God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

Loving to be a victim

We often talk about victims in South Africa – victims of crime, falling victim to a disease, victims of circumstances, victims of traffic accidents – a never-ending story unfolds when talking about victims. What really got me going this week was the perceived victimization of students. I listened to the comments made by students after all the intimidation, violence,burning of property, throwing stones – and when then taken into custody, they are the victims because the state power did not allow them to continue their destructive actions.
But it is not only the students – it seems that it is in the moment en vogue to be a victim – especially of circumstances, of the wrong time, the wrong advice, the wrong friends, the wrong teachers. It feels, looking around that it is part of the South African soul, searching for its midst, to feel victimized.

It seems that the normality of decency or honesty or respect has been fallen victim too – one is not only entitled to be a victim, but one carries this stigma like a batch of honor or a banner in front of oneself – the world should know that I am hurt, hindered and stopped to be who I want to be because of others and circumstances. And if need be, destruction and violence are my witnesses to my message.
I read this as a sign that the soul and fabric of our society is still deeply hurt and mourning its own past, counting the wounds which were so nicely covered in the first years, the honeymoon of society. And having the Zumas, the Guptas, the Hlaudis and all the others in charge of a deeply disturbed society there is no healing in sight, but only exploitation on most levels and shameless abuse of resources so much-needed to bring about this healing.

Cry beloved country – who does not know this term – maybe this is what is needed – accepting all the pain and hurt and a collective crying about the past and the presence before being able to wipe the tears from each others face and moving forward. This can only happen if we get leaders we deserve, honest and trustworthy leaders, politicians who have the plight of the people instead the filling of their own pockets at heart. It also need church leaders who much more than now engage in the healing process instead of battling long-lost wars within society. Without a sincere leadership in politics, churches and society this country will take a long time to heal . And the first so-called born free generation deserves more than a bleak future driven by the impotence and lack of will of today’s people in charge.

We have overcome Apartheid, we are in the process to hopefully overcome pandemics like HIV – we still have the strength of rising up like the phoenix of the ashes – but for that we must commit to decency and compassion and overcome the somehow sad happiness of being a victim.

Filed under: Africa, General, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Only the central command…

Again we see an up-rise of student protests – this time even HOPE Cape Town is not allowed into or even out of its own offices at Tygerberg Campus of the University of Stellenbosch – patients are barred from entering – and police is standing by, not sure what to do. While students seems not to be engaging in reasonable debate but enjoying the freedom of being unruly to the point of being aggressive, until now Tygerberg Campus was not involved in arson, destructive violence like many other universities. Trying to get our HOPE Cape Town staff in or out and reasoning with students only lead to the comment that the students only take orders from the “central command” which somehow is a reminder of the EFF structure, but they were opposed to the violent student protests. So nobody could tell who the “central command” is.

I guess the “FeesMustFall” movement has lost any credibility after libraries were burning and classrooms demolished. Unfortunately we don’t have a government being honest in saying that a fee free study for all is not financial viable in our days. The announcement of the minister for higher education takes into account the plight of poorer students depending on government while still allowing for a reasonable fee increase for those able to pay.

Fact is that the destruction, the violence and lets’ be honest also the laziness of some students exploiting the chaos lead to a mixture which can’t be tolerated anymore by government. While a meaningful protest is part of democratic freedoms achieved in South Africa – destruction, the loss of meaningful conversations, the “everything-goes” mentality of students who seemingly not value their academic development must stop. Also the from Cosatu toi-toi lent approach to not allow willing colleagues to continue studying but hinder them by all means is beyond the expression of freedom.

Of course – the headless student protests of our days are feeding of the headless society governed by a headless government – it simply filters down that the rule of law can have a back seat for the time being. But that cannot be a reason for denying unrelated employees to go for their work, patients to be treated, destruction of property or fellow students willing to study to deny their right to study. There are rules in a democratic society and the sooner students learn those rules the better it will be for an anyhow fragile society like the South African ones.

So one can only hope that reason prevails, that those wanting to break rules are brought to book and the law takes its course and that the Universities exercise their rights to defend their freedom of science and study up to the teeth. Government must take reasonable steps to ensure that money is not the deciding factor for the chance to study. “Fee-free” for all is not the only answer to this challenge.

 

Filed under: Africa, General, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment

Job Advertising HOPE Cape Town

HOPE Cape Town Association and Trust – Donor Relations Manager

HOPE Cape Town, a Western Cape Based non-profit Organization providing outreach and education on HIV and AIDS in the Western Cape, seeks a Donor Relations Manager to drive its funding and marketing initiatives.

Responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Research and identify potential donor and funding opportunities (South African and international)
  • Cultivate relationships with new and existing donors
  • Develop , present and submit funding proposals and reports
  • Track donations and maintain up to date records of all contributions
  • Drive all the marketing, public relations and communications initiatives
  • Manage  website and social media and online donation platforms
  • Develop and manage the donor database
  • Attend events on behalf of HOPE Cape Town

The Donor Relations Manager will be based at the HOPE Cape Town offices at Tygerberg Campus, University of Stellenbosch, but might be required to travel. The successful candidate will form part of the back office team. He/She will work closely with the Donor liaison officer (Europe) and will report to the Program Coordinator and the chairperson of the HOPE Cape Town Trust.

 

Requirements:

  • Qualification in Public Relations, Marketing , Social Sciences or related qualifications
  • Minimum of three years’ experience in successful fundraising / marketing
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: diplomatic and discrete; professional and presentable and at ease with people from  different social and economic backgrounds
  • Superior Communication Skills: Fluent in English (spoken and written); other languages an asset; excellent writing ability
  • Advanced computer skills (Microsoft Office)
  • Ability to adhere to strict deadlines, methodical and well organized
  • Experienced with social media
  • Team player but able to work independently
  • Drivers licence, independent transport, no criminal record
  • Work permit (if not SA resident)
  • No criminal record
  • Willingness to enroll and complete the UNISA HIV and AIDS Counselling Course (training provided by HOPE Cape Town)

Applications should include a covering letter detailing each of the identified qualifications and skills, proof of qualifications and a current CV and a minimum of two references. Completed applications may be forwarded to:

Kerstin Behlau
HOPE Cape Town
Phone 021 – 938 9930
Fax 021 – 938 6662
Email admin@hopecapetown.com

Suitable candidates will be invited for an interview

Closing date for applications:  02 October 2016

Filed under: Africa, General, HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Unstable situation

South Africa is in turmoil – not only statistics proof that crime is up and corruption a daily almost accepted occurrence. It seems that the country is going backwards, the dream of a rainbow nation is fading away and an ANC being a shadow of its former glory seems determined to let No 1, as President Zuma is often called ruin the country to junk status. The rot goes deep and the in-fights between treasury and president, the state capture through all the Gupta’s and other presidential friends, the formation of a new council giving Zuma more weight determining the future of SOE’s in South Africa – this all influences obviously also the work of NGO’s and other entities in the country. Focus is on the political and social high drama, money is spend on campaigns and court proceedings to get to the truthful facts and it seems that our society in need of healing is completely neglected in this battle of the powers in charge of running the country, the provinces, districts  and the municipalities. Who has thought that the local municipal elections help to clear the field – it seems the opposite: the fight for power and money has intensified and more questions are added every day instead of being satisfactory answered and then moved forward. The old saying that freedom fighters are bad politicians is proven correct again and history repeats itself in so many ways.
South Africa, as a BRICS state is also not anymore considered by many other countries as a purely “developing country”  which makes the trouble for an NGO even worse as fundraising becomes more difficult on an international platform.
There are many who seems to believe South Africa is doomed like so many other countries, others believe that this country will turn the tide soon and will rise like the phoenix out of the ashes. Whatever it may be – people at the bottom of society are continue to suffer now, the lack of proper education makes it easy for those in power to influence and manipulate the masses. The service deliver protests and the instability within police and state security, seemingly a playground for those in power allow for justice delayed in many cases for years.

This all makes it so much more important that the initiatives of churches, NGO’s and other non – governmental institutes are able to do their work and to assist in the daily life of those not able to defend themselves or having a future without help from outside their homes and families. Health and education are two pillars to be strengthened if South Africa wants to overcome this period of chaos. HOPE Cape Town is only one of many NGO’s trying to  aid in those fields and will remain steadfast in its approach to add to the healing of a wounded country – small contributions but many drops will fill finally the ocean – so another saying.

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Musical highlights and supporting good causes in Cape Town and Stellenbosch

CAF 2016  Lobgesang

Filed under: Networking, Society and living environment, South Africa, Uncategorized, , ,

11th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenNovember 12th, 2016
43 days to go.

Ball of HOPE 2017

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 13th, 2017
7 months to go.

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