New Intern Profile – Stefan Gonzalez


Stefan will be an EAP intern for the next 6 months. He is originally from San Diego, United States. In 2015 he finished his B.A. in International Affairs at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, United States. He first travelled to Cape Town in 2013 where he spent a year studying Political Science at the University of Cape Town. After graduating from university, Stefan interned at the International Rescue Committee in San Diego, United States. Alongside that internship he worked in the finance department for a City in San Diego County. Following the end of a fixed-term contract, Stefan decided to move back to Cape Town, a city that he has grown to love. Looking in the future, Stefan is interested in pursuing a Master’s Degree in Migration Studies.

Stefan is an avid rock-climber. Thanks to a former sponsor he is fortunate to have been able to climb and travel across the United States and internationally to places like Peru and South Africa in search of difficult and inspiring lines. Stefan is also interested in surfing, the arts, cooking, literature and learning about new cultures.

New Intern Profile – Verena Wiedmaier


After a very short thinking process and an invitation to a birthday bash in South Africa, Verena decided to take a three months sabbatical from work (yeah!). Eager to get out of the comfort zone from time to time, Verena decided to volunteer here at Scalabrini. And voila, here she is, an Allrounder for one month and very excited to be here! She was born and raised in Germany but has spent a lot of time abroad. She holds a BA hons in International Business and a MSc in Sustainability. Her first career steps were at a pan-Arab NGO in Dubai. Since it’s way too hot there in the summer and as she was missing the greenery, she moved back to Germany. She has joined the corporate world where she now consults companies, NGOs and government bodies on how to communicate their sustainability efforts internally and externally.

New Intern Profile – Megan Collins


Megan is from the United States and is studying abroad in Cape Town for the semester. Back home in America, Megan attends Providence College and is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Studies with a concentration in immigration, a minor in Spanish, and is on a pre-law track. Prior to Scalabrini, Megan has worked with female immigrants at the Mercy Learning Center in her home state of Connecticut, teaching English classes and aiding with the Family Literacy program. While at Scalabrini, Megan will be an All Rounder and looks forward to her involvement in the many programs that Scalabrini has to offer, especially the English School and the Women’s Platform.

Intern Profile – Wian Verwoerd


Born in Stellenbosch, Wian moved to rainy old Dublin, Ireland, when he was 8, and lived there for almost 15 years. Whilst there, he completed his LL.B (hons.) in Law at Trinity College Dublin, deriving a specific interest in Refugee & Immigration Law, and Human Rights Law more generally. WV decided to phone home and is now in the process of completing his MPhil in Justice and Transformation at the University of Cape Town. Wian’s two favourite hobbies include long walks on the beach and writing clichéd endings to intern profiles.

New Intern Profile – Violet Trachtenberg


Violet will be an English School Intern for the next ten months. She just finished her undergraduate degree at Stanford University in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, an interdisciplinary course focused on systemic racism, and wrote her honors thesis about White teachers’ racial consciousness development. Violet is passionate about teaching, education equity, and community organizing for social justice. In 2015, she studied abroad in Cape Town and interned at COSAT High School in Khayelitsha. She has also taught with the Breakthrough Collaborative in San Francisco, and taught English in public schools in Santiago, Chile and Las Tablas Abajo, Panama.

Violet is originally from Portland, Oregon in the United States, and you can see her on an episode of Portlandia! Something you may not know about her is that she is a competitive slam poet. Violet is thrilled to be back in Cape Town with Scalabrini, and looking forward to engaging with the communities here.

New Intern Profile – Zaina Mahmoud


Zaina is currently a student at Michigan State University in the United States studying Sociology. Her passion for global education and working with refugees back home at the Refugee Development Center has brought her to Cape Town’s Scalibrini Centre. Zaina’s study of Sociology and previous major of global education has allowed her to understand the ways in which education takes place in today’s society. She hopes to provide a nurturing presence at the Scalibrini English school during her time.

New Intern Profile – Rachel Boring


Hailing from the United States, Rachel is currently studying at Allegheny College. Her undergraduate studies are in Psychology and Global Health Studies, focusing largely on mental health disparities. While in school, she works with a nonprofit organization that aids people with mental illnesses in building life skills, re-entering the work force, and navigating government programs. However, her interests in human rights issues are not limited to mental illness. This past semester, she took a class in Global Justice, sparking her interests in the worldwide refugee crisis. Learning about the lack of protection of basic human rights for refugees, she was encouraged to explore the issue further. She believes that her time at Scalabrini Centre will undoubtedly be an eye-opening experience, enabling her to work more personally with refugees and migrants. She is appreciative of this unique opportunity and looks forward to the coming months.

New Intern Profile – Olivia Steaban

Olivia new

Olivia is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies at DePaul University. Throughout her education she has been specifically interested in human rights issues. Olivia has been working for Human Rights Watch throughout the past year, serving as an intern in their Chicago office. She is excited about making the transition to Scalabrini, because she believes that the organization will provide her with important hands-on experience. Olivia is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to live and work in Cape Town for the next two months, as she has a break from classes. She is looking forward to this learning opportunity, and hopes to gain a better understanding of the challenges that many migrants and refugees face. Moreover, she is excited to engage with staff members and those participating in Scalabrini’s programs.

New Intern Profile – Jennifer Johnson


Hi all, I’m Jennifer Johnson, and I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in International Education Development from Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York. My particular focus is on Peace and Human Rights. Prior to this though, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Washington. There my focus was in Applied Ethics and Human Rights Issues. So, my academic interests have stayed consistent in that I have always cared very much about the need to improve the lives of others.

After my undergraduate study, I taught sixth-grade English for two years as part of the nonprofit Teach For America program. During my time as a teacher I worked predominately with disadvantaged minority students, many of whom were undocumented or came from migrant families. This experience furthered my interest and commitment to continue advocating for people from similar populations, and is in large part why I decided to pursue my master’s degree in an effort to become more effective in this field of work.

As part of my current studies, I have also developed strong interest in the role and impact of nonprofit organizations. As such, this curiosity and passion is what has now brought me to the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town’s Employment Access Programme, and I am quite excited to be here.

When I am not working or studying, I also love cooking and trying new restaurants, since I also used to work as a chef. I’m looking forward to exploring the food scene in the City Centre, as well as traveling around the countryside to explore all the diverse culinary and viniculture offerings of South Africa.

New Intern Profile – Nadja Frercksen


Hey, I am Nadja Frercksen, 22 years young and from Germany. I have joined the EAP intern team in Mid-May and so far enjoyed my time here at Scalabrini to the fullest. I graduated last summer with a Bachelor in European Studies from the University of Southern Denmark with a personal focus on EU-Africa relations. I have become quite passionate about the impact of foreign interventions in conflicts and on the influence refugee and general migration flows have on (international) politics.

I am really happy that I got the chance to become a part of the Scalabrini team and learn more about the NGO business in South Africa and more concrete about the challenges and chances that the people face when coming to Cape Town, looking for jobs. I am looking forward to the upcoming months here at Scalabrini – at the Employment Help Desk and in the workshops.