God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

World without Aids Award – Berlin 2015

Being honored in absentia is an interesting feeling – or better a mix of feelings: Being grateful for the honor of receiving the “World without Aids” Award, feeling sorry for not being able to attend the ceremony, feeling committed to a prior agreed engagement as a chaplain at sea. Sometimes roles clashes, but very often they support each other: being a priest, a chaplain, an activist, a chairperson. This time it was not possible to accommodate all roles on this particular day.
This award makes me feel humble – it is a recognition of work done, but mostly I feel it is a challenge to continue doing what one does best and to continue fighting for a world without Aids. I can only do this, if I have the support of so many – the employees of HOPE Cape Town, the boards of HOPE Cape Town Trust and Association, the multitude of sponsors and donors and partners like the German Aids Foundation or “Hope and Future e.V.” or Saxonia Systems and Process Consulting and all the others named on the HOPE Cape Town’s website.
So once again thank you to those having awarded me the recognition; congratulations to the other awardee Prof Rita Suessmuth – thanks to Manuel Neuer from Bayern Munich for the kind words and all I ask is that you all continue assisting in the dream of a world without Aids… It’s possible…

German AIDS Foundation honors Rev Father Stefan Hippler and Prof Rita Suessmuth
On Saturday
evening, 10 January 2015, the 21st Festive Opera Gala for the German AIDS Foundation took place at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. More than 2000 high-profiled guests from visited the event. The new main sponsor, Audi, presented a cheque of 200,000 Euros to the Honorary Chairman of the German AIDS-Foundation, Prof Dr Rita Süssmuth. Overall, the German AIDS-Foundation expects a total of around 500,000 Euros for this year.
The money will go into important aid projects of the German AIDS Foundation in Germany, South Africa and Mozambique. The next Festive Opera Gala in Berlin will take place on 7 November 2015.
This year the winners of the “World without AIDS Award” were Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and Prof Dr Rita Süssmuth. Via video message, Manuel Neuer gave the laudation for Rev Fr Stefan Hippler. The soccer star honored the work of the founder of HOPE Cape Town, an organisation that supports especially children with HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
The former Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, honored Prof Dr Rita Süssmuth for her many decades of fighting against AIDS.
For the German AIDS Foundation, the Festive Opera Gala is the most glamorous and most important charity event since 1994. Since many years Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, acts as chairman for this evening. The Charity Gala received more than 6.2 million Euros in the last 20 years. With the income of the 21st Festive Opera Gala the German AIDS Foundation is going to support projects in Berlin as well as in Southern Africa.

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

8 years… gosh…

Hope_Logo_RGB_TRUSTSocial media and webpages have not only a meaning to connect people with each other, but also to remind oneself of time flying. There are always these birthday reminders which I truly love as they cover up my forgetfulness. 🙂 But also other achievements are noted and pop up and then people respond. This month LinkedIn reminded me that the HOPE Cape Town Trust is already 8 years in existence – born on the 6.5.2006 and I really cannot believe that the eight years have flown by so far. I generally have a problem with feeling time – it seems to me, that somewhere in the thirties my mindset stopped and refused to grow really older, but continued (hopefully 🙂 ) to mature with times. So the funny feeling is that the body grows older, the wrinkles are more but the mind is still as fresh as it has been years ago.
Getting older as an organization means that one has to look again and again staying relevant and reading the signs of the times instead of resting on old achievements and expecting the rest of the world to do cherish them for eternity. The HOPE Cape Town Trust was founded with the vision that one day the Trust takes over the marketing and fundraising arm of HOPE Cape Town as an entity. After finding its feet and developing in the shadow of the HOPE Cape Town Association we are now at the point where exactly this is happening. A vision becomes reality and it is instantly replaced by new and other challenges and it is great to see the dynamics of thought 8 years ago creating new opportunities for an NGO in our times. It’s a dynamic which makes it so important to know where you are coming from, where you roots are and only so, you are able to reach out for the stars in the future. Fascinating…
Thanks to all and everybody who supported HOPE Cape Town and specially the HOPE Cape Town Trust in the last 8 years. A special thanks to Evelyn Chimbobe-Munoro who drafted the first deed of trust pro-bono at her Fairbridges Attorneys offices at that time and a memento to Auntie Pat (Gorvalla) who already passed on to higher services. Today, trustees from South Africa, Switzerland and Germany are safeguarding the future of HOPE Cape Town and I am convinced that the future looks bright for the HOPE Cape Town Trust and the organization HOPE Cape Town as an entity. It is also good to know that we have a little sister trust in Germany called the HOPE Kapstadt Stiftung, which is a brainchild of HOPE Cape Town and the German Aids Foundation, born 2007 in Bonn (Germany).
Executive CommitteeAs we stretch out to the USA in the moment let’s wait and see what will be added to the growing HOPE Cape Town family in the near future.
(on the picture right the Executive Committee Sam Dibhesi Tuntubele, Carole Armstrong-Hooper, Stefan Hippler and Detlev Geiss)

