God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

Year end function

250 000 patient contacts, hundreds of visitors, hundreds of study hours and training sessions – it would be interesting to statistically summarize every aspect of the work of our 36 dedicated staff from HOPE Cape Town – but all these figures would not reflect what is really important: the dedication of each and everybody, the ability to go sometimes through tough times and quite some challenges in the personal and work life. It’s about people, HOPE Cape Town is about people, those working within the organization and those being the beneficiaries of this work.

At the end, before the holiday season starts and the journeys home to relatives and family sometimes far away, before work ceases for the year, there is the year-end function. A time to reflect, to let the year go pass in some speeches, to honor some who have done not only a great job but excelled expectations and to give a hint what lies before the organization in 2015.

The way forward is never easy – HIV and AIDS are not sexy, nor do they attract the necessary attention in Europe where most of our sponsors live and work. It seems that Ebola has beaten HIV awareness and the 35 million people worldwide living with the HI virus can’t count on the attention of the rest of the world. But let’s be frank: HIV is not going away very soon and pulling out of research or development of new medication doesn’t help. Nor the ignorance of governments thinking they have done their bit already. It’s a well know fact but one has to emphasize it again and again: If all the money or even a fraction of it which went into wars, into torture,  black holes and rendition, into spying on each other would have put into research and more meaningful things the world would look better and the HIV crisis might have been come to an end. Instead we push the goals of a HIV free generation and treatment for all more far away and celebrate this at conferences as a success.
Yes, there is success, but it could be so much more, yes there is progress, but it could be so much more, yes we are going in the right direction, but I still wish for more.

Here in South Africa statistics look better and when it comes to children, there is progress: the rate of HIV positive born children declined but let’s be honest: we can do better and every child born positive is one to many. And those being born positive have more challenges to tackle, amongst others often poverty and difficulties in early childhood development.

So, let’s today celebrate and be thankful for all the opportunities we had this year to make this world, to make South Africa and the communities, we are working in a better place. And after a well deserved rest let’s start in 2015 to work hard again towards more life, more hope, more perspective in the lives of those children and families carrying the burden of HIV, AIDS or related illnesses.

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

A normal Monday morning @ HOPE Cape Town

What happens in an NGO in between all the news, events and charity functions? It’s the normality of work, all HOPE Community Health Workers report to their respective clinic and are committed again for the first day of often hard and challenging work at the Primary Health Care Facility. The senior staff is meeting every Monday morning at 9 am for an hour to catch up and communicate what is on the agenda for everybody during the week. There is also time to reflect on the last week or anything which happened in between. Besides all portfolios reported on there is always the questions about possible visitors at HOPE Cape Town or questions which have been arisen from previous days. At 10 am the so-called back office is meeting which includes all the people covering “marketing and fundraising”. As HOPE Cape Town raises most funds from private sponsors or other non-profit NGO’s there are always items on the list to discuss like how to write proposals, how to report hack; basically all the communication structures. We are doing charity work and we have to talk about it – otherwise possible donors and sponsors will not find us. After that there are various other meetings – the PowerPoint presentation has to be updated, the new “HOPE to HOME” program needs attention, and even the very trivial question of access to parking at a University can bind some workforce for hours.
The beauty of HOPE Cape Town is among other things, that there is a very motivated team of people interacting on so many different levels. And exciting developments happen in the moment: on the care level the HOPE to HOME project has been launched last week  and HOPE Cape Town coordinates the after-care of children with HIV, AIDS and TB discharged from the children’s hospital. The family and children support program is going from strength to strength thanks to a donation from “Ein Herz fuer Kinder” from Germany. On the level of information for donors and sponsors a new HOPE Cape Town flyer is in development and with it comes a new design for the webpage, reflecting all the actual work done by HOPE Cape Town. Watch the space 🙂

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

Exciting times @ HOPE Cape Town

A new year brings new spirit and energy and it is definitely true for HOPE Cape Town. Having now a so-called “back office” in place, the marketing and fundraising efforts are backed up in the true sense of the word from competent staff following up and preparing new strategies for fundraising. A well-known marketing company agreed to look “pro bono” from a professional side on HOPE Cape Towns efforts to showcase it’s work and successes and built up more fundraising power. The whole question of marketing communication is added to the package. So watch the space…

But also conceptional HOPE Cape Town is developing – HOPE to HOME will be the next major project looking after all kids living with the virus and discharged from Tygerberg Children’s Hospital. HOPE Cape Town is answering with this new concept a call from the Children’s Hospital trying to make sure that all follow-up appointments as well as prescribed medication will be adhered to. This is indeed a very important quest to stop drug resistance which shows up in more and more kids being tested positive.

