New Intern Profile – Ben-Joop Venter


Hi, my name is Ben-Joop Venter and I was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and lived in the United States of America from 2001. Graduating with a BA in International Relations from the University of South Florida, I have a general interest in international relations and human rights. I sought out the Scalabrini Centre with the intention of gaining practical experience with a local NGO, and will be joining the Advocacy team as in intern until July. With the Advocacy team, I will assist in advising refugees and asylum seekers as they work through the Department of Home Affairs immigration system, and help them in realizing their rights. My experiences with the Scalabrini Centre and the Advocacy team will familiarize me with the inner workings of an NGO, and introduce me to the litany of issues that push people to seek asylum in South Africa, and the obstacles they face during the process.

If the first two weeks serve any indication I will learn a lot during my time here with the Advocacy team.

New Intern Profile – Leona Petereit


Hello beautiful souls,

I am Leona from Germany. I will be working as an all-rounder and supporting the annual census at Scalabrini for the month of February. I love to travel and meeting new people. After my last trip to Asia I realised I don’t want to work in the moneymaking world of media anymore. I wanted to do something meaningful and have an impact, that’s why I started working with different NGOs in Berlin. But after two years of work I still felt like I wanted to learn more about the world we are living in. That’s why I quit my job and left again. I will travel and volunteer around the world to understand the problems and issues of different cultures and how they deal with them. South Africa is such a beautiful and diverse country with a lot of potential. I am really impressed by all the amazing people and projects at Scalabrini Centre and I hope I can contribute to them.

New Intern Profile – Raffaele Garofalo



My name is Raffaele Garofalo I’m 21 years old and was born and grew up in Cologne (Germany). Two and a half years ago I started to study catholic theology in Bonn (Germany) and decided to become a catholic priest. I’ve met the Scalabrini community in my hometown and they told me about the work in the Scalabrini Centre Cape Town with the refugees. After seeing the growing discussions about refugees who are entering Germany I asked for an experience as an Intern. I will be part of the Interns for one year as an All-rounder.

It is my first time in South Africa and I’m really impressed of the culture and the country. I’m looking forward to see more about Cape Town and learn more about the situation of the refugees in this wonderful country!

New Intern Profile – Helena Spector


Hello! My name’s Helena (tricky pronunciation, choose your own) and I’m one of the new EAP interns here at Scalabrini. I have a BA in Social Anthropology and did my thesis on the political representation and social mobilisation of youth in East Africa. So being in South Africa is not only a nice (read TOTAL) change but my time in Cape Town has so far been pretty incredible. If hectic and windy and HOT. But most importantly, I’m really loving the chance to work with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. Everyone I know will tell you that migration and xenophobia is something that I’ve become passionate about (especially following 2015 in Europe) and am seriously considering a career in immigration and asylum law in London. I am so moved already by the challenges of social integration I’ve seen here so far, and I can’t tell you how much I value the opportunity to see just some of the amazing work Scalabrini does.  Thank you so much for having me :)

New Intern Profile – Tatenda Ngwaru


Hi everyone, I am Tatenda and I am originally from Zimbabwe. I recently joined Scalabrini as an assistant to the Human Rights Club. I have previously been involved in transgender and intersex people’s rights and it is with great pleasure that I joined Scalabrini to work with them in this challenging project. I believe it takes one to look in the mirror and be the change you want to see in the world, then everything that follows will fall into place.

Finally, I love Cape Town, a beautiful rainbow city!

New Intern Profile – Lara Scherer


Hey everyone!
My name is Lara and I will be part of the Advocacy Team for six months. I am 25 years old and I am from Frankfurt am Main (Germany) where I studied Law. I graduated last summer and wanted to gain insight into the work of an NGO/NPO working in the field of Human Rights before starting my legal clerkship back in Germany.
The issue of refugees became huge in Germany last year, which makes it very interesting for me to see how it is being dealt with in another country. I am excited to experience the daily work of an organization like Scalabrini Centre that puts so much effort into helping refugees with their problems and is trying to give them the tools needed to create a better and safer life.
Living in Cape Town, meeting all these friendly and welcoming people and getting to know a new culture are only some of the great side effects that come along with working at Scalabrini Centre. I really enjoy being a part of the Scalabrini team and I am excited to work with all of you!!

