Jonas Sparre Nyhjem was born in a Copenhagen suburb of Værløse, in the year 1986. His family lineage can be traced back to the royal Glücksburg house, but his stands are firmly populist, as evident from his participation in the Danish Occupy movement. Jonas studied history and film at the University of Copenhagen, which amounts to little more than a glorified library pass and a convenient conversation starter, respectively. His BA thesis dealt with piracy and state sovereignty in ancient Greece. Currently, he is doing his master’s program in Global Refugee Studies at the University of Aalborg, and he is interested in systemic injustices in what is termed: “the global rescue industry”. At Scalabrini, Jonas works as an intern at the Employment Access Program, where he helps people gain meaningful employment in the dog-eat-dog South African labor marked. His spare time interests involve film and theater reviewing, and he writes for a user based media website.


MaximeHello everyone! My name is Maxime and I have just started as an all-rounder intern at the Scalabrini Centre.

I was born and raised in the Netherlands, where I finished a Master’s in Sociology –specialization in Migration and Ethnic studies. The approach to migration in this studies was rather Eurocentric. This is my first time in South Africa, and I am very excited to learn more about migrants and refugees in a completely different geographical context. Moreover, after four years of learning about migration in an academic environment, I really wanted to experience the reality of migration in an NGO setting, which is how I ended up here at Scalabrini.

As an all-rounder, I am hoping to get an insight in all different programmes of the Scalabrini Centre and to make myself useful in every way possible.

EAP adds a Career Counsellor to the Team


We would like to welcome our newest staff member, Stephanie Mackay who is a registered psychometrist and will be acting as the Scalabrini Centre’s Career Counsellor. Stephanie will be working closely under the Employment Access Programme, offering one on one career guidance consultations to clients. Stephanie will evaluate clients’ education and work backgrounds in order to help them determine what they need to do next in terms of achieving their employment goals. Stephanie will be able to assess clients by using the appropriate psychometric assessments. Stephanie’s role will also consist of developing action plans per client, aiding clients in the job search process, assisting in evaluating clients for possible skills training sponsorship, as well as facilitate the Life Skills modules of the Digital Literacy Workshop. The addition of a Career Counsellor will round out the services provided by the EAP team and allow further insight into the needs of our clients.


KathyMy name is Kathy Garcia, and I am currently interning with the Advocacy Program at Scalabrini. I was born and raised in Southern California, and I come from a family of Mexican immigrants. My family’s experience as economic migrants in the United States has made me passionate about immigration issues, and I look forward to learning more about the experience of immigrants in South Africa.

I am an aspiring immigration attorney, and I plan to apply for law school next year. My first introduction to South Africa was in January 2013 as an international student at UCT. I loved the five months that I spent exploring Cape Town, and returned to the US determined to come back. I was intrigued by the xenophobic attacks and high rates of immigration that I learned about while studying at UCT, so I eventually networked my way to Scalabrini, and was captivated by the warm environment, friendly people, and important work that is carried out by the center.

After months of saving and planning, I am ecstatic to be at Scalabrini, and eager to see what the next few months have in store!

Cultural Orientation Programme

The Cultural Orientation Programme participants have done some exciting activities over the past few months.
Jean, Jinow and Mireille went to the Castle and to do Putt Putt. Anthony, Bob and Abel have been to Kirstenbosch and the Green Point Stadium. Dillon, Jessica and Pacific spent some time at the beach. Antonia and Santa-Marie enjoyed a Waterfront cruise.
We are looking for hosts for the next term of the Cultural Orientation Programme starting in October. If you are interested in participating in an enriching cross-cultural exchange, please contact Daniela at or 021 465 6433.

Announcement of new work permits for Zimbabweans – the Zimbabwean Special Permit


The Department of Home Affairs has officially announced the framework for the extension of work permits issued under the Zimbabwean Documentation Project (ZDP) which ran from 2009 to 2014. In the June newsletter, the Advocacy Programme discussed the initial ZDP project and the ongoing discussions in government about how to address the upcoming expirations of these permits.On 12 August the Minister of Home Affairs announced the basic framework that the government will use to address the upcoming ZDP permit expirations. While initial discussions focused on the possibility of forcing Zimbabweans to return to Zimbabwe to apply for extensions, the Department has now announced that all permit holders will be allowed to apply for extensions in country. This is a welcome change in the Department’s previous stance and will greatly benefit ZDP permit holders. Additionally, ZDP permits are set to expire at different dates depending on when they were first issued – these expiration dates could be as early as the end of this year or as far forward as 2017. The Minister’s announcement has stated that all ZDP permits will expire on 31 December 2014 regardless of the date of expiration listed on the permit. It is crucial that all Zimbabweans are informed of this change in expiration date to avoid any potential problems in having their permits extended.The Department will being receiving permit renewal applications on 1 October 2014 and the final deadline for application will be 31 December 2014. These applications will be lodged through the new Departmental subcontractor VFS Global which now deals with the reception of immigration permit applications. The Department will establish four new offices in Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpop and Mpumalanga in addition to the 11 offices already opened to deal with appications. As with the ZDP permits, there will be several requirements for permit renewals. Thus far the Department has indicated that individuals will be required to meet the following criteria:

  • have a valid passport;
  • have evidence of employment; and
  • have a clear criminal record.

As opposed to the initial ZDP project that did not require any administrative fee, renewals under the ZSP project will be subject to an administrative fee but the amount has not yet been decided. Importantly, all ZSP permits will expire on 31 December 2017 and there will be no renewal of these permits at that time. Individuals will be able to apply for mainstream immigration permits within 12 months of the expiration of the ZSP permits. These applications will need to be lodged from Zimbabwe. The Advocacy Programme will continue to assist individuals who have ‘fallen through the cracks’ such as those who never received their initial ZDP permit. There are also critical details that have yet to be finalised and the Advocacy Programme will engage with the Department on these matters in the coming months.




Hello.I am one of the new advocacy interns at Scalabrini and will be interning here until mid-December.

I was born and raisedin Toronto, Canada. I have an undergraduate degree in Communications and Cultural Studies from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and also spent some time studying philosophy and literature at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Canada. Having no idea what to do with myarts education, I decided to go to law school with the idea of working in the field of social justice. I obtained a Juris Doctor from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, in 2008. While at Queen’s University, I also obtained a certificate in public international law from the University’s International Study Centre in Sussex, England.

With the exception of a brief sojourn to New York City in 2009, I have been working for the Government of Ontario (Canada’s largest province) since after I completed law school. I have worked in a number of government departments, but my main job is with an office called the Office of Legislative Counsel, which assists the government and other members of the provincial parliament with writing bills and regulations. The Office also manages the online publication of laws for the province of Ontario and provides advice to members of the provincial Parliament about parliamentary procedure.

I am currently taking a leave of absence from my job with the Ontario government in order to travel and gain some experience working in a non-governmental organisation. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work at Scalabrini and to live in Cape Town for four months and I look forward to meeting and working with all the team and the clients.