SAWIP selects a diverse team each year for a seven month program which is aimed at inspiring, developing and supporting them to be ethical, servant leaders and active citizens in delivering  quality, sustainable community development within under-resourced and marginalized communities, thereby, contributing towards social and economic justice as well as the deepening of democracy in South Africa.

SAWIP currently recruits annually 20 high potential South African citizens and permanent residents with a significant record of community engagement from the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch, the Western Cape and Pretoria into its team. Students are eligible starting in their second year of academic study, and are between the ages of 19 and 25.


Through experiential learning, community projects and exposure to thought-leaders from a variety of sectors, the curriculum contributes to nation building, community engagement, deepening of democracy, the realization of the constitution as well as promoting personal and leadership development aimed at inspiring ethical servant leaders.

Its curriculum is designed to achieve the following outcomes:

  • The implementation of community engagement projects to benefit and empower the under-resourced and marginalized;
  • Developing capable, ethical servant leaders with professionalism, cultural and global understandings who are sensitive to their contexts and equipped for community engagement;
  • Young leaders who are thought leaders and active citizens committed to deepening South Africa‚Äôs democracy and the full realization of its Constitution

It is structured and organized in the following way:

March to May

South Africa

  • Selection Camp
  • Orientation Camp
  • Bi-weekly development sessions and experiences
  • Individual community engagement projects
  • Fundraising by students

June to July

Washington, DC

  • Cultural immersion through living with American host families
  • Leadership and professional development
  • Professional work exposure
  • Site visits to historic and cultural landmarks around Washington, DC and New York City
  • High level networking opportunities
  • Interaction with young leaders from the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Israel, Palestine and the United States of America

August to October

South Africa

  • Weekly development sessions and experiences
  • Team Community Engagement Projects in Cape Town and Pretoria
  • Program reflection and evaluation
  • Graduation and induction into the Alumni Association

SAWIP might be the leadership development opportunity for you.

Apply here

Our alumni play an active role in shaping and supporting the SAWIP program.

Previous Teams

Current Curriculum Themes:

  1. Community engagement for development
  2. Diversity and inclusion
  3. Human rights and social justice
  4. South Africa within the global economy
  5. Democracy, active citizenship and nation building
  6. Entrepreneurship
  7. Core skills for servant leaders

SAWIP needs your support

The South Africa-Washington International Program is helping to inspire, prepare and support South African youth to lead a sustainable democracy with a peaceful and prosperous future for all its citizens.

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