New Intern Profile – Fanny Collard


Hi everyone !

My name is Fanny, I am the new English school intern at Scalabrini. I am 21 and I will be in Cape Town until June. I am a third-year student at the French School of political science in Toulouse, a five-years program majoring in political science and law, minoring in economy and sociology.
I became particularly sensitive to the question of migration after hearing the testimonies of Syrian refugees having left Syria for France. Then, volunteering with refugees has been a very valuable experience.
The values of Scalabrini are very important to me, especially the respect for diversity and human rights as the idea that migration could be a meeting place for peoples of different cultures. In fact, I understand the purpose of the English school because all the refugees I met were facing the language barrier.
This internship is a great opportunity for me to learn more about the difficulties and legal obstacles that the refugees and asylum seekers face before and after their arrival and also, to enhance my professional background. Indeed I feel highly involved in this issue, and plan my career path in this direction. After serving as a volunteer in France, I am happy to have a professional experience in this field with Scalabrini.
Finally, I am more than happy to be in Cape Town, a so beautiful city with such lovely people! I am looking forward to discovering this country and its culture.

Diana Akokpari – Assistant English School Manager

DianaI was born in Ghana and spent some time in Lesotho and majority of my life in Cape Town, South Africa.  I attended Rustenburg Girls High School in Cape Town and currently pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Education at the University of South Africa. I have worked in training and educational roles, coming into contact with students and people from around the world.  I am very excited about joining Scalabrini and being part of a phenomenal team.

New Intern Profile – Clara Dybbroe Viltoft


Holla! My name is Clara and I am happy one of the new faces in the Scalabrini house. I am working as an EAP intern. I am from Denmark but I am currently pursuing my bachelor degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Malmo University in Sweden. My stay here at Scalabrini is part of my degree. My education is multidisciplinary and includes many different fields.

I am especially interested in issues of discrimination, society structures, and issues of health (which I believe include mental health and happiness as well). I am excited to work with integration first-hand. I really feel that my education is embodied here at Scalabrini, which is absolutely delightful to experience!

Previously, I have mainly worked and volunteered with human and political rights. The previous semester, I studied International Law besides my major and as a result, I am super interested in befriending Lotte and the Advocacy department as well.

Experience tell me that I have a tendency to
/ sing a lot at random times. Please tell me to be quite, should you find yourself working to the same 3 lines of ‘Warwick Avenue’.
/ eat a lot of hummus, cheese, and mustard. These also go well together, I’d argue. Tell me to swallow a mint if I start sweating garlic and it bothers you.
/ drink too much coffee and too little water but I hope this will not affect you. Should my liquid habits affect you, please let us talk about over an iced coffee.
/ LAUGH. Loudly. And. A. Lot! This will be difficult to change. Although I prefer that you don’t, you could try and be super boring.

I look forward to becoming familiar with Cape Town, South Africa and its culture, nature, and people, as well as getting to know my co-workers!


New Intern Profile – Inke Schwarzer


Hey, my name is Inke and I’m a new All-rounder for the next 5 months at Scalabrini.  I’m from Germany, 27 years old and I’m currently doing my Masters in Frankfurt. I’m studying an interdisciplinary course called Moving Cultures – Transcultural encounters. The experience at Scalabrini will give me the opportunity to look behind the theoretical construct of migration. I’m really excited to get involved into all the different projects the Scalabrini runs.

Working with refugees means to understand the different challenges and problems every individual has to deal with in a new environment such as lacking integration, xenophobia, poverty, communication problems and above all to deal with the traumatic experience having been forced to leave the own home country, family and familiar surroundings. Helping refugees to start a new life in South Africa will be an important experience for me.

It is my second time in South Africa but my first time in Cape Town and I really have difficulties to find the right words for this wonderful city with all its beauty and lovely people. It makes me really feel at home. I’m really looking forward to learn more about South African culture, lifestyle and history and one of my personal goals is to catch up a little of the many different spoken languages in South Africa.

I’m ready: Yayiva ndizimisele!