New Staff Member: Assistant Manager English School

Sam We would like to welcome our newest staff member, Samantha Bath. She was born in Pietermaritsburg and grew up in Cape Town before attending university in Stellenbosch. Studying politics, she became part of an outspoken group of students on campus who raised some of the issues faced by first generation students in integrating into campus life. University management responded by creating the Unit for Multiculturalism and Diversity, for which she then worked for 2 years. After 6 years in Stellenbosch, believing it was time to spread her wings a bit, Samantha moved to Korea to be an English teacher in public elementary schools for four years. Upon returning home to Cape Town, she started volunteering at the Scalabrini Center as an English teacher, where she now works as the assistant manager of the English school organizing the English Alive co-curricular program.

New Intern Profile – Liboria Stancampiano

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My name is Liboria Stancampiano. I was born in Palermo but until I was eleven I used to live in Florence. After having spent approximately other ten years in Palermo with my family, I moved to Milano to attend University. We could say that I am used to moving, thus changing does not scare me at all, rather I find it really challenging. As a result, in September I will start a new experience abroad: I will be an erasmus student in Leuven, Belgium for 6 months. Currently, in Milano I am studying Law at the Università Cattolica, I feel I can say that I am really keen on the field I am into.

I’ll be at Scalabrini for one month working with the Advocacy Team, helping refugees and asylum seekers. I’m looking forward to starting!

In these days I had the opportunity to visit the centre and I found stunning everything they do, it’s amazing how the English School helps so many people, giving them the chance to improve their conditions! I’m grateful to the Scalabrini Centre and to my University that  gave me this opportunity, to be part of such a fantastic organization!

I hope that this experience will help me in making up my mind about my future. I am really keen on the International Law of Human rights, in fact in Leuven I am going to attend a specific course focused on that field and, in addition to this, a specific seminar at my return in Italy. Maybe in working with the Advocacy Team I will understand that dealing with human rights  is truly what  I would like to do in the future.

New Intern Profile – Felicia Vilasi

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My name is Felicia Vilasi, I’m 22 years old and I’m a student of the Faculty of Law at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan). I’m volunteering at Scalabrini Centre since I took part in the Work Charity Program of my University to collaborate with the Advocacy Team…I’m so excited!

I had experiences working in this environment as I took part in many activities of the International Committee of Italian Red Cross which is dedicated to preventing and alleviating human suffering in warfare and in emergencies such as epidemics, floods and earthquakes. Whilst working with Italian Red Cross I enjoyed the chance to be able to work with refugees, immigrants and people in need.

This experience brought a lot to my life. It helped me to be introduced to ideas of volunteering and to understand how a person can self develop by team work and collaboration.

In 2010 I was nominated International Climate Champion for the British Council and I represented Italy in Kuwait City during the “International Conference on impact of Climate Change on Agriculture and Biodiversity in the Arab Region”.

I also took part in the event “Meet me to involve me” in Slovenia, which brought together youth activists and volunteering organizers and attended “Berlin Talent Summit”, a recruiting conference for innovative companies that brings Europe’s best junior talent to Germany.

During the first three years of University I attended a seminar called “Women, Politics and Institutions” which gave me to chance to get in touch with European Officials involved in gender politics and sustain change against discrimination.

To learn about new cultures, share different views, communicate with people and achieve goals together will be a priceless experience for me. This is, perhaps, what I seek most.

New Intern Profile – Maria Becker

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My name is Maria Becker and I am studying Development and International Relations at the Aalborg University in Denmark. This internship in the Advocacy Department is part of my studies. Before I started my internship with the Scalabrini Centre I have been researching about refugee and asylum regulations in Europe and also joined the Asylforum in Aalborg just to get to know more about it. This motivated me in completing an internship with the Scalabrini Centre in order to learn more about the asylum system in general. Being part of the Advocacy team allows me to meet people from different backgrounds and with different needs. We are helping people out who need assistance with their refugee and asylum seeking permits and assist them in many other issues they are facing as well. Moreover, there are many more projects that the Advocacy team is focusing on such as the Angolan Cessation, the Children’s Project etc. which I look forward to get to know more about. I am really enjoying my time here at the Scalabrini Centre and cannot wait for more to come.

New Intern Profile – Ever-merry Chipise

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My name is Ever-merry Chipise. I am from Zimbabwe and I am currently volunteering at Scalabrini as an EAP Intern. I recently completed my Masters in Counsellling Psychology and I am now studying Child and Family Studies. I enjoy working with people and I am finding my experience at Scalabrini to be rewarding even in the first week. I look forward to working with the dynamic staff and clients at Scalabrini.

I have had the dream to work in the NGO environment and being at Scalabrini is confirming my passion and I am certain this is the ideal type of working environment for me. I am interested in learning more about the dynamics of migration and assisting in the job search and empowering the clients with basic skills to secure and excel in the work environment as I believe in empowerment rather than dependence.

