God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

The year of Oliver R Tambo

“We have a vision of South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together and where there will be neither whites nor blacks, just South Africans, free and united in diversity” – so Oliver R Tambo whose day of dying we commemorated yesterday.
I can’t help but envision how he would feel seeing the South Africa of today, thorn apart by his own party and by a multitude of problems, old ones – never resolved and new ones – partly created to create a smoke screen for corruption and looting of state resources. And even more he would pull his hair seeing the state of affair within the ANC being divided down to the core and abused by fractions for their own gain. Even if history repeats itself and liberation struggle heroes are very bad and incompetent politicians because the mindset required is simply to far apart: I am sure he would openly lament to situation and not shy away from tough decisions to rectify the situation.

In the German language you have a saying: “The fish rots from its head” and it seems this applies also for South Africa in the moment, where a President, whose retreat from office more and more people would like to see not only refuses to oblige but continues to damage the reputation of the nation in so many ways. We have turned from a miracle state to a junk state in such a short time.

And it filters through to all spheres of society and brings up again and again also the question of racism. There is no political leadership and no moral leadership in the country in need of healing and unity as envisioned by Tambo.
And it is this lack of leadership which in the end triggers all those responses not beneficial of creating the unity in diversity.
I am thinking of the reaction of some very stupid racist tweets which seems to be able to shake a whole nation – it shows how weak self-identity and self-pride of South Africans is in their still experienced hurt from the past.
It shows in the automatic thought of a white South African seeing a black South African in a big car contemplating which kind of corruption brought him this fancy mode of transportation.
It shows in the “mace” of screaming automatically “racist” if a white South African dares to criticize a black South African and the other way around.
It shows in the desperate narrative of the ANC being the sole cause for liberation and rewriting history in doing so.
It shows in the endless feeling of guilt of many white South Africans not being able and willing anymore to engage in a political discourse because “of the past”, some leaving the country.
It shows in the calls for revenge instead healing and the use of war terminology within our new democracy.
It shows in the frustration of millions of black South Africans seeing that only some have made the transition to wealth and many only by abusing “the system” to their advantage or by connections – and the result are service deliver protests on a massive scale.
The list could go on and on…

To  be “just South Africans, free and united in diversity”  it requires that the past is being recognized, but at the same time acknowledged that we cannot turn back the time for those having lived through all the suffering and injustices. We have to learn out of it and try to make up for it without creating new injustices and we have to make sure that it never happens again at our shores.

Education is the key for the next generation to prosper in a free and united South Africa in diversity – not free for all but all should be free and able to pursue their studies if their hard school work shows results warranting further education. If there is next to education another corner-stone for this vision of Tambo then it is the possibility to work – to pride oneself in sustaining the family with own efforts, be it in employment or entrepreneurial. The so-called  cadre deployment has shown how damaging it is to pass on jobs only because of skin color or party affiliation.

A lot has been achieved against all odds – and it has to be recognized and with it all the hard-working people within government who simply did their work and service should be commended for all efforts made. But the miracle of South Africa, people spoke about in 1994 needs now a new motivation, a new push, a renewed effort from all sides, a new sensibility, a new round of learning and listening to each other, a new faith and believe that we can make it together – just and righteously – and not repeating history in going down all the way as other countries have done after liberation. As politics speaks of a second phase of the transformation we need a second phase of the miracle.
Recognizing the hurt and betrayal of the past and finding the moral compass for the future – it’s a challenge of great magnitude but the only way to fill the shoes of OR Tambo’s vision in which “black and white shall live and work together and where there will be neither whites nor blacks, just South Africans, free and united in diversity.”

We need a rebirth of a leader who unites, who acts as a moral compass, who has the sensitivity of a Tambo or a Mandela to lead our beautiful nation into the land where skin color simply is no criteria anymore.

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

World AIDS Day around the corner

Once again it is short before World AIDS Day and as usual on such a day and before, the media and the politicians have their say about success and failures of HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention work, vaccine studies and all the rest. Once a year the world is made aware of the syndrome killing still scores of people and triggering despair, tears, hopelessness, desperation but also a willingness to fight and not to give up. Have we done enough in the time since the last World AIDS Day? Has research been successful in coming closer to a vaccine? Have fewer people been exposed to the virus? Is there more prevention willingness and treatment options in the global village? Well, according to UNAIDS yes, we have done major steps in the right direction, but we also know how close we are to fail millions of people because of lack of funding. The economic meltdown, the financial crisis, the Euro battle captures our minds and hearts and I wish one would worry as much about those suffering from HIV or TB or Malaria or any other of theses for poor people mostly life threatening diseases. While the USA and other Countries spend millions and millions a day for the war in Afghanistan or undercover in Syria or elsewhere research and the good thing s for live have still to struggle for funding. The world has indeed not learned the lesson of holding up the dignity of people, instead it pays for the destruction of land, people and material goods.

While I appreciate the progress and worry about the still high numbers of non-treated people and new infections, I cannot be silent about the injustice which is reflected in the battle against HIV and AIDS. And this pandemic is only an example that we are as human mankind still far away from getting the values right we proudly proclaim in our national constitutions: that life and dignity is to be protected at all times and all costs as it is the highest value we have.

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14.12.2009 astonishment and questions..

Family visit in Delft South – a normal township community outside Cape Town. With two visitors we are out to give a first hand experience of the living conditions in such a place. For me it is always and again and again interesting to see the reaction of the visitors, when the place they are standing, well-known through film and documentaries, is suddenly real without the glass of a TV set. One can smell it, touch it, feel it – realise it. “How can one live like this?” is the often the question; or better the one visitor passing by and seeing all the shacks: “But there are obviously no people living inside these huts…”.

How is it possible, that people in Europe and the US and other rich countries have so succesful blended out the realities of the majority of people – and let’s be honest: without this majority of this world living in poor condition, under the poverty line, not using much energy and other resources, there would be no upmarket living standards for the minority. Missing justice and sustained injustice – and clever justified sustained injustice from the side of the “winners” in the struggle for a better life is a reality and comes shocking clear to the visitors of Delft or any other similar place.

I hope for a lot more visitors – being touched by the realities and being turned into ambassadors for justice exactly there, where they live and work in the world.

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , ,

13th HOPE Gala Dresden

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

Ball of HOPE 2018

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

Blog Categories

Block Entries Calender

November 2017
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Stefan Hippler Twitter Account

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

You can share this blog in many ways..

Bookmark and Share

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,057 other followers

Translation – Deutsch? Française? Espanol? …

The translation button is located on each single blog page, Copy the text, click the button and paste it for instant translation:
Website Translation Widget

or for the translation of the front page:

* Click for Translation

Copyright

© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This not withstanding the following applies:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

%d bloggers like this: