God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

24.11.2009 Nabucco…

I just listen to Nabucco – chorus of hebrew slaves.. and when music is indeed an indication for mood it might be the case: After being the whole day on the run coming home knowing that still one has not even touched the office work lying and waiting – one feels like one of those slaves yearning for a bit of relaxation and freedom. Meetings and a talk to our HOPE Cape Town staff was part of the days work. We published for the first time an internal employee’s handbook. After being so long in business as an NGO and having 27 employees it is time to bring together all the legal stuff and ethics for a work in this field. What are the do’s and don’ts? What means to be honest? How do I handle situation of danger? What means fraud? How do I handle donations?

There are so many challenges an NGO like HOPE Cape Town is facing up the question how we go about working place problems, what are the right channel of communications and so on and so on. HOPE Cape Town is meanwhile also a place for training. People are trained here, work for some years but then also moving on. So the “family structure” of HOPE Cape Town is also changing eventually with new people coming in. This makes it more important than ever to have a booklet to give guidance .
But todays talk was not only about the rules and regulations – we also talked about being proud to be part of such an organisation. What does it mean to identify with the organisation you are working for? How do we present ourselves to show our bond with the goals and achievements of HOPE Cape Town. Important topics and for me the possibility to touch base again with most HOPE Community Health Workers at the same time. I promised to get to all working places in the 17 township communities in the first half-year of 2010 again to visit them all in their daily environment. And I must say  I am looking forward to it. I guess, I learn a lot in doing so.

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

08.08.2009 Broken promise

How does interaction between people work? I guess, one of the basics is that if you agree about something, you keep word and hold on to the agreement. Otherwise it is difficult to see how life & cooperation and interaction should work on the long term run. If you cannot rely on somebodies promise, the interaction is fundamentally disturbed.

This applies very much in the field of the relationship between employer and employee. I am still struggling with the fact, that somebody working for a bishops conference is not only able to break agreements repeatedly and one-sided and that a bishop is actually covering up for such an behavior. This is not only sad, but brings up fundamental questions about the working ethic of such an entity. Mobbing and broken promises should never be part of dealing with an employee, even if the victim it is only a priest without the right to contest it in a secular court of law.

For me these experiences leave deep tracks in understanding of church personal. I only know that dealing with people means honesty, means integrity and means standing to his own word. Otherwise I act anti-social, a-social.  We as a church stand for justice and peace; it was unthinkable for me, that such behavior would be condoned by the conference secretary or even a bishop. Call me naive for not expecting it – but at least I am learning that having a social conscience seems not to be a credential for somebody leading a department at a bishops conference.

But I finally refuse to be a victim – leaving tracks does not mean to give up hope. I am convinced that you harvest, what you sowed – and that behavior like the described one only shows the lack of the experience of the unconditional love of God, which makes you able to deal with the next person in a civilised way. Such behavior indicates for me also an fundamental unhappiness with oneself. For me it is a sign, how unsaved a person is. So frustration and anger transforms into pity and compassion. It takes time – for me a whole holiday to come to that conclusion, but since then, I feel free to move on on my way and to search for a way to live my calling… Exciting times indeed.

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

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