New Intern Profile – Maria Becker


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


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


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



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


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


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


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!

New Intern Profile – Benedetta Tomassetti

BenedettaHello! My name is Benedetta, I am the new all-arounder intern at Scalabrini Centre. I was born in Italy. I am a 27-year-old student of a Master Degree in Global Marketing, with a Bachelor Degree in Political Sciences and an Honoured Degree in International Sciences with a focus on Human Rights. This is my third time in Cape Town (and the second as volunteer) and I really love this city: the people, the atmosphere and its fantastic landscape. The title of my Honoured Degree thesis was “Hostility and Violence against black foreigners in South Africa: A New Apartheid?” and I have always been interested in the dynamics of migration in South Africa, in the problems and challenges that migrants have to face and more in general in Human Rights issues. I will stay in Cape Town for 1 year and I will do my best to do a good job!

I want to say thank you to the Scalabrini Centre because of the chance to do this experience and for the warm welcome that made me feel at home.

New Intern Profile – Christina Burchia



My name is Christina, I am from Italy and I am the new intern at Scalabrini’s Employment Help Desk. I study international Relations and Human Rights in Amsterdam and spent the last months as an exchange student at Stellenbosch University.  I am very happy about the opportunity to intern at this amazing NGO, to explore Cape Town and get to know many inspiring individuals. This past week I already gained extensive knowledge about how to best assist individuals in their search of jobs or how to teach the computer workshop. I look forward to help our clients in the best way I can and future challenges. I am more than excited about the coming weeks!

Best wishes, Christina

Tshisa Solar Project

The Scalabrini Centre is excited to be working with Tshisa Solar to provide members of the Scalabrini Centre’s Women’s Platform an alternative, low-cost method for heating water.


The Tshisa Box is a unique and durable product which allows the user to harness sunshine to make 10 litres of hot water a day. By filling the Tshisa box with regular tap water and then placing the box in the sun for 4 – 5 hours the box will produce hot water which can be used for bathing, washing, and even drinking.

Tshisa Box

15 participants received the Tshisa box as part of an agreement to conduct market research for the product. Over the course of four months, the participants will put the Tshisa box to use to see how it can benefit them.

Stay tuned to find out more about the successes of the Tshisa Solar Project, and check out to learn more.