God, AIDS, Africa and HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

Memories of the Ball of HOPE 2015

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More pictures under http://hopecapetown.com/Ball_of_Hope/

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, Politics and Society, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Society and living environment, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After the Ball is before the Ball…

Welcome to the Ball of HOPE 2015I am not sure the reader can relate to the relief and exhaustion one is overcome after the successful conclusion of an event like the Ball of HOPE.  Preparations for a ball normally start a year before by determining the date of the next year’s event and “save the day” memos are sent out to all having shown interest in the event. Then obviously if one wants to have certain performers or speakers it is within this time frame to approach them and ask them whether they could block the time and commit to next years event. 5 months before the Ball of HOPE activities become more obvious with sending out invitations, getting with the venue operators into the details of execution, having meetings about program details and also acquisition of raffle prices are on the to do list. From that very moment until 48 hours before the ball commences, there are permanent activities of registrations, invitations, changes, and even in the last 24 hours before the doors of the ball room open, there are last-minute requests and changes. As the Ball of HOPE becomes more and more also an international event, guests arrive in the week before and logistics to accommodate and entertain become more of an issue. Adrenalin is pumping in the last hours of the Ball of HOPE and only when the dance floor is open the organizers can sit down and simply relax for a couple of hours and enjoy simply their own hospitality. This goes until the next morning, when the relief and exhaustion sets in as described in the first sentence of this posting and then… all starts again … the circle of preparing and executing a successful Ball of HOPE..

And this post would not be complete without thanking all who contributed to this success this year with hard work and dedication, but also those who came as guests and supported the good cause of HOPE Cape Town. It was great to have the Brooklyn Holy Cross Senior School Choir again – together with HOPE Cape Town’s Goodwill Ambassador and MC Katlego Maboe as well as Kim, the beautiful singer and the musical band under the leadership of Adolf Thelen they all contributed tremendously towards a successful charity eve.

Besides relief and exhaustion there is a great sense of joy that so many hands joined forces to assist their brothers and sisters in need. And doing this while having fun means to truly be an ambassador for and of HOPE.

 

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, , , , , , , , , , ,

How the Ball of HOPE came into existence…

Many times I was asked how the Ball of HOPE came into existence and here it is: the story of the Ball of HOPE.

Being appointed chaplain to the German-speaking Catholic Community way back in 1997 I felt not a lot of willingness to raise money for the community via a bazaar, selling all the stuff nobody wants and thereafter give away for the next event of this kind. So I resolved to have a dinner – dance – booked the Mount Nelson, invited Archbishop Desmond Tutu – who to my surprise agreed to come and talk – and simply started with 70 people attending the first such event. In 2000 a young woman called at that time Anja Spandern moved to Cape Town to open the office of the SA-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Being her first customer – in need of some donations – a common plan was hatched to turn the dinner – dance of the Mount Nelson into a real ball. As in 2001 also HOPE Cape Town came in to existence, the Ball of HOPE was born.

The venue moved in 2003 to the Westin Hotel after having had the honor to bless the hotel during the opening ceremony together with the late Archbishop Lawrence Henry and other religious leaders of different faith.

Ever since that day the Ball of HOPE, HOPE Cape Town and the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce are interlinked with the Westin Hotel, and I hope that this event of fundraising, but also entertainment, good food and a fabulous vibe will remain on the social calendar for many more years to come.

HOPE Cape Town is grateful for all the support rendered via the Ball of HOPE in the last years – and to talk numbers. I started in 1998 with a proceed of 20.000 Rand in total – in the last years the proceeds going to HOPE Cape Town were in the range of 150 000 – 200 000 Rand. Every cent of this money went straight and without deduction into the work of the organization, every cent was transformed into hope for a child, a family suffering from the consequences of HIV, AIDS or related illnesses.

