God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

25.08.2009 A long day…

A long day draws to an end, filled with meetings, paper work and the management meeting of HOPE Cape Town. It is amazing to see where we are at now after 8 years of work.  Academic research and grass root projects are filling the agenda, and the question, whether one can do an outing during Ramadan, as we have employees of Muslim faith.
The discussion shows how sensitive the issue is – and that during Ramadan, some Muslims want to refrain from social activities.
The group of employees had decided nevertheless to do the outing – but this discussion will be surely a focus point during the time to discuss different cultures and resulting expectations. It also shows that it is necessary to keep a calender with all important religious times to give space to the needs of those taking religion seriously.

After two years, all HOPE community health workers are going for two days away, for most of them it is a real break from daily life and the daily struggle. But it should also be an opportunity to debrief our men and women at the forefront of our work. It is amazing with what they all have to cope with: work, sometimes very poor working conditions, extended families with all the problems, own kiddies and those of the sisters and brothers and so on and so on…

41 HOPE community health worker have been employed by HOPE Cape Town during the last 8 years, most of them have climbed the latter at a certain point, well trained the Province of the Western Cape has snatched some away and promoted to good position within the health system. HOPE Cape Town becomes more and more a starting point for people, who seriously want to get involved in heath issues and community work, based at the respective primary health care facility.

The two hour management meeting is full of proposals, requests, lots of decision are taken which will be implemented in the next days and weeks from our staff. It is amazing, but you go home with the feeling that you really can change the world a little bit.. at least here in South Africa, here in the Western Cape.  Great stuff!

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