God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

Challenging times

Times are moving fast and arriving in Dresden attending the 11th HOPE Gala it is time to reflect on all what is happening in the world around us.
In South Africa, times are getting more and more tough – students are trying to force the state into submission of free education with turmoil, violence and militant language – not seeing that their initially good cause is meanwhile compromised for many reasons. President Zuma survived another non-confidence vote as the ANC is still not ready to acknowledge the magnitude of corruption and damage done to the country.
In the USA a womanizer and liar with a very limited world view is elected president via a system which assembles only a shadow of democracy. In Germany right-wing thoughts are popular again and the populist AfD seems to win the hearts and minds of more and more people.
Black and white, simple solutions, believing in simple answers, following a gut feeling of fear and anxiety seems to govern most people in this global village. And the systems holding societies together are fading away in the challenges of today; the vast amount of information available at any given time seems to be so indigestible to most global village inhabitants so that they seek refuge in those mentioned simple answers.
Churches seemed to be too much self-absorbed to have the time to really take note and actively work against this trend of time – when you look to the USA, most Catholic Bishops were so occupied with certain topics that the social Catholic teaching faded away in the judgements given before the elections.

Well, life turns in circles and therefore there is always hope that the wheels are turning again and reason will prevail. There is no need to get lost in desperation, but this is a time to watchfully and carefully observe the situation and to actively try to correct the turns of society and their leadership into a direction towards humanity, charity, tolerance and compassion at heart.

The HOPE Gala in Dresden shows me that people still care, that people still go the extra mile to assist and help and reach out to people far away; those living on the margins of the wealthy  spots in our global village. There is hope as events like this are happening not only in Dresden but also for many good causes around the globe. As long as there are some lights in the darkness of todays social and political developments, as long as there are people not giving up on trying to better all lives instead only their own ones – as long as there is resistance to let go those unfortunate living in the wrong places or born at the wrong times there is a reason to fight for a global village which is compassionate about everybody equally.

I guess we also have to learn to strive a balance between information flows possible and the ability of people to digest those info. Again we have to learn that human minds and brains and hearts have a limited capacity of in-take. And that fear and anxiety are bad advisers when it comes to develop our future as a human family.

As always life goes on and there is light at the end of the tunnel – faith, love and hope remain as the bible tells us rightly.

Filed under: General, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

HOPE Gala Dresden sold out again

HOPE GalaThis is again exciting news: The HOPE Gala in Dresden is sold out again – and many requests for tickets are still coming in. It it once again amazing to know that experiencing a great eve and doing good can go a long way together. HOPE Cape Town is delighted as are also the organizers. Two days before the event, I can sense that strains and expectations are rising – and thousands of little things are still to be fixed, organised and put on track. Arriving in Dresden on Tuesday with Fr Wim and meeting some of the supporters and sponsors personally beforehand it is again thrilling for me to experience the goodwill, the enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile to make the event a success and to give at the same time hope and future to HIV affected and infected children in South Africa.

Meeting Andreas and Katrin Moench – whose wedding in Cape Town was the starting point of the HOPE Gala 2001 in somehow mysterious ways and watching Viola Klein and Michaela Gornickel spearheading every years events is more than just a pleasure – it feels good to see people determined to make a difference year after year. HOPE Cape Town is grateful to all involved by supporting, organizing and attending this years HOPE Gala Dresden – the 9th Gala in Dresden. Thanks from the bottom of my heart and in the name of all who benefit from the solidarity of all involved.

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

Reflection on a trip to Europe

2 weeks of promoting HOPE Cape Town are coming to an end and I am sitting at Frankfurt airport waiting for my flight back home to South Africa. Time was flying as usual and sitting here and waiting gives some time to reflect on all what was happening in the last 14 days.
Faces of students are crossing my mind whom I met while giving a talk in one of the more rural schools in the northern part of Germany. People, who have never seen a HIV positive person were subjected to a talk about the danger of HIV. And not only that: how to bring the South African reality of crime, corruption and toi-toi to those who never experienced anything else than the orderly running of day-to-day life. Filling the gap, this is what HOPE Cape Town is doing in the fields of HIV and AIDS when it comes to government involvement, filling the gaps applies also when bridging the well-protected realities of a student attending school in rural Germany and those living in Manenberg or Wallecedene.
Press conference in Dresden in preparation of the HOPE Gala – another crowd of people, journalists, wanting to know the progress of HOPE Cape Town’s work in the Western Cape and how money is spend in a responsible way. Pre-recording for a German radio broadcaster – HOPE Cape Town’s story and some private talk included – the moderator wants to know the person behind the project including the seemingly ever hot topic of church and HIV and the famous “c” question…Bridging worlds means also knowing different people – a wedding in France was another highlight on this trip to Europe – diving into the world of stars and VIP’s and playing a small little role in the romance of two people. It’s more on the private side but also serves some networking for HOPE Cape Town on a very different scale.
So from the small town student to the previous chancellor of Germany – the scale of people I met was quite amazing and so have been the interactions and chats in between. Being able to touch the lives of so different people in so many different ways – this is the beauty and the blessing of the work, I am allowed to do. And so remains gratefulness as the essence of the reflection I was able to do before Cape Town and HOPE Cape Town and all the others waiting for me demand again all my time and energy. Life is good.

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Gala Dresden, Networking, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HOPE Gala Dresden

 

http://www.hopegala.de (German language)
or contact
admin@hopecapetown.com for more info

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Gala Dresden, , , , , , ,

Dresden – Berlin – Munich

HOPE Gala05The HOPE Gala Dresden is history – and I am still grateful to all and everybody who made this event a success. Various meetings and encounters showed me how deep HOPE Cape Town’s work is meanwhile rooted in the heart of Dresden. It’s a blessing!
With those blessings I arrived in Berlin to meet more people and attend the “Festliche Aids-Gala” of the German AIDS Foundation, one of our main partners in Germany. Only being a guest can be a relief at times, but still such big events are always good for networking and exchange of ideas. Attending such events are more than occasions for small talk, they are opportunities to plant the seed of empathy and knowledge into the hearts of others and to share life across the borders.I find it amazing that in Dresden as well as Berlin the church is not prominently present at such events – it is a question of guessing: is it still the inconvenience of the topic which prevents those higher the hierarchy to attend such events. Or is it accidental that since years exactly the eve of such an event is blocked by another commitment. Just asking…  🙂
Well, let’s hope that the “Francis” effect might change that in the years to come.
I just see that the Vatican has asked the bishops to give even the parish councils the opportunity to comment on topics of family and sexuality which will be the main focus of a synod of bishops in 2014. I am really thrilled to see, that the acknowledgement is visible to ask the whole family of god, and not only those higher up the hierarchy to voice their concerns, joys and troubles. It feels like fresh air – open windows – the vision of Johannes XXIII seems to become realization, touchable for those called the laity within our church.
Another blessing on the way which vitalizes all efforts to change the plight of the people less fortune than most of us are.
Munich will be the last German city to visit before flying to New York City.  No big events but a handful of important meetings with people who carry HOPE Cape Town in their hearts and often on their lips being the best ambassadors for our cause.

 

 

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, HOPE Gala Dresden, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12th HOPE Gala Dresden

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

Ball of HOPE 2018

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 12th, 2018
7 months to go.

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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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