Fellowships, Access to Spaces and Partnerships

Bertha partners with activists and movements campaigning for transformative social change.

We offer fellowships for individuals undertaking critical work, and physical spaces that bring activists and groups together.



An opportunity for activists and investigative journalists to spend a year deep-diving into one pressing social justice challenge.


Our network of urban hubs and rural retreats offer spaces for activists to work, connect, create, collaborate, organize and celebrate.


Meet our Partners and learn more about the work they’re doing.

The Bertha Challenge

The Bertha Challenge is an opportunity for activists and investigative journalists to spend a year focussing on one pressing social justice issue.

Successful applicants receive a non-residential paid fellowship and a project budget to work independently and together to:

Investigate the causes of and solutions to the annual
Bertha Challenge question

Amplify their findings to a wider targeted audience

Connect with diverse stakeholders for information,
support and sustainable impact

Bertha Spaces

Bertha’s Theory of Spaces

Community, Sustainability and Reciprocity

At Bertha we believe that providing sanctuary and space for organizations, movements and individuals most marginalized within society is a critical intervention in furthering their work towards social justice. This belief is underpinned by three facts regularly conveyed by our activist partners:

Activists and marginalized groups desperately need space but often find themselves excluded (by design). This exclusion – which largely plays out in intersectional, class and racialized terms – keeps working class and poor people from gathering together, growing together and organizing together.

Strategic impact is greatest when action is collective. Opportunities for collaboration, creativity and solidarity are maximized when people come together in spaces from varied backgrounds, disciplines, fields, issues and geographies.

There is a magic that happens when people come together in space that is impossible to replicate. A year of COVID lockdowns and travel restrictions have affirmed how important working and interacting with people in physical spaces can be. Remote communication will remain an important tool, but it will always have its limits. We fundamentally believe in the combined power of time and space to forge meaningful and lasting bonds between people, projects and places.

Bertha Retreat, Franschhoek Valley, South Africa

The Retreat is intended to be a transformative space where groups can gather to hold trainings, facilitate dialogues and work on campaign development. Alongside the venue, Bertha Foundation has established a fund that enables organizations within the Bertha Network – who may not have the resources to access such spaces – to convene at the retreat.

Bertha House, Cape Town, South Africa

Bertha House is more than a building. It’s about creating a vibrant community of people wanting to change the world – a space recognized locally & globally as a cutting-edge hub for collaboration and innovation in activism. 

Our recently refurbished building with more than 2 000 m² of floor space is located in Cape Town, South Africa, in the historic, bustling and centrally-located Mowbray neighbourhood. 

Bertha House will be filled with a diverse mix of activists including organizers, educators, storytellers and other changemakers united in their commitment to building a more just city, country and planet.

We aim to achieve this through the creation of inclusive, stimulating, safe and exciting spaces in which activists and groups can come together to work, organize, learn, create, collaborate and celebrate. 

In 2021 Bertha House will launch an activist cowork community, expanded public events and activity spaces, a media and storytelling laboratory, a cinema and an eatery and food-justice hub.

Partner Highlights

Our Partners


  • Bertha Earth

    Bertha Earth’s mission is to grow a diverse network of young environmental leaders, storytellers and changemakers who protect, nurture and celebrate our planet, now and for generations to come.

  • Be The Earth

    Be The Earth is a hybrid organization that combines for-profit and philanthropic investments, envisioning local and regenerative ecosystems that nurture all beings.

  • Philippi Village

    At Philippi Village their mission is to provide guests, tenants, community and staff with a safe and integrated development space where they can come together, learn, share, work, play and shape Philippi Village’s future.

IMAGE CREDITS: Smallholders Foundation, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education’s Intro to Art Activism Course, in April 2019, participants practising with various media forms, image captured by Seth Deacon, Philippi Village, and Gavin Silber.

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