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.