NEW INTERN PROFILE – CHRISTER KABEKENGA

Christer

Hello everybody! My name is Christer, and I am currently Volunteering with the Advocacy Desk at Scalabrini.

I was born in Kagera and raised in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Law. I worked with Building Resources Across Communities (BRAC-Tanzania) where I led a community campaign on poverty alleviation. I also worked with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau. I investigated and prosecuted corruption cases, together with getting involved in establishing and monitoring anti-corruption clubs in schools and creating awareness on the causes and effects of corruption in the community.

I arrived in Cape Town in 2013 with the aim of joining my spouse and doing my further studies. I become aware of the refugee problems from the society surrounding me which most of the people are forced migrants. This led me to volunteer for Scalabrini Centre.

I’m really thankful for the opportunity and I’m enjoying to work at the Scalabrini Centre and it is my great expectations that I’ll experience the reality of forced migration in a broad context of laws.

NEW INTERN PROFILE – CAMILLE ANAIS MARIE SERELUS

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Greetings! My name is Camille Anais Marie Serelus and I am the new English School intern. I work at the office and teach beginners English two days a week!

I am originally from Boston, Massachusetts in the United States and there, I study International Affairs and Human Services at Northeastern University. After my undergraduate studies are completed, I plan on getting my Masters in Social Work and becoming a counsellor.

In my free time, I enjoy writing, listening to music, going to concerts and dancing the Kompa, Zouk, Bachata and more. I am very blessed to be in a country with such rich history, great food and awesome music and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my stay in Cape Town has in store for me!

NEW INTERN PROFILE – TIZIANA CORDA

TizianaCiao, I’m Tiziana from Italy!

I have just embarked on this new adventure at the Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town but I already feel the magic of its city, people, and culture. It all started accidentally by word of mouth one night in the Far East, Japan to be precise: former interns always describe the Scalabrini one as the experience of a lifetime. For years I hoped one day I would have the chance to do “something good” in my life, and finally now I am given this opportunity to offer my time and the few skills I have to the Scalabrini community.

When not busy day-dreaming, I am a 23-year-old student of a Master Degree in World Politics and International Relations at the University of Pavia, with a Bachelor Degree in Foreign Languages and a collection of specialisations in different fields, among which diplomacy, international cooperation and development, and migration. It was a short experience in India two years ago that moved me closer to the world of NGOs and vulnerable people. In the few idle moments I have I enjoy travelling and playing football.

I firmly believe my experience as an all-rounder at the Centre will be valuable not only for my future career in a highly competitive field such as that of international affairs, but also to enrich my life, mostly by teaching me how to appreciate things I have always taken for granted.

NEW INTERN PROFILE – SASCHA PETERMANN

Sascha

Hello everybody! My name is Sascha, and I am currently interning with the Employment Help Desk Program at Scalabrini.

I am 24-years old and I am from Wernigerode, Germany. Currently I am in my fifth year of studying Political Science at the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg.

After finishing my Bachelor’s Degree I want to specialize in Peace and Conflict studies and therefore I truly believe gaining insight to Human Rights and the general work of a NGO like the Scalabrini Centre will be a valuable and evocating experience.

I arrived in Cape Town in November last year and from the first second here I fell in love with this amazing city with her charm, multicultural spirit and her open-hearted people.

I am really thankful, that the Scalabrini Centre allows me to work in such a unique environment and atmosphere and it is amazing being a part of such a team.

NEW INTERN PROFILE – ELISA SALAMI

Elisa

Hi everyone! My name is Elisa and I’m the new all-arounder intern at the Scalabrini Centre.

I was born and raised in Bologna, Italy, where I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Law with a final dissertation about the refugee status in the multilevel system for the protection of fundamental rights. My studies not only increased my awareness and interest in human rights, but also led me to volunteer for the Italian system for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers. I arrived in Cape Town four months ago with the aim of improving my English and I immediately fell in love with this amazing city and its multicultural spirit.

I’m really thankful for the opportunity to work at the Scalabrini Centre because I’ll experience the reality of forced migration in a completely different geographic context. As all-arounder I’ll take on different tasks which will give me the chance to learn from the inside how a NGO runs different programmes.

Advocacy Outreach Project in Bellville

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The Advocacy Programme has started a new outreach project in partnership with the Somali Association of South Africa (SASA) at the Bellville Education Centre (BEC) in Bellville, which provides English lessons to Somalis in the Cape Town area. The Scalabrini Centre has a strong relationship with SASA. Previously, the Advocacy Programme provided assistance to individuals who were referred by SASA from the BEC at our main Cape Town office. Due in part to high demand for services, as well as the difficulty some individuals face in travelling to Cape Town, the Advocacy Outreach Project was developed to better serve the Somali community and to reach individuals previously unable to seek assistance in relation to permit issues and service access. The project began in September and involves a weekly visit to Bellville.Two months into the project, the Advocacy Programme has provided assistance to 50 individuals. Common issues of concern involve expired permits that were issued at other Refugee Reception Offices, assistance with appeal requests, and assistance with family joining applications. Funding by the US State Department Bureau of Population and Refugee Movements (PRM) has made the new Advocacy Outreach Programme possible.

Zimbabwean Documentation Background and Updates

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The Zimbabwean Documentation Project (ZDP) began in 2009. The project was a special dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals present in South Africa who were either using asylum seeker permits due to lack of regular work permit options or who were undocumented and thus considered illegal foreigners. The ZDP project allowed individuals to apply for four year work permits with relaxed requirements. The application period was also accompanied by a moratorium on the deportation of Zimbabweans to entice undocumented individuals to come forward and apply for permits.The ZDP project was largely successful and roughly 275,000 individuals were able to apply for permits, allowing them to work, conduct business, and study in South Africa legally. In 2009, during the initial application and collection process, the Advocacy Programme assisted individuals by conducting information sessions and helping clients with individual cases.As the four year window for ZDP permits comes to a close, the Department of Home Affairs announced that individuals who applied for ZDP permits will be allowed to apply for extensions under a new project entitled the ‘Zimbabwean Special Project’, or ZSP. During this transition from ZDP to ZSP permits, our Employment Access Programme has done stellar work helping individual Zimbabweans coming to the centre from around the Western Cape.  In October, the EAP team assisted more than 300 clients with the online application system, many of whom were first-time visitors to the Scalabrini Centre. Although the online system was fraught with errors in the first few days it was available, throughout the month it has steadily improved and nearly three-quarters of the clients assisted have successfully submitted their applications. The EAP team is continuing to follow-up with both the clients and with VFS on the various issues that are arising, and will work closely with the Advocacy team to address these problems with VFS and the Department of Home Affairs.