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

HOPE Gala in Dresden and much more

Time again to pack and leave Cape Town for the annual event of the HOPE Gala in Dresden. And this year, it is indeed a special year, where the people of this lovely city pulled together for the Gala after having the devastating floods in spring and battling themselves to get back with their own life. It is with appreciation to note, that despite all the odds the Gala will be once again a festival of good thoughts, helpful hands and lots of fun and joy.
If you have not yet purchased your ticket – the website http://www.hopegala.de will bring you closer to join the event and meet with like-minded people. See you there – Viola Klein has surely with her team and the support of Saxonia Systems (who initiated the Gala), the HOPE Kapstadt Stiftung ( our German trust and the organizers) and all other sponsors (check the logos on the gala website) drawn a full house with the program and not to forget the after-show party. Thank you so much! How much work is going in such an event…

Before the HOPE Gala Dresden I will meet with students from my hometown of Bitburg and engage with them in a lively discussion about HIV and AIDS and what brings South Africa and Bitburg together. It is amazing how much support has come and is still coming from my hometown and I could not be more grateful about it. Another blessing for those, living with the virus here in South Africa.

Berlin and Munich are the other big cities to meet and greet sponsors, supporters and to attend the Festliche AIDS Gala of the German AIDS Foundation. They are such a strong partner for HOPE Cape Town and we wouldn’t be where we are without them. Another big thank you all working for this foundation.

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are the last stations of this trip – a renewed effort to get fundraising in the USA going. It is a tough one, but never give up is here the motto and with some goodwill we will be able to plant some small seeds of compassion on the other side of the ocean. Press your thumbs and if you know somebody in that area to approach – please let me know. I am delighted to meet new people.

 

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

07.11.2010 AIDS Gala Berlin – and where is the bishop?

Again, I am guest at the German AIDS Gala in Berlin, the 17th of its kind. And again the German Oper Berlin is booked out and masses of people are flocking to attend this prestigious event. Michaela from Dresden is accompanying me to this event and after being picked up by the Shuttle Service at the hotel, it is once again a funny feeling to take the red carpet, letting the journalists and photographers guess who the couple is.. 🙂 Being asked how I felt about the feature of myself and HOPE Cape Town in the Berliner Morgenzeitung I must admit that I even didn’t know about it – nobody told me. Quick I realise that HOPE Cape Town will feature prominently this eve as one of the projects sponsored by the German AIDS Foundation. Brief chats with Her Highness, the Begum Aga Khan, the National foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and his husband and others from the Board of Trustees follow before the programme starts. And as now expected, the chairperson of the board of trustees of the German AIDS Gala in Berlin, the Begum Aga Khan tells the audience about her visit at HOPE Cape Town last year – a film shows her and me visiting the Ithemba Ward and I wish all our HOPE Community Health Workers, senior staff and management could hear the applause as she congratulates the projects and the priest for their work down there in the Western Cape. These are moments were I would love to beam myself away for the time being – sometimes it is interesting enough for me difficult to hear public praise. But it is also the feeling of encouragement present.

The programme contains great opera – I do enjoy it and when the Opera Children’s choir sings “Laudate Domino” I suddenly realise that there is no official representative of the church. And if feels suddenly so completely wrong: National ministers, certainly all important people of the local and national business world, politicians and artists are present – showing their committment towards the battle against a pandemic which changed the world – celebrating also partly a project, which originated and is still support by a German-speaking Catholic community and no representative of my church is present. And I suddenly realise that also in Dresden the last five years there was no-show of the local bishop or his representative. The sorrows and the joy of the people are the sorrows and the joy of us Christians – I ask myself whether it is not poor judgement to be not present visible as a church at major events where people from so different walks of life unify and come together in this important cause. I suddenly feel sad a moment, but then the joy of the choir carries me away from it.

Congratulations to the German AIDS Foundation and all its helper for this great eve – and I am grateful that within one week I am able to attend to major fundraising galas bringing hope and future again to South Africa. A big part of the proceeds of Berlin are also going to HOPE Cape Town and supporting our work. Deo gratias.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Medical and Research, Networking, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 27th, 2018
10 days to go.

Ball of HOPE 2018

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 12th, 2018

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