants and interns to provide a variety of tasks and projects. They are paid between $10-14 per hour and work an average of 20 hours per week.

  1. World Vision International

Organisational Information: The World Vision Partnership is a global community of people passionately committed to improving the lives and futures of the world’s most vulnerable children. The organisation prides itself as the largest child-focused development organisation with over 45,000 staff in almost 100 countries, serving 100 million people annually. The organisation works on every level to achieve its goal of child well-being—from international activism to face-to-face interaction with children.

Internship Information:

The organisation offers paid internships opportunities based in the United States for US citizens/residents or F1-student visa holders. Interns receive a monthly stipend to help offset related expenses such as transportation, meals etc.

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