More about us
Values, Mission & Objective
Mission Statement
Perceiving migration as an opportunity, the Scalabrini Centre is committed to alleviating poverty and promoting development in the Western Cape while fostering integration between migrants, refugees and South Africans. In providing our assistance we advocate respect for human rights and use a holistic approach that considers all basic needs.
  • Inspired by the teachings and actions of John Baptist Scalabrini, the Scalabrini Centre offers a welcoming environment that is open to all and where each individual is valued and treated with dignity.
  • Guided by a sense of humility we promote respect for cultural diversity.
  • To foster the cultural, social and economic integration of migrants, refugees and South Africans into local society
The Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town
The Scalabrini Centre originally takes its name from John Baptist Scalabrini, the Bishop of Piacenza, who founded the Scalabrini order in 1887 to care for the welfare of migrants. Today the Scalabrini Fathers specifically care for migrants, refugees, and seafarers, interpreting migration as a meeting place for peoples of different cultures and nationalities. The Congregation and their various lay organisations can be found in 24 nations across Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
The Scalabrini Fathers have been providing welfare services in Cape Town to displaced communities since 1994. Starting off as religious assistance to different communities of migrants, the Fathers were soon confronted with the problems experienced by refugees from Angola, the Congos, Rwanda, Burundi and other African communities, and it became necessary to offer more tangible assistance. Starting with the distribution of food and clothing under the Welcoming Programme in 1998, expanding to include a development agenda in 2003 followed by the establishment of Lawrence House, a home for abandoned and orphaned refugee children in 2005, the Fathers formed a secular non-government organisation, the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town (SCCT) to run these projects.
Scalabrinians care for the needs of migrants and refugees, displaced people, seafarers and others affected by human mobility. Additionally, research is conducted through Study Centres for Migration in New York, Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Manila. These Centres study the movement of populations around the world, publish peer reviewed journals and books and organizes conferences and seminars.
Networks and Affiliations
The Scalabrini Institute for Human Migration in Africa
The Scalabrini Institute for Human Migration in Africa (SIHMA) is located within the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town and is a research organization operating under the umbrella of the Scalabrini network. SIHMA conducts research that contributes to the development of informed policies that ensure the rights and dignity of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Africa. SIHMA produces research reports with a goal to contribute to informed policy-making and advocacy and publishes the African Human Mobility Review, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed on-line journal created to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects of human mobility.
The organization also organizes and participates in national and international workshops, seminars and conferences on migration issues. SIHMA's vision is an Africa where the human rights of people on the move are ensured and their dignity is promoted. Their mission is to conduct research that contributes to the development of informed policies that ensure the rights and dignity of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Africa.
See more about their work here.
International Detention Coalition
The International Detention Coalition (IDC) is a unique global network, of over 300 civil society organizations and individuals in more than 70 countries, that advocate for, research and provide direct services to refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants affected by immigration detention.
The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) is a registered non-profit organization tasked with promoting and protecting refugee and migrant rights. It is comprised of a number of member organizations including legal practitioners, research units, and refugee and migrant communities. The Consortium’s mandate involves strengthening the partnerships between refugee and migrant service providers to provide improved co-ordination of activities. This includes developing working relationships with other concerned organizations to provide an effective forum for advocacy and action. The Consortium liaises with government and other stakeholders to keep them informed of the views of our members. The Consortium also provides a centralized referral system for the media and other practitioners through which it can refer those dealing with specific aspects of the sector to the organizations and individuals most qualified to assist.
Citizenship Rights in Africa Initiative
This website is a resource for all those working to ensure respect for the right to a nationality and an end to statelessness on the African continent. The website contains a database on nationality and statelessness in Africa featuring national laws and subsidiary legislation, reports and academic articles, news stories and blog postings, and other resources. There are currently over 3,500 items in the database. The website is hosted by the International Refugee Rights Initiative on behalf of the Citizenship Rights in Africa Initiative, an informal network of organizations, individuals and experts in Africa working for the right to nationality and an end to statelessness in Africa.