SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

Mary Cascarelli

My name is Mary Cascarelli, and I am a 4th year student at Michigan State University in the United States. I am majoring in Comparative Cultures and Politics with Muslim Studies. After graduating in December 2021, I hope to obtain a post-graduate degree in Public Health and Social Work.

I found SIHMA after my school put me in contact with Connect123 and I was then paired with SIHMA. Although my internship was all remote, I’m so happy I was able to work with them for the duration of my internship. I was still able to feel involved and meet with the staff and volunteers through zoom.

I hoped to gain more experience in research and communications when joining SIHMA and I truly feel like I have. My focus in school is the Middle East so it was interesting to learn more about Africa and specifically South Africa. My goal for the internship was to gain more real-world experience and see how research and communications could coincide with my future career goals. I hope to go into the sphere of Public Health and work with refugees. So, I was able to learn more about the experiences of refugees in South Africa. I was also able to talk with April, another intern, who is also interested in Public Health.

During my time at SIHMA I was able to help with social media posts, attend webinars, post blog posts ([4] and [5]), and work on my own research in collaboration with SIHMA. My research for SIHMA surrounds Catholic agencies in the Middle East and the ways in which they have addressed the needs of migrants in the area. Since my area of expertise in school is the Middle East and I hope to work with refugees, I was grateful for this opportunity to further my knowledge even more. Fr Filippo has published work on Catholic agencies work in Africa, so I was interested to see how it compares to the Middle East.

I have felt great support from the team and am so happy to have been able to work with them for the couple months I was here. I always love meeting new people who have the same passion for human rights issues, and I know SIHMA is doing great work. Hopefully I will be able to work with the team again and stay in touch!



If you are interested in contributing the SIHMA Blog on the Move please contact us at: or if you are interested writing an article to be reviewed and published in the African Human Mobility Review, please follow this link on making a submission: