Cape Town Lee-Ann Assalone Volunteer Story

Lee-Ann Assalone: Women’s Platform Volunteer

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Lee-Ann originally from Bloomington, Indiana volunteered with Women’s Platform for a total of 9 months. Here she reflects on her experience.

“I had never been to Cape Town before but was drawn to the place because Of its natural beauty and I knew I could learn a lot from its history and sociocultural dynamics. This city is rich with diversity and i adjusted with some difficulty but great rewards. From the minute I walked in the door of Scalabrini, amongst the hussle and bustle of clients I was put at ease by Asha’s kind welcome, and warmth from the rest of the staff.

Volunteering for such a long period of time gave me the unique opportunity to integrate into the fabric of the organisation and develop meaningful bonds with the women that I had the privilege to work alongside. My highlights were definitely collaborating on events for the Women’s Platform team, and seeing the women’s pride upon graduating from Personal Development and Sector training.

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I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside such a talented and committed group of people, clients, volunteers and staff alike. I think one of the greatest gifts that volunteering at Scalabrini Centre offers is the opportunity to learn from people coming from all different cultures and contexts across the globe.

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To do so opens the door to better understand your own perspective, including the historical and geopolitical events that inform it. Bringing these voices together to see a project through or plan an event, witnessing a client grow in confidence and ability, observing women supporting one another, all did a lot to shore up my faith in people’s ability to work together to create something bigger than any one individual or cultural perspective could accomplish.

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“The most rewarding part was seeing the women build relationships with each other, have a place to strengthen their own voice and then the joy and confidence that grows with that. Personally, being part of such a dedicated team pushed and grew me as a person. I will take back many skills and fond memories from my time at Scalabrini.”