God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Good news: Ball of HOPE in Cape Town booked out

This is indeed great news for the organizers and who ever could get hands on a ticket for the annual Ball of HOPE will not be disappointed: A great entertainment program, the introduction of a MC leading though the procedure of the evening, great food and a fantastic live band will make this evening an unforgettable one.
But this is also good news for the people, HOPE Cape Town is so compassionate caring for; all proceeds will give them more hope, more life, more joy and for some even an entire future. We often forget how little it takes to change the fate of a person to the good and every cent donated on this eve will translate into practical assistance and help.
I remember the first time in 1998 when the Ball, at that time called “dinner-dance” at the Mount Nelson was launched. Desmond Tutu was the guest of honor and spoke to us till the food was cold, but it was all in all a marvelous evening for 80 mostly German-speaking people. How far have we come since then and how grateful should we be for the journey of 16 years of this annual event. With the opening of the office of the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the beginning of the new millennium in Cape Town, the “dinner-dance” was transformed into a real black tie affair. Anja Tambusso Ferraz as my partner in crime put her special stamp on the event and together we developed it as we went along. But all was only possible through the great support of so many people along the way – no way two people can stem an event like this without so many never officially mentioned colleagues, friends, partners, associates and supporters. The opening of the Westin Hotel gave us the chance to add to the number of guests possible for the event and so when we will launch the Ball of HOPE 2014 in a couple of days, there is again excitement paired with gratefulness to all and everyone supporting this charity in lieu of HOPE Cape Town. It is also good to know that the German-speaking Catholic Community remained faithful to this event all the years. There is a lot of German and German rooted influence in Cape Town and surely on the society side, the Ball of HOPE was a welcome addition to the social calendar of the mother city.
So welcome to all our guests from Cape Town, but also flying in from Germany and Switzerland for this event and let’s celebrate life and doing good at the same time.
Picture: 1998 the author and Archbishop Desmond Tutu @ the first “dinner-dance”

1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Desmond Tutu pleads with Obama…

Desmond Tutu 2007 at the Deutscher Evangelisch...

Desmond Tutu 2007 at the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag in Cologne 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Nobel Peace Prize winner urges the U.S. president to increase global access to antiretrovirals:
“We are making historic progress against HIV/AIDS: The global rate of new HIV infections has levelled, and the number of annual AIDS deaths has decreased by nearly a third since 2005. Antiretroviral drugs are driving these gains by stopping progression of the disease and, we now know, preventing the spread of HIV infections. Yet AIDS remains the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty limits access to lifesaving treatments and 25 million people are living with HIV—representing 70 percent of cases worldwide. President Barack Obama should be commended for uniting the world behind the goal of creating an AIDS-free generation. I share his passion and believe we can achieve this in the next decade—but only if we accelerate the provision of antiretrovirals to the poorest and most vulnerable people. The opportunity has never been clearer. New data published in the New England Journal of Medicine project that early treatment with antiretrovirals in South Africa, my home country, would prove very cost-effective over a lifetime (costing $590 per life-year saved) and generate both public health and economic benefits. The World Health Organization (WHO) now recommends early and preventive treatment with antiretrovirals, including administration to children and uninfected partners of people living with the disease. The WHO estimates that this could save an additional 3 million lives and prevent at least as many new HIV infections through 2025…”

Read the complete plea of Desmond Tutu on politico.com: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/keys-to-defeating-hivaids-100006.html
or POZ.com
http://www.poz.com/articles/desmond_tutu_2676_24819.shtml

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Politics and Society, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In between…

During the visit of Bishop Stephan Ackermann (Trier/Germany) in Cape Town we also have had a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu to discuss the situation in South Africa, especially the question of violence.

Meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Filed under: Catholic Church, Networking, Politics and Society, , , , , ,

04.04.2010 Desmond Tutu: In Africa a step back on Human Rights

Source:  http://www.thebody.com/content/art56014.html?ic=700100

Hate has no place in the house of God.

No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity — or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity. It is time to stand up for another wrong.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God’s family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms. Men have been falsely charged and imprisoned in Senegal, and health services for these men and their community have suffered. In Malawi, men have been jailed and humiliated for expressing their partnerships. Just this month, mobs in Mtwapa Township, Kenya, attacked men they suspected of being gay. Kenyan religious leaders, I am ashamed to say, threatened an HIV clinic there for providing counseling services to all members of that community, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded.

Uganda’s Parliament is debating legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment, and more discriminatory legislation has been debated in Rwanda and Burundi. These are terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa.

Our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters across Africa are living in fear.

And they are living in hiding — away from care, away from the protection the state should offer to every citizen, and away from health care in the AIDS era, when all of us, especially Africans, need access to essential HIV services. That this pandering to intolerance is being done by politicians looking for scapegoats for their failures is not surprising. But it is a great wrong. An even larger offense is that it is being done in the name of God. Show me where Christ said “Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones.” Gay people, too, are made in my God’s image. I would never worship a homophobic God.

“But they are sinners,” I can hear the preachers and politicians say. “They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished.” My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?

The wave of hate that is underway must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.

Desmond Tutu is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. His editorial is reprinted courtesy of the Desmond Tutu Foundation.

This article was provided by Black AIDS Institute.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , ,

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