God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

150

Building a career

Working in the townships of Cape Town provides for many bigger and smaller problems as those know, who dedicate money, time and work to uplift communities in our days.

One of the most annoying problems is the mere fact, that very often those targeted by the interventions and developments expect “free” services and hand-outs. It has become a culture difficult to break and to make it clear, that nothing is falling from heaven and money is not growing on trees – not even in Europe or the USA.

This hand-out-for-free culture is partly the fault of NGO’s and development organisations, pouring money into projects without reflecting on consequences. It creates dependency and if done outside a real emergency situation it disrespects the dignity of the receiving person. And to be clear: it this not only about money, it can also be about participation of any kind: important for development is that both parties are involved in an active role which gives respect to both: persons and the efforts made towards a common goal.

HOPE Cape Town will start in October an Entrepreneurial Skills Development programme which is divided in 7 toolkits. Participants can choose which soft skills they wish to learn. The programme was written after conducting an assessment of the situation of a typical township youngster. Even when finishing matric, often there is a gap between what a college would require to be a successful student and what the learner brings to the table with his matric. The programme provided by HOPE Cape Town bridges this gap by providing missing components of what is needed to either start an own small business or to continue studying at a college.

Having decided to not give freebies, the cost of a 3 months course is 150 Rand. And obviously the battle starts bringing in the culture of contributing towards a service and to acknowledge that nothing is for free – even a freebie is paid by somebody.

To ease the change of mindset, HOPE Cape Town is busy to establish a sort of bursary which can contribute towards whatever the prospective student can pay him- or herself. One often has to start slow to establish a culture, which on the long term run also changes the thinking and appreciation of people.

If you want to know more about the bursary scheme, please contact the author – if you are willing to help and sponsor one student with the 150 Rand – please use the following accounts depending on if you are in South Africa or Germany. HOPE Cape Town issues tax-deductible receipt for the respective country – please feel free to contact the organisation in this regard via info@hopecapetown.org :

South Africa:

Account Name: HOPE Cape Town Trust
Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa Limited
Account Number: 07 027-452-5
Branch Code: 020909
SWIFT-Code: SBZAZAJJ
Branch Name: Thibault Square
Remark: Bursary

Germany:

Kontoname: HOPE Kapstadt Stiftung
IBAN: DE15 3702 0500 0008 2695 00
BIC: BFSWDE33XXX
Kennwort: Bursary Trust

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Society and living environment, The Nex - Indawo Yethu, Uncategorized, vocational training, , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, , , , , , , ,

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