Natural Justice Indigenous Fellowship Programme 2021 (Southern Africa)

Application Deadline: October 29th 2021

Natural Justice is an organisation rooted in the struggles of communities in Africa. As a team of pioneering lawyers and legal experts, specialise in human rights and environmental law in pursuit of social and environmental justice. 

Natural Justice strives to enhance the collective rights of people and protect the sacred relationships that indigenous peoples and local communities have with nature.

Indigenous and traditional peoples’ knowledge, together with biodiversity and climate-related science, can help communities facing threats to their lands and territories, to confront the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. At the same time, a better understanding of how people interact with their environment, and the development of culturally-appropriate methods to better engage everyone in management efforts, will help to confront the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. 

The Indigenous Fellowship Programme (Southern Africa), as launched in 2021 by the South African hub of Natural Justice, aims to give indigenous persons the opportunity to gain knowledge of the system and mechanisms dealing with human and environmental rights in general, and indigenous issues in particular. Trained participants are better equipped to assist their organisations and communities in protecting and promoting their rights. This training programme is available in English.  

The Indigenous Fellowship Programme focuses on supporting indigenous peoples and elevating their voices in the dialogue around climate resilience and conservation. The fellowship offers individualised support to fellows, in an effort to enhance and expand leadership potential, as well as to provide learning opportunities and connections for personal and professional development – including community activism. 

The objective of this training programme is to enhance the knowledge of indigenous peoples on existing international, regional and national human and environmental rights instruments and mechanisms, so they can use them to more effectively to advocate for the rights of their communities and raise their concerns at the international, regional and national level. At the end of the programme, trained fellows are also in a better position to share their knowledge with their indigenous communities and organisations. 

Requirements

  • The candidate must be indigenous (non-indigenous persons will not be taken into consideration, even if they have close links with indigenous communities and/or organisations). 
  • Age between 18 – 25.  
  • Formal education is an advantage, but will not be a limitation to participation in the Indigenous Fellowship Programme given the socio-economic barriers confronted by many indigenous peoples that limit access to formal educational institutions. 
  • Candidates are expected to train other indigenous persons after the return to their respective communities/organisations. 
  • The candidate should be proposed and his/her candidacy supported by his/her indigenous organisation and/or community. It is desirable that the collaborating organisation or community has a firm constituency or membership and that it is representative. 
  • The candidate should have a good working knowledge of the language in which the programme is imparted. 
  • The candidate should display an awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations. 
  • The candidate should be committed to continuous learning and to self-development with a focus on professionally promoting organisational interests, objectives and values. 

The Fellowship will provide the successful applicant a stronger understanding of/in: 

  • Practical financial and administrative skills running a civil society organization – such as budgeting, organizing meetings, communications, etc. 
  • The principles of environmental and human rights law and citizenry participation in environmental decision-making; 
  • The realities of communities facing environmental injustices; 
  • Community-centred legal empowerment methodologies; 
  • The policy and governance decision-making processes of key institutions and bodies; 
  • Analysing and evaluating environmental and human rights laws, regulations and policies; 
  • Analysing and commenting on policy and legislative frameworks; 
  • Campaigning and advocacy for rights; 
  • Evidence based environmental justice advocacy and research; and 
  • The civil society organizations and individuals in Southern Africa working towards environmental justice. 

Benefits

  • The Indigenous Fellowship offers an exciting opportunity to a young indigenous person who is passionate about supporting communities in securing rights to their lands, resources and knowledge. The indigenous fellow will be introduced to a broad spectrum of issues within environmental and human rights law and provided hands-on experience and training in research, legal empowerment, data collection and analysis, public interest litigation, analysis on laws and regulations, and advocacy. Over the duration of the Fellowship, the Fellow will have the opportunity to spend time and work directly with communities, community-based organisations and Community Environmental Legal Officers.  
  • The Indigenous Fellowship Programme will be for a period of 12 months full-time.  Participants of the Indigenous Fellowship Programme are entitled to the modest salary and travel allowance provided by the Natural Justice. NJ will not cover any additional expenses such as relocation costs.  

Application Procedure

Please email your application to [email protected] with the following subject line: “CT: Indigenous Fellowship”. 

Applications must include:  

  1. A motivation letter that indicates a) why you are interested in this position and what inspires you about environmental justice more broadly; and b) aspects of your background that demonstrate the required competence for this role; 
  2. A detailed CV with three references; and,  
  3. A letter of recommendation from an indigenous community, organization, or reputable individual in the field. 

Please ensure that your application as a whole speaks to the required qualifications, experience, personal profile and key roles and responsibilities. Please do not apply if you do not meet the required experience. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.  

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Natural Justice Indigenous Fellowship

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