This years Ball of HOPE is once again sold out – and if you want to know more about HOPE Cape Town or want to contribute towards the good cause, visit our website: http://www.hopecapetown.com

1998 Dinner Dance with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

1998 Dinner Dance with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Blessing of the Westin Hotel 2003

Blessing of the Westin Hotel 2003

Filed under: Africa, Catholic Church, HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ball of HOPE is coming up

Preparation for the annual Ball of HOPE, organized by the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry together with HOPE Cape Town, are coming into gear. It is always the time of anticipation – after knowing that the Ball is again sold out this year, obviously all should work well and the guests should have a great night out. This year for the first time, we welcome US American guests from New Jersey attending the Ball. Together with our Swiss and German resident friends the Ball of HOPE starts to become a more international affair. The day of the ball is traditionally also the day of the Annual General Meeting for the HOPE Cape Town Trust. So besides all ball related preparations also the annual report, agendas, audits, portfolio meetings have to be prepared so that the Saturday concerned runs smoothly from the morning till midnight and even further.
The Ball of HOPE is certainly a fundraiser; after the HOPE Gala in Dresden, the biggest charity event for HOPE Cape Town on an annual base. It is also a marketing tool, showcasing the work of HOPE Cape Town and it’s development from a small project into a full-fledged charity operation still locally bound to the Western Province. Here it can indeed make a difference to the people reeling with HIV, TB and related illnesses. HOPE Cape Town has children and families as its core concern and it is amazing to see, how a little help can go an extra mile in giving a youngster the right environment to prosper and achieve her or his goals in life.

The Ball of HOPE send also out the clear message that without supporters and donors a charity organization could not exist on it’s own. It relies on a network on people supporting it in many ways, be it financial, be it with volunteer work, be it with assisting in guiding the way forward. So, in a way the Ball of HOPE is also a thank you to everybody helping to make HOPE Cape Town an organization ready to serve those in need of assistance.

We welcome you to our Annual Ball of HOPE :-)

We welcome you to our Annual Ball of HOPE :-)

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Violence and no electricity

Working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in South Africa isn’t for the fainthearted, keeping the work up to standard, adjusting to new developments, identifying the gaps government is not able to fill – not to speak about the ideological and dogmatic difficulties for a priest to work in this field. Recent days and weeks are making this work even more difficult as South Africa seems to go again and again through phases of xenophobia resulting in looting of shops of foreign nationals and the wounding and killing of those seemingly being more black than a South African skin. Xenophobia and racism against other African nationals is also prevalent in our days with Durban inner city looking like a war zone and violence spreading to Johannesburg and Pretoria and other places. King Goodwill Zwelithini triggered those incidents happening now through his comments asking Non-South African people to leave South Africa accusing them of creating problems. The press quoted him saying: “As I speak to you, you find there are unsightly goods hanging all over our shops. They dirty our streets. We cannot even recognize which shop is which. They are all blocked by foreigners… We are requesting those who come from outside to please go back to their countries.”
After the killing spree in 2008 ,various flames up of xenophobia attacks on a yearly returning base and the last ones recorded beginning of the year in Soweto,it seems that nothing has been learned by politicians or society to prevent an re-occurrence. It did not help, that Edward Zuma, son of the president, adds his public comments that foreigner are exploiting South Africa and that they should rather leave.
This all creates an explosive atmosphere in the township communities, where residents ask themselves what is next watching the pictures of killings and thousands of displaced people within their own country.

Adding to this situation is the ongoing Eskom crisis in the country which plunges again and again in a more or less systematic roll out of blackouts parts of South Africa into the dark. Load shedding now for days, for most of the country three times a day no electricity and the situation is self-inflicted: the government has messed up a great deal in not allowing the national electricity provider Eskom to develop. Cadre deployment, nepotism, incompetence , Black Economic Empowerment and ignorance added and is adding to the troubles we are in here in South Africa. According to Minister Brown, the electricity problems will continue for the next two years.

What does this mean to the work environment of an organization like HOPE Cape Town? No electricity no modern communication, and even if we have electricity in our offices it does not mean those have we are trying to contact – work is constantly hampered in the moment. No electricity means in Cape Town no robots functioning – in South Africa’s most congested city, when it comes to traffic it means that travel time doubles and rush hours become a nightmare similar to Bangkok. Xenophobia gives thugs and criminals a reason to exploit such a situation and one can sense the unease building up in black township communities. No electricity means closed shops, lost business, candlelight meals and much more…

Violence and no electricity, illegal land occupation and fighting the demons of history (and their statues), crime and corruption, nepotism and unemployment  – South Africa has more than enough challenges in our days and makes daily life not always a pleasure. But still HOPE Cape Town and all the other NGO’s and people of goodwill (punt intended) will continue to assist turning the tide in their respective area of expertise to give hope and future to those living in South Africa.

Filed under: Africa, General, Politics and Society, Reflection, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , ,

HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 31st, 2015
5 months to go.

Ball of HOPE

The Ball of HOPE - our charity event in Cape TownMay 16th, 2015
Please save the day

Stefan Hippler

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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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