I love having a good laugh, hiking and puzzle solving. I recently adopted the motto that: one can fail or fall as many times as possible as long as you remember to get up each time with a new lesson learnt regardless of how small the lesson is. Keep at it and smile :)

New Intern Profile – Anthony Phillips

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My name is Anthony, I was born and raised just outside of Boston, in the United States. This is my first experience living outside of the U.S, and so far Cape Town has given me a very warm welcome. I am studying history at my university in the U.S. I plan to pursue my graduate degree in education and teach at the high school and university level. I also want to take part in public school curriculum reform, and improve the way we teach each other. At home, I am involved in community and national politics. To this end I have founded a community group that serves as a discussion/learning space for political, social, environmental and economic issues as well as provides clean up services to local playgrounds and parks. I have also recently become obsessed with music, and am teaching myself guitar, bass guitar and keyboard. I hope to put out a full set of original music within the next few years. After university I would love to teach English in South America, or in Africa. Above all I hope to share and create many positive experiences for people all over the world.

Scalabrini Centre: volunteer experience – Vanessa Wright


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I am from Toronto, Ontario and have been volunteering at the Scalabrini Refugee Centre for the past 4 months. During this time, I have had awonderful experience learning about the range of support programs offered at Scalabrini, and getting to know the clients and staff at the centre. My primary volunteer responsibilities have included assisting with aspects of the women’s platform (outreach support group) and with the centre’s English school, and running an HIV education and prevention body-mapping workshop.

I have admired the creative and resilient approach taken by many refugees in Cape Town, particularly during the recent xenophobic threats that exist in many parts of South Africa. On World Refugee Day, the Scalabrini Centre decided to host a World Refugee Week, where clients cooked and prepared lunch, and participated in music, drama and poetry performances. It was a wonderful celebration, the hope and energy in the auditorium was palpable as we sang lyrics to songs in many different languages. As I walked home that afternoon, I could still hear the music echo from the centre and was graciously reminded of the shared unity, perseverance and determination I have felt from refugees not only in Toronto, but now South Africa too.

A Visit to the Berlin Wall – Monday 20th April

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Cape Town is steeped in history, much of it dark, much of it relating to the gross infringement of human rights.  So, running a Human Rights Club at Scalabrini, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to relevant places to visit right on your doorstep.  Sites like the Berlin Wall, that chunk that was given to Nelson Mandela and South Africa back in the 90’s.  You can find it at the entrance to St. George’s Mall, opposite St. George’s Cathedral on Wale Street.

Yes indeed!  There’s a chunk of the Berlin Wall in Cape Town, the only chunk held in Africa. Its two sides, East and West, clearly discernible by the extent of graffiti on them.  The Western side is covered in scrawl and paint splashes, the Eastern side is as clean as a hospital wall.  In the past, it would have been very foolish to have scrawled anything on the Eastern side of the wall.

Around the world there are 122 segments on show on streets and in museums – 41 in Europe, one in Moscow, 64 throughout the Americas (many in the USA) the one in Israel, and one in Bangladesh, Singapore, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan.

I’d set up an exhibition and a talk around the use of walls, both physical and psychological, to imprison and control people throughout the world. The one in Israel (which has its own chunk of the Berlin wall), that meanders throughout Palestine, and the one that Kenya is building along its border with Somalia.  And I showed a short film of the wall coming down in 1989, making the connection between this major milestone in the ending of the Cold War, and the fall of the Apartheid Regime and the release of Nelson Mandela quite soon after.

Members of the club pretended to spray the word ‘UNITE’ on the Western side of the wall, in the name of freedom and tolerance, mindful of the recent tragic rise of xenophobia in South Africa – a powerful symbol of solidarity and a striking connection to an age old struggle to fight for and maintain human rights for all.

It was a great start to our weekly club activities, setting the tone for lots more exploring to come..

By Neil Goodwin, Human Rights Officer

New Intern Profile – Chantel Pheiffer

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My name is Chantel Pheiffer. I am a native of South Africa but I have been living and attending school in the United States for the past 14 years. I am currently a Sociology PhD student at Brown University where my research focuses on migration, urbanization, and development. I am spending several weeks at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town as a volunteer at the Employment Help Desk assisting clients with writing CVs, applying for work, and teaching digital literacy (basic computer skills). I am learning about the challenges migrants and refugees face in applying for work and how a civil society organization such as the Scalabrini Centre assists clients in meeting their needs. In my free time I enjoy hiking, running, reading, and learning about Cape Town’s craft beer scene.

New Intern Profile – Melissa Miletic

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Hi! My name is Melissa and I am an English School intern at the Scalabrini Centre. I was born and raised in Miami, FL and currently reside in Brooklyn, NY. I graduated from the University of South Florida with degrees in International Studies and Communication and am currently obtaining a master’s at New York University in International Education.

After studying classroom curriculum and experimenting with pedagogical methods of teaching conversational English in international settings, I wanted to gain a hands-on approach to understanding the realities of how migrants and refugees can utilize language education for sustainable socioeconomic integration in the African context. I am thrilled to be a part of the Scalabrini team and lucky to have this incredibly rewarding opportunity. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking/baking, yoga, digital/analog photography, being outdoors and generally exploring whatever environment I find myself in. Cape Town is a culturally rich city that whose music, landscape, people, and food I adore!