Also the training portfolio started into the new year with new perspectives: 10 of the HOPE Community Health Worker are attending a 2 years program at the University of Cape Town while continuing working in the clinics. One could call it dual training. Besides the ongoing formation and training it will ensure that the community based employees will be able to feed into the nursing profession or related job opportunities. In February HOPE Cape Town could proudly announce that the HOPE Community Health Worker of Goodwood was accepted into the nursing training program.

Blikkiesdorp remains also an important portfolio for HOPE Cape Town. Nutrition students from the Hochschule Niederrhein visit regularly and the next “Health Days” of Rotary International run by the Signal Hill Rotary Club will take place again in this semi-permanent settlement. There are plans to intensify the work of community building in the area – most was and is not possible without the help of our friends from Muenster in Germany.

To keep up with all the news you can either check the “up to date” of the HOPE Cape Town website or “like” them on Facebook , follow them on Twitter @hopecapetown  – be part of the exciting times of HOPE Cape Town and become an ambassador for HOPE and of HOPE for those in need.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More Resources Are Needed for Pediatric AIDS

Especially for Southern Africa it is true: More resources, more research for pediatric AIDS needed…


In recent years, in developing countries, adults infected with HIV have had greater access to treatment. But UNAIDS says children still lag behind in accessing antiretroviral drugs, especially those formulated just for children. It warns that most who go untreated will die by their fifth birthday.

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation says progress is being made in preventing new infections in children. It says there’s been a 24 percent reduction in new infections since 2009. Much of that is due to providing antiretrovirals to more HIV positive pregnant women.

Nevertheless, there’s much more to be done.

“We still have way too many children being infected and just in sub-Saharan Africa last year there were 300,000 kids with new infections. That’s way too many. So, we have the new infections and we’re having problems in identifying those kids and getting them on…

View original post 616 more words

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13.05.2010 Ecumenical Church Day Munich

Breakfast with Prof. Hilpert, moral theologian of the Theological faculty of Munich to discuss his possible input into our POZ project for HIV positive priests and religious. There after finding our way to the VIP International Visitors Lounge to receive the necessary documentation for the Ecumenical Church Day.

Meeting with a representative of MISEREOR to discuss some financial affairs and possibilities before heading to the Technical University to prepare for the podiums discussion about “HIV positive kids and youth in South Africa”.  the 1.5 h presentation included a film-strip from the film “thembi” and my role is to present the actual situation – social and political – in South Africa  and then the experience of HOPE Cape Town with children infected and their life experience.
During the discussion of course also the questions of condoms arise and the need of change in moral theology.

Interviews, meetings with known and long – not – seen friends surround the podium discussion and then quick back to the hotel – another meeting with a editor of a magazine before heading to the reception of the SPD in the Bavarian parliament. There I meet a lot of known and new people, amongst others Franz Maget, Archbishop Marx, the Vice President of the German Bundestag, Thierse, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Steinmeier, SPD stalwart Nagel, the Catholic Dean of Munich, the Finance Director of the Archdiocese of Munich, the secretary of the German Bishops Conference and many more. And at the end I agree to be part of the World AIDS Day in Munich and a week early to preach at the Hannover Marktkirche at the traditional service to commemorate the HIV/AIDS victims of the area, which is an honour as they have to show off with an impressive row of preachers in the last year.
So much networking for both of us this evening…

And so much more in between – a really full day and tomorrow the day starts with a breakfast at 7 am. Time to say Good Night…

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Networking, Politics and Society, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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