Melissa White '21 - South Africa with DukeEngage (Summer 2019)

Melissa White on top of Lion’s Head mountain in Cape Town

This summer, from early June to the end of July, I traveled to South Africa with DukeEngage. For the first week my cohort and I visited Johannesburg, where we visited multiple museums and other important sites to immerse ourselves in South African history and culture. It was great to witness how the fight for freedom played out in the country and how South Africans are moving forward and still fighting for the things they love and are passionate about. Afterward, we traveled to Cape Town where I spent the remaining seven weeks interning at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, an organization that provides services to South African citizens, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. At Scalabrini, I was placed in the Employment Access Programme (EAP), where I worked at the Employment Help Desk. We helped clients apply for jobs, send professional emails, make phone calls, make copies of their documents, etc. Additionally, I had the opportunity to teach (for the first time ever) EAP’s Digital Literacy course, where I taught students basic computer literacy geared toward helping them find jobs and cope with an increasingly technology-dependent world. All of my students ended up passing, which made my experience even greater. Overall, I had an amazing time at Scalabrini and in South Africa! It truly was the best summer of my life.