God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

If I would have a say…

2019 is election year in South Africa and those residing here can already sense the  unease with which political parties and organizations start to get into voting gear – it will be messy and surely deadly for some – violence, intimidation and promises never to be fulfilled will fill the airwaves and the headlines of the newspapers and media outlets.

Being a vocal critic of politicians and movements trying to govern this country I asked myself what would be my priorities if I would have a say – what does this country, this wounded society need in my humble opinion anyhow nobody important is interested in. Nevertheless, who criticizes must also know what he ideally want out of those he takes on – so here is what I think South Africa would need to get going again:

Firstly concentrate and throw lots of money and support into the basic education system while cutting the influence of the teachers union – having the best basic education and making sure that every learner has the best change to attend a school with competent teachers and satisfying facilities should be top priority.

Secondly an initiative to make every company in South Africa to add one employee to train and uplift – tax incentives and other perks could encourage even smaller companies to join such a drive – more people in work and up-skilled – what a benefit for those families and society in general.

A third important focus should be on maintenance – be it water, electricity or other infrastructure  – private-public partnerships and a heightened sense for the importance of maintaining constantly what is available and caters for the basic needs for all citizens.

The health system needs much more attention – not a NHI system which only distributes current failures to a greater audience – but fixing a broken system – health together with education are basics to build up societies and communities.

Entrepreneurship versus entitlement could be the phrase for another initiative to boost the economics already existing in so many suburbs and townships – there are so many clever people out there in the best sense of the word – there is so much goodwill – with the right tools much more could be done to boost economics.

Tackling the ugly face of racism and trying to right the wrongs of the past in a fair way should be high on the agenda – I strongly believe that we shout too much at each other, use social media to express our raw emotions without really listening and falling prey to those in politics abusing those emotions for political gains – places and town meetings for story telling – listening to each other – how much could churches and civil society organization as partners in this be of help in facilitating such story-telling-listening-deeply-events to bring people really together and allow for healing.

Land distribution in a fair manner is important – using also at length first all the land government posses – but acknowledging that most people don’t want to work the land as farmers but have the desire to live in or close by cities.

Together with zero tolerance to corruption, no cadre deployment, a fading out of BBBEE in the current form and strengthening police and the justice system this country could walk with hope into the next years – creating a positive narrative which spins the people and society as such into a gear of productive energy and allowing for dreams to be fulfilled.

Well, I guess this all remains a dream as long as the ruling political party maintains to own the right of ruling the country and others with younger followers abuse the plight of the elderly during apartheid to demand everything while giving nothing back; it is called entitlement or revolution. South Africa lacks in the moment politicians who are real servants of the people and for the people – but there is always the hope that things can change for the better and people with deep love and compassion for this wounded society come to the forefront. Never lose hope.

Filed under: Africa, General, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

Mandela Day & Tierra, techo y trabajo

Today it happens again like it happened the last years: everybody wants to be involved for 67 minutes – and especially those so-called VIP’s are keen to be seen with children, packing food parcels, donating blankets or whatever – just to make sure that everybody acknowledges their good heart and intention. And I don’t doubt these intentions at all, but I always ask myself what happens after the 67 minutes? What happens to those being fed, being cloth, being catered for the next morning, when they wake up in the same misery as the day before? What’s about the other 365 days and 22 hours and 53 minutes of the year? Waiting for the next Mandela Day – for the next invite to be part of the icon’s legacy? I don’t want to sound sarcastic but while doing also my 67 minutes and more in Blikkiesdorp yesterday morning to honor this legacy – I was looking into the faces of those we served and honestly, I partly felt bad knowing, that the rain jacket, the sweets and the porridge might be the highlight of their day but not changing their lives profoundly. Well, being lucky and knowing, that our organization HOPE Cape Town is working since years in this semi-permanent community I felt assurance that it was not a once off but part of a bigger effort to aid and help this very community of almost 15 000 people at the outskirts of Delft. But it remains that unsatisfactory feeling not being able to do more, to turn around those lives and giving them what Pope Francis described in three Spanish words as the fundamental rights of every human being: Tierra, techo y trabajo.  It was translated into English very loosely “land, roof and work” but I think this translation does not fit exactly the Spanish meaning. What the pope is saying and not only saying but demanding is that everybody has the right to have a piece of land he calls his own and yes, with a roof under which he can lay his head at night. But roof means more, it means a real home, a real protected place he feels secure and safe together with his loved once. And added is the right to have work, to be able to earn a living, a decent living and not a hand-out, not a social grant but the dignity, only own work can bring to a person. And it is about dignity, about the possibility to create and follow your own dream how to live you life, to be able to have a good education, a protected home, a loving family, an honest earned income to sustain this life. We in South Africa are far away from this dream of tierra,techo ytrabajo – not only in Blikkiesdorp but even in the posh suburbs of the cities a protected home seems to be an illusion just reading the headlines of a daily newsletter: robberies, intrusions and murder are making screaming headlines and the private security business is booming. And with more than 24% unemployment and the gross number of social grant recipients we are far away from “work for all” who should be able to do so. Maybe we should think of a Mandela moment next year where we don’t do hand outs but put our minds together and go for real change in distributing wealth and work, in giving more people the chance to get a better education, a real working environment, a chance to proof themselves and earn a decent living. Just a thought…

