New Intern Profile – Serena Bernardini


Hello! My name is Serena and will be an All-Rounder Intern for the next three months! I came from Italy, where I graduated first in International Cooperation and Development, and later in International Relations. After the bachelor, I went for two months in India for an internship in Rural Development, where I understood that working side by side with persons and on the field is what really makes me happy. Therefore, in 2014 I went for one year to Peru for a microfinance project in a school, working with kids to raise awareness on hazardous work related dangers. I have also undertaken a research on gender-related issues in order to write my Comparative Constitutional Law thesis, in which I analysed the situation of human trafficking in Peru, affecting especially women and children. After that, I spent the last year living in Quito, Ecuador, where with the Red Amazonica we were training local community leaders for active citizenship, protecting the rights, the identity and the territory of the Amazon communities, in the perspective of a socio-political and socio-environmental commitment. All these experiences allowed me to work and to get in touch with people from all over the world, comparing myself with different cultures and traditions. I love traveling and see new places, and for me this would be the first time living in Africa. I never worked before in migration issues, and therefore I’m totally excited for this new experience in the Scalabrini Centre, which I am sure will give a substantial contribution to improve my professional skills, and even more my personal growth.

New Intern Profile – Maren Bjørkan


My name is Maren. I am originally from Norway and I will be an EAP intern at Scalabrini until December. In May 2016 I finished my bachelors degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Bjørknes University College in Oslo, Norway. During my program I had courses in International law, human rights law, conflict resolution and transitional justice which all sparked my interest for the African continent. Thus, I ended up writing my thesis on the dual role of security forces in Nigeria in their response to terrorism. It was through my exchange semester in 2015 at Stellenbosch University I had my first encounter with South Africa. During my 6 months in Stellenbosch I, as so many others, fell in love with Cape Town and decided that an internship here would be perfect after finishing my degree. That is how I found and ended up at Scalabrini!
I am thrilled to be back in Cape Town and to be part of such an interesting and exciting environment. When I am not working, I enjoy taking dance classes, cooking, meeting new people and exploring new places. Lastly, I am very excited about working at the Scalabrini Centre. I am enjoying it already and I look forward to the coming months!

New Intern Profile – Storm Smith


Storm will be interning within the EAP department for the next 4 months. Born and bred in Cape Town, Storm went on travels that led him to the US and across Europe. Wanting to gain experience abroad after his matric, his journey also led him to Russia, where had lived for 3 years in order to work as an English governor. Simultaneously, he started his undergrad studies in International Relations and Diplomacy at Unisa. Upon his return to the Mother City, Storm started to work as a volunteer in his local township and joined the Activate! Leadership Program in order to become adequately equipped as a change maker. His aim is to volunteer around the globe and complete a Master’s degree in Development in the Netherlands. Storm is a passionate football player and musician. When he isn’t spending his time in the outdoors and creating content for his and his wife’s blog he is busy experiencing and indulging in new exotic cuisines. Storm is excited to be part of the Scalabrini Centre and work with and help people from all walks of life.

New Intern Profile – Anna Lena Goll

IMG_5337Anna will be interning with the Advocacy Team at Scalabrini for the next 6 months. She is conducting the internship as part of her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Communication Science in Germany. Since graduating from High School, Anna has been involved in international Human Rights advocacy, attending several conferences of Human Rights institutes and gaining work experience in the field of Human Rights. She has been volunteering for two different Human Rights Organizations for 6 months in Cape Town with focus on refugee rights and social justice prior to her internship at Scalabrini. She has also been volunteering for an NGO in Accra, Ghana with a strong focus on youth empowerment through education on human rights issues such as human trafficking, child marriage, domestic violence and the rights of people with disabilities. Since 2013 she is an active member of Amnesty International. Anna has returned to South Africa to deepen her knowledge of South African refugee policy and human rights issues. After travelling and volunteering in Western and Southern Africa, Anna has developed a specific interest in migration flows, conflict mitigation and the impact of conflicts on human rights in Africa, with a focus on sexual violence as a weapon of war.  Anna is impressed by the diversity of African cultures and eager to work with people from diverse national, cultural and ethnic backgrounds

New Intern Profile – Julie Nordahl Lillejord


I´m Julie and I´ll be working with the Women´s Platform for the next three months, which I´m super excited about! I´m originally from a small city in the south of Norway. This is my first time here in Cape Town, but I´m already certain that it won´t be my last! What an amazing city! I studied in Oslo and finished my bachelor in social work in 2014. During my bachelors I lived 7 months in Kenya interning as a social worker at a home for children with HIV, where my job was to help out with the adoptions. An experience I´ll carry with me forever. I´ve also done a small research project with microfinance groups in rural areas around Kisumu, Kenya. After graduating I´ve been working with COD (co-occurring disorders) patients which is the condition of suffering from both mental illness and substance abuse problems. One of the pros of being a social worker is definitely the opportunity to work in so many different fields. I´m applying for my Masters in Public Health in Washington, D.C. next fall, so fingers crossed! When I´m not at work or studying I use my time playing handball (not a big deal here in South- Africa obviously), cooking, watch chick- flick movies on Netflix or hang out with friends. 

New Intern Profile – Amy Terese Shackelford


Amy will be serving as the Women’s Platform intern for the next four months.  She is from Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States. She is currently in a dual Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health program.  Her focus is women’s rights and reproductive health within the context of community b, policy development, and sustainability.  Amy has worked and interned in Indianapolis for a variety of ngos such as Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, Planned Parenthood of Indiana, the Sustainable Library Citizens Coalition, and Exodus Refugee.  She is passionate about contributing to a world that elevates the status of women and therefore shifts the power dynamic of society.

New Intern Profile – Nadine Eis


Hello, I am Nadine and I will be interning with the Advocacy team for the coming six months. I come from Germany and I am currently in my third year of (undergraduate) studies in the Europa Africa programme at Sciences Po, Paris. After my previous experiences in the field of social work and development cooperation in Lomé/Togo and Dakar/Senegal, I am excited to get to know South Africa and its surroundings. Due to my own travel experience and the multicultural background of my fellow students at Sciences Po, I have grown passionate about the issue of migration as a whole, and about the situation of refugees in particular. My volunteer work with asylum seekers and refugees both in France and in Germany has put me in touch with individuals from all over the world and I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities linked to work at Scalabrini, in yet another cultural context and with an even more diverse group of people. Seeing that I intend to continue my studies with a migration-related Masters programme and that I want to work in the field of migration management, an internship with Scalabrini is a crucial step for me to gain work (and life!!!) experience.

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.