Hey, I am Chiara Di Giulio. I was born in Paris, to a Dutch mother and an Italian father. I lived there for 7 years, at which point I moved to Brussels, where I finished my high school. I attended the European School, a school created for the children of those who work at the European Institutions, in which they could have classes in their mother tongue. The school was bilingual, so for me French and English. When I finished high school, I moved to The Hague in the Netherlands to study at the Honours University College of Leiden, where I graduated in International Law this June. I wrote my thesis on the problem Europe is facing with regards to immigration, and I focused on European and International Refugee Law. Before going on to my Masters, I wanted to gain some practical experience, which is why I applied for an intern position at Scalabrini. I love photography and travelling.
By Justine Sibomana
My brain was polluted by war,
burnt to ashes,
while I ran to different countries
seeking greener pastures.
Now I am left to struggle with my sanity,
questioning: is this what a refugee ought to be?
I am planted in Rwanda, rooted in Kenya, fertilized in South Africa.
My roots entangled, tied in many knots.
In a moment of silence, after all the battles within,
the heavy breathing becomes lighter.
In that moment it hits me for the first time:
I am not trying to defend myself,
I am embracing who I am.
I have mentally abused myself,
got myself confused, fell into an identity crisis,
trying to find myself in all the countries I have passed through,
rather than within.
In that moment I realize I am an African woman,
I should not be ashamed of my journey, but proud.
It shaped me.
I am Rwandese, my skin beautifully toned by the Rwandan sun,
my accent beautifully tuned by Kenyan English
and my knowledge filled by South African education.
I am designed by all the experience
that was sown into my existence.
I embrace my past and present and I am ready to define my future.
I am not just a refugee, I am Africa:
planted in Rwanda, rooted in Kenya, fertilized in South Africa.
And despite the harshness of my journey and continent,
like Maya, ‘still I rise’.
Hi my name is Martin. I am currently one of the EHD interns at Scalabrini. I am from Denmark and I grew up just outside of Copenhagen. I am 25 years old and I’m am currently doing my masters in Global Refugee Studies at AAU-CPH. My background is that I have done volunteer work outside of my studies and that I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology. I enjoy running and hiking. Also I have the prettiest desktop picture here at Scalabrini. I perform the daily services at the EHD and I am also engaged in the Foreign Nurses Program along with Kimberly. I enjoy reading and I usually read a book a week. I am staying at the guest house here at Scalabrini, which I would recommend to any intern or employee coming to work here. My reasons for coming to SA are that I wanted to explore and experience an asylum regime outside of Europe. So far I have seen elements that I feel could be implemented in a European setting with beneficial effects, but also element where the actual implementation of legislation is not working properly.
Cape Town is one of the most scenic and culturally rich cities that I have ever been in, and I cherish every single moment here! Table Mountain hike: up 1:27, down, 44 min.
Hi! My name is Nele and I am the new all-arounder here at Scalabrini Centre. I was born and raised in Germany and am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Global Refugee Studies in Copenhagen, Denmark.
I obviously have a great interest in the field of migration. My studies gave me a great deal of theoretical input, but I also gained practical experience by assisting migrants with all kind of problems they are facing within their new environment. I am especially interested in the political aspects of migration. I have a bachelor’s degree in European Studies and would like to get somehow involved in the European Union’s asylum policies – preferably working for NGOs.
For now I am looking forward to learn about the situation of migrants in South Africa, to share my experiences and make new ones.
Hello, my name is Katie Elliot. I am an All-Arounder at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town. I will be volunteering here for four months. I was born and raised in Connecticut, on the east coast of the U.S. I am currently in my fourth year at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. I am studying Human Services with a focus on Child and Family Services, minoring in American Sign Language and working on a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. In the past I have worked at an organization outside of Boston that helps young adults and adults with disabilities to learn life and social skills and find jobs in the community. I was a teacher of a class of young adults and helped as a job coach. Ever since I have become a strong advocate for people with disabilities and I have worked at a summer camp for children with disabilities. In the states I also lead a volunteer organization and volunteer myself at various organizations in the community. Additionally, I have been assisted in service-learning classes at the University. I really love getting involved in my community, being active, and trying new things which is how I ended up here at Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town.
This current internship is part of my studies at the University. Prior to coming to Cape Town I have worked in a primary school for a month with three Deaf children. This is my first time in Cape Town, South Africa and I am very excited to learn about the country and the people in it. So far, I have met many wonderful people from all around the world with different stories and things to offer to the country. This is my first time working with refugees and immigrants but I am looking forward to learning more about the refugee and asylum seeker system in South Africa. I am hoping to develop new skills while teaching English and helping with other programs to assist the asylum seekers and refugees here at Scalabrini. My ultimate goal is to try to make a difference to one person at a time, however I can.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)