This organization started in Cape Town in 1994 as religious assistance to different communities of migrants but soon expanded to offering more tangible assistance as they were confronted with the problems experienced by refugees from Angola, the Congos, Rwanda, Burundi and other African communities. In 2003 a secular non-government organization was started to run these projects, the Scalabrini Center of Cape Town (SCCT).

Migration is perceived as an opportunity by this organization. They are on a mission to alleviate poverty and promoting development in the Western Cape while fostering cultural, social and economic integration between migrants, refugees, and South Africans. Scalabrini uses a holistic approach that considers all basic needs and advocates respect for human rights while providing their assistance.

Their services are offered through six main programme areas:

  • Advocacy: Protecting, promoting and advancing the rights and freedoms of migrants and refugees by providing paralegal advice and practical assistance to individuals on a walk-in basis. In addition, this team works on driving deeper systemic change in the South African society and immigration and asylum systems.
  • English School: Providing a specialized English language school for refugees and migrants.
  • Employment Access: Providing a gateway to employment by providing support to foreign nationals who are legally entitled to look for work in South Africa. The organization provides a combination of skills training, professional development, and resources needed for success in the job market.
  • Unite: A unique extra-curricular curriculum for grade 8-11, which provokes a deep exploration of the themes of identity, integration, and diversity to promote activism and critical thought in youth living in South Africa.
  • Welfare: Accessing services for migrants and refugees in need. Through a process of consultation, they assist individuals to access basic services such as medical care, schooling, shelter, South African Social Grants (SASSA grants) and assistance with advice/application for voluntary repatriation.
  • Women’s Platform: A multi-national network of women that strengthens individuals to enhance economic independence and integration into the broader South African community.

Every month around 2,000 people from all over Africa visit the center.

What to expect as a volunteer with Scalabrini?

The Scalabrini building is always buzzing as the whole day people are walking in to join English classes, speak to people from the Employment Access or Advocacy Program or ask for assistance. There are generally between five and ten volunteer interns in the office assisting with one of the above-mentioned programs. In total there are almost 40 volunteers assisting this organization with the different projects. No matter what your role will be, you can be sure to meet new people, hear their stories and learn about migrants’ and refugee lives and the challenges they face (but also celebrate the successes).

Womens Platform

Scalabrini

Youth outreach

Internships at Scalabrini

Migrants and Refugee Charity Internship

  • Destination Cape Town
  • Type of Organization Nonprofit
  • Work focus Refugees and migrants, Assist with daily operations, all-round
  • Length of internship minimum 3 months
View Internship

Employment Access and Skills Development Internship

  • Destination Cape Town
  • Type of Organization Nonprofit
  • Work focus Refugees and migrants, skills development, monitoring and reporting
  • Length of internship 5-6 months
View Internship

Women's Platform Internship

  • Destination Cape Town
  • Type of Organization Nonprofit
  • Work focus Female empowerment, business development, communication, coordination
  • Length of internship 5-6 months
View Internship

Communications Internship

  • Destination Cape Town
  • Type of Organization Nonprofit
  • Work focus Communications, social media, digital marketing, writing
  • Length of internship Minimum 3 months
View Internship

Advocacy and Human Rights Internship

  • Destination Cape Town
  • Type of Organization Nonprofit
  • Work focus Human rights, refugee law & migration issues
  • Length of internship 6 months
View Internship

English School Assistant

  • Destination Cape Town
  • Type of Organization Nonprofit
  • Work focus English teaching, coordination, administration
  • Length of internship minimum 4 months
View Internship