yasminI am originally from the UK. I am working at Scalabrini as the English School intern, dividing my time between office management, teaching a beginners’ English class and implementing a series of HIV awareness workshops. My educational background is in History and Politics, which I studied at Oxford University. My degree choice rested on my belief in the necessity of history and politics as a means to cultural exchange. Hence I have also studied French, German and Arabic. I thrive on communicating with people.Professionally, I have consistently sought out local and international development opportunities. From working with primary children with special educational needs as a teaching assistant in socio-economically deprived communities in Medway, to mentoring state school students into Oxford, I have fought to remove any barrier for an individual to actualise their potential. My refugee work also started in the UK, where I acted as a case manager with Kent Refugee Help in order to provide pastoral and legal aid to the vulnerable detainees of the Dover Immigration Removal Centre. Internationally, I have taught drama in Cambodia, performed research projects independently in Germany and with the British Council in France. More recently, I worked in East London South Africa, as part of a HIV research project, Mzantsi Wakho, run in collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Cape Town and UNICEF, among other international and local NGOs. The project focused on the adherence difficulties faced by Xhosa-speaking HIV-positive youth in a variety of urban and rural settings in the Eastern Cape. I thrive on any challenge, I walked 780km last summer on the ‘Camino de Santiago’ across Spain. My mother is an outdoors addict and would take me on 1000mile bike rides for the summer. I would love to think in some small way I am bringing her enthusiasm for any adventure into my daily life.




My name is Linda Mafuna, I’m from Cape Town and I was born here at South Africa. I have started my internship at Scalabrini and been signed for 2 months at the project called Unite As One we working at schools to encourage the youth to think positively and embrace the difference of colours,races,cultures and respect each other’s intelligence and social state and I love being part of that project because I work very well with young people even older people, I only have few days working here but it feels like years everyone is so friendly and welcoming and I feel I will learn a lot because there are many projects running at the same time at the same centre and its open to us as interns to get information and experience to all the projects, I love Scalabrini its always busy and it helps people every day. I have lot of experience working with people and being here it will help me grow more and to listening to other people’s problems and helping them.


BOOK REVIEW: Migrant Women of Johannesburg

Life in an in-between city
Author:Caroline Wanjiku Kihato

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJohannesburg is filled with many migrants from across Africa and the world, seeking opportunities in the ‘city of gold’. In this book, Caroline Wanjiku Kihato, who began her life in South Africa as a street trader, uses narratives and images to explore the lives of women from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, now living in Johannesburg. Using their stories of love, illness, fears, children, violence, family and money, she explores women’s relationships with host and home communities, the South African state, economy and the city of Johannesburg.

Rather than ask how political forces and global capital shape Johannesburg, this book turns the dominant urban question on its head, and interrogates how cross-border women shape Johannesburg’s politics, regulatory systems and local economies. It explores migrant women’s fluid lives against the backdrop of a city that is also in flux. It looks at what it means to live in Johannesburg, yet remain dislocated there; what it means to be in the inner city, yet aspire to live elsewhere; and what it means to be both visible and invisible in the city.

Kihato poignantly illustrates how populations living in society’s margins influence urban practices. As we follow migrant women through the city’s streets, the boundaries between legality and illegality, formal and informal, official and unofficial collapse – rendering these categories inaccurate descriptors of the city or their lives. Kihato argues that transformation within urban planning and governance structures a redefinition of these terms for twenty-first century African cities.

This insightful ethnographic study is a must-read for those working in urban planning, gender and migration studies and governance and service delivery.


Source:Wits University Press


Lilah PictureMy name is Lilah Byrne and I’m a new intern working with Unite as One. I am originally from Zimbabwe but have lived in South Africa for the last 10 years. I recently graduated from University of Cape Town with a degree in anthropology and history of art. Unite as One is Scalabrini’s outreach programme. It was set up a few years ago, in response to the burst of xenophobic violence, and it aims to spread cultural awareness. As the Unite intern, I go into the four different high schools and help conduct development workshops. It’s been a really great and eye-opening experience working in the schools and I’ve already learned so much. At the end of Unite’s term, I will be travelling for 2 months, and will return to Scalabrini in August and work with the Employment Access Programme. I’m looking forward to working on the Employment Help Desk and very thankful for my time with Unite as One!

“From the Same Soil”

Film Poster“From the Same Soil” is a recently released documentary film produced by the Scalabrini Centre and Amnesty International. It portrays the lives of three LGBT-individuals who have left their home countries because of discrimination and persecution to apply for refugee status in South Africa on the base of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Despite the fact South African laws protect LGBT-individuals; the individuals portrayed encounter several challenges in their new communities.

You can watch the entire documentary film here:


10314730_10152220208204563_5047654375644542286_nWe take pleasure in announcing that our Cultural Orientation Programme, which aims to help orientate students to Cape Town`s culture, and to life in South Africa in general, is the subject of a television programme on local TV station, CTV.

We would like to urge all those who live in and around the Mother City to tune in and watch if you are able to do so. The programme airs at 4:00 AM on Sunday, 25 May. If you are interested in becoming a host in the programme you can contact the Programme`s Coordinator Daniela Cohen on and tell us what you thought of the show!