Mandela Day - a hand-out is simply not enough

Mandela Day – a hand-out is simply not enough

They need a real dignified future

They need a real dignified future

Filed under: Africa, Catholic Church, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, South Africa, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HOPE Cape Town Association: Job opportunities

Job Opening: 1 Secretary and 1 Program Coordinator for HOPE Cape Town Association

Post

Team Secretary

Salary

neg depending on experience

Working hours

full-time

40 hour week, no overtime, no additional benefits, 22 leave days p.a.  – standard conditions of employment apply

Working location

HOPE Cape Town Association @ University of Stellenbosch

Requirements
Fluent in English and German (spoken and written), Afrikaans as bonus

Ability to communicate (spoken and written) and integrate information

Strong interpersonal skills, confidence, multicultural experience, team player

Organisational talent

Good IT skills and computer & internet literacy (MS Office)

Ability to work independently and with creativity

Duties:
Basic office admin (phone, fax, email)

Basic staff-related admin (update personnel information, forms, claims etc)

Admin support for senior staff and board

Visitors and volunteers

Starting Date: as soon as possible            

Enquiries:

Kerstin Behlau, 021 938 9930

Please submit your application for the attention of Kerstin Behlau HOPE Cape Town, P. O. Box 19145, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa, Email admin@hopecapetown.com, Tel 021 938 9930, Fax 021 938 6662

Post:

Program Facilitator

 

HOPE Cape Town is a local non-profit organization providing outreach and education on HIV and AIDS in the Western Cape Province. The program of Hope comprises in that connection several projects. The Program Facilitator position is responsible for planning and carrying out these projects.

The incumbent should personify the values and objectives of HOPE Cape Town combining stability and guidance with vision.  The Facilitator works with and reports to the chairperson of the Association and works in close contact with all staff, management, volunteers, consultants, trustees and other bodies associated with HOPE Cape Town.

Position functions include meeting program and development goals, evaluation and having the oversight of the HOPE Cape Town Association programmes.

  • Drafts correspondence, proposals and reports for portfolios and programmes (as required)
  • Assists with Annual Report
  • Liaises with HOPE doctor and HOPE Outreach Facilitator
  • Provides Budget overviews for individual programmes and drafts funding proposals as required
  • Provides evaluation for all HOPE Cape Town related programmes
  • Visits together with the HOPE Outreach facilitator clinics and employees in the fields and ensures proper evaluation
  • Represents HOPE Cape Town at community meetings, networking and fundraising events related to local programmes as may be required
  • Provides evaluation and feedback to the chairperson
  • Participates in the semi-annual medium and long-term planning meetings
  • Has an overall responsibility for the further development of HOPE Cape Town portfolios
  • Attends Senior Staff meeting and HCHW Training sessions as required

Qualifications and Skills

  • Education:  Undergraduate degree (graduate studies preferred)
  • Able to communicate (verbal and written) and integrate information in English, basic German and/or willingness to develop the German language skill, Afrikaans as a bonus
  • Strong interpersonal skills, multicultural experience
  • Operates on the basis of consensus
  • At ease with people of different social backgrounds
  • Background in community and development work with emphasis on HIV and AIDS
  • Professional understanding and exposure to the objectives and management of an NGO
  • Human resource and development experience
  • Available to work flexible hours and travel
  • Successful completion of UNISA HIV and AIDS Counselling Course or equivalent
  • Computer literate
  • Drivers license, personal car, no criminal record

Salary neg depending on skills and working experience

Please submit your application for the attention of Kerstin Behlau, HOPE Cape Town, P. O. Box 19145, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa, Email admin@hopecapetown.com, Tel 021 938 9930, Fax 021 938 6662 (suitable candidates will be invited for an interview)

 

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

14th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenNovember 16th, 2019
3 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2020

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 23rd, 2020
10 months to go.
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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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