God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Thoughts, inside, comments of a Catholic priest

A new year for HOPE Cape Town – some thoughts…

With the 1st of March HOPE Cape Town is starting afresh in a new financial circle – the new budgets are approved and put into working, the old ones are closed and now made ready for the independent audit. Obviously the change in the currency exchange rate and so many other factors influence the outcome of budget planing – in our days it is getting more and more difficult to be as precise as possible. Therefore HOPE Cape Town is determined to follow true with the dream to have as much own capital as needed to pay all operations from the interest. It would take away the worries of constant fundraising, the constant knocking on doors which obviously also with all the reporting binds forces which could be used to aid those in need directly.

With HOPE for Babies in the maternity wards of Tygerberg Hospital the work with pregnant moms, delivering moms and then paediatric HIV to follow through with the kids infected and affected HOPE Cape Town compliments more and more its own goal to work with children from birth till they are matured in adulthood, only to come back as parents of newly born babies. The first 1000 days play a pivot role in having a holistic view and HOPE Cape Town is proud to be part of the program, the Western Province is pursuing to make sure that every newborn has the best chance in life possible in the framework of the circumstances he or she is born into. Re-visiting the Go-Box project to engage with young mothers and their babies in teaching them how to stimulate the little once with educational toys and education play adds to the bouquet of services.

Published research in national journals gives HOPE Cape Town the chance to showcase the results of best practice and to share this knowledge with those beyond the Western Cape boarders. Attending national and international conferences or, as just happened with our Program Coordinator doing an internship in a German paediatric hospital in Passau, adds to the possibilities to learn, share and being part of an international movement assisting children being infected, affected or having related illnesses or medical problems.

HIV and AIDS are topics which interconnect with so many other topics and portfolios. This lead for example to the founding of HOPE Cape Town USA – poverty, racism, the desire for Afro-Americans to find their African roots as well as infection rates are common areas to engage in a close working relationship with the USA.  Obviously also the chance to contribute as an US American to our work in South Africa is a welcomed component of this adventure. Many US students take a chance to engage with HOPE Cape Town when visiting South Africa on a field trip or excursion.

So, this small little entity called HOPE Cape Town connects three continents now: HOPE Kapstadt Stiftung in Bonn/Germany, HOPE Cape Town USA in Dallas/Texas and HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust in Cape Town / South Africa. The global family is growing slowly but substantially with all its challenges here in South Africa, but also to bring worlds together in a global village which seems in the moment so much driving apart. We hear about “America First” and all those funny slogans – HOPE Cape Town remains committed to “humanity first” and the organization will work tireless not only to serve those in need in the Western Cape but also to make sure that international understanding and care for each other stays a much-needed focal point.

Filed under: Africa, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, HOPE Cape Town USA, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, 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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

World Aids Conference 2016

“What do you expect from the World Aids Conference 2016?” is one of the common questions asked in the last week. Well, what does one expect from a conference with more than 15000 participants in a country which was hit the most from the pandemic. Insights into new developments? I guess the most important factor for me is being able to get an overview first hand what is going on the world of HIV and AIDS around the globe. It is indeed the direct contact with activists and researchers where I learn the most  – while listening to their experience and insights – and which makes the trip to Durban worth time and effort. Communication, exchange, but also the feeling not to be alone in the fight against the pandemic leaves on with the resolve of continuing the work one is doing locally.

Durban 2016 is so different from the previous World Aids Conference held in Durban in 2000. At that time it was despair, hopelessness and the ignorance of politics which ruled the situation in South Africa. It was the time when HOPE Cape Town was born out of the need to stop the dying of children and parents. So Durban 2016 is also about achievements, about the millions on treatment, the figure of new mother-to-child transmission slowly going towards zero and the great feeling, that we from HOPE Cape Town have been part of this unbelievable journey of hope and frustration, often changing first place in the matter of an eye-blink.

There is still so much to do – the transmission rate in South Africa is still scary high, other countries also register more new infections and a vaccine seems to be still far away. There are still millions of South Africans dealing with stigma and discrimination on various levels. There is still so much stigma attached, so much fear and anxiety when it comes to dealing with HIV and Aids. We are definitely not there where we want to be, and the next 10 years will be crucial in the attempt to make a new generation of zero new infections a reality. Given the moment state of affair in South Africa, all the service delivery protests, corruption, political ignorance and the still wounded society there is more than a question mark to put behind the question: Will we achieve a victory?  HIV is more than a medical syndrome, it has to do with poverty, with hunger, with despair, with job creation, with investments, with intact families, with proper sex education, with the end of religious bias towards moral questions – and obviously when looking at it globally the amount of resources will depend on how governments want to spend their money. Looking at madness of violence and terrorism, racism and war it seems that HIV will continue to have only a backseat. And this might compromise the achievements reached till today.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, Reflection, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 28th, 2017
6 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2017

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 13th, 2017
20 days to go.

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