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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

17.09.2009 School anniversary in Brooklyn

Yesterday evening I was invited to join a performance of students of the Holy Cross Primary School in Brooklyn near Cape Town – and as every year, it was marvellous to see how the first till seven grader performed and transformed a school hall into a studio, a landing on the moon, a school class 50 years ago and much more, all done with lots of music, singing and dancing. Seeing in the clear eyes of most of these youngsters one wonders while watching the performance how they will do in life. What will they achieve after leaving school? What future is for them in this wonderful paradise called South Africa, where the beauty and the beast are always in reach. Where world icons like Nelson Mandela live side by side by with people killing each other on a daily base for a cigarette, some Nike shoes or a handful of Rand.  Where the triumph of mind over 27 years of imprisonment meets the downfall of millions who cannot make a living for themselves still in our days and rely more or less on a handout of the government, too little to live, too much to die…

What kind of dreams, of hopes I had when I was in that age? I cannot remember exactly but I surely had not the worries and sorrows of everyday struggle these kids endure sometimes on a daily base. This from Holy Cross Sisters lead school is like an island of hope: a beacon of assurance that there is a way forward in this new South Africa. We can not honour enough those teachers and educators, be it in this particular school or all over the country who try their very best to give those kids a chance in life in giving them a base of knowledge. And yes, knowledge is part of development, is part of being able to be self-determined as an adult and to be able to contribute towards society and the community they live in.

But Brooklyn Holy Cross Primary School is for me also travel back in time, the school is a sort of deja-vu of my own school time – the way of teaching, of discipline … it all reminds me on my good old school days somehow ages ago.
In May I attended the 30th anniversary of my own “Abitur” and I it was amazing to see all those faces again I left in 1979 when starting to study theology and philosophy. How most of them had changed but still: again the deja-vu of behaviour patterns – not everything changed really.

I went home after the performance with joy in my heart having seen another generation hopefully being able to do better as we have done, being more wise in using our resources, caring more about nature and the ecology, avoiding meaningless wars and battles and.. and .. and.. And in my heart I also know that it will be most probably not the case. Is the world really going only in circles? Is every generation hoping that the next does not make the same mistakes? Like every parent is hoping to provide a better future for their own kids?

I am not sure, but nobody can take away the joy this eve seeing those kids having a fun of a lifetime while performing, parents to be proud of their kids, nobody can take away two hours of just being content with the world, the people around me and myself. That is more than I hoped for. Thanks to all students and teachers of this school.

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

12th HOPE Gala Dresden

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

Ball of HOPE 2017

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

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