Chris Buckley Memorial Internship


A programme of The Umkhumbane Schools Project


The Umkhumbane Schools Project (USP) is pleased to announce the piloting of The Chris Buckley Memorial Internship and Community Education Programme in 2024.   Seed-funded by generous donations made in Prof Chris Buckley’s memory at the time of his passing in 2021, the internship supports promising students pursuing their in-service training years at two South African universities towards a career in water management, water engineering, sanitation, or water conservation. 

As part of their internship requirements, interns are also provided a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills through participation in water-related community outreach through the USP in Cato Manor, a community beloved by the Buckley Family.

The scope and objectives of the program are designed in furtherance of Prof Buckley’s extensive legacy in the field of water engineering, sanitation, and environmental management.

Both Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT) have well-established National Diploma in Engineering programmes that prepare students to go on and specialise in Water Management.  After their two years of classroom work, students in this program are required to complete a year of in-service training at a local engineering firm.  Students are responsible for finding their own in-service placements, which can be especially challenging for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Though some firms offer stipends for these placements, many are unpaid and most are underpaid. 

Many students remain stuck at this level of their training and end up dropping out, unable to shoulder the significant financial burden that this year brings, a burden untouched by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) which does not provide funding for in-service training.

What does the Internship provide?

The internship provides a monthly living stipend for students in the required in-service training year of study towards careers in water conservation, sanitation, water management, or other water-related fields.

How are Interns Selected? 

Highly qualified candidates at both DUT and MUT are invited to apply and will be selected on the basis of the motivational essay, their academic record, and recommendations from their university instructors. 

How can I support the Chris Buckley Memorial Internship?

Please consider making a donation! [Link coming ASAP; under construction]

Advisory Committee

Initial interviews are underway for the establishment of an advisory committee made up of representatives from DUT, MUT, and various contributors and stakeholders in the water, sanitation, education, and community development sectors.

Nominations or volunteers for participation on this committee are welcome!  Please e-mail us at with any suggestions or if you yourself would be interested in being part of this group.