Cape Town Ruda Herselman Volunteer Story

Ruda Herselman: Advocacy Volunteer

“I am from Johannesburg, South Africa, and I have just finished my undergraduate in Law. A friend referred me to Scalabrini. I was looking for a job and they asked me to think about Human Rights Law and Advocacy. I came to a Women’s Platform event and I loved it.

I work in the Advocacy programme, in a typical day… well, first things first . . . coffee! Tuesday to Friday I do client intakes. It’s my favourite part, I love working with them, although I have to ask for help every five minutes I always have support when i need it. In the afternoons, I follow up on client issues and work on other projects such as the Birth Registration project.

What I’ve learned since joining the Scalabrini Centre is compassion. I was unaware of the depth of compassion that I could feel for other people.

During our orientation, they told us about self-care, and I just had no idea of the emotional depth of that experience. Personally, working at Scalabrini has helped me work with people on an emotional level, which is something I’ve never done before. Professionally, it’s broadened my horizons to look at new potential career paths. 6 months ago, I would have laughed if you’d told me that I’d be working at an NGO . . . now it’s a path I might go down.

My hope for Scalabrini clients is that they are able to find a little bit of hope. I see a lot of hopelessness. If we can give just a little bit of hope, we can keep the human spirit alive.”