God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

In between all the public holidays..

It is difficult for Non-South Africans to understand the time between end April and May, where several public holidays as well as this year the national elections create somehow a very disruptive life for people living in this country. Long weekends tempt people to go away for a couple of days and it is difficult to get appointments or keep them intact.
For HOPE Cape Town this time is also a time before the Ball of HOPE. Excitement about this event being sold out is paired with the anxiety that everything is going alright and will work according to plan. Also on the hospital side there are movements. The Ithemba Ward has finally moved to the 10th floor and the question now is what happens to the HOPE Cape Town office. Do we move with to the 10th floor or do we look for alternative space as we are asked to provide services for all wards? Whoever works in public entities knows how painstaking such a process is and Tygerberg Academic Health Complex is unfortunately not the exemption of the rule. So Sonja and her office is floating a little bit in between decision-making processes and all the public holidays hindering those processes coming to a conclusion. On the positive side is to report that HOPE Cape Town has successfully employed to new members to the HOPE Cape Town family and that fundraising and marketing now will be done much more professionally and up to the point. The so-called “back – office” is now complete and starts to get into gear. This is good news before the AGM of the HOPE Cape Town Trust which will also decide on streamlining certain aspects of the work of HOPE Cape Town as an entity. 13 years into the course, the organization is somehow entering a new stage of its life without losing the heart and the core of its mission and vision. As somebody being the initiator of the project I am very proud to see how HOPE Cape Town is growing and how my role is also changing. I always believed that for a founder there is a time to give up some responsibilities so that an organization not dies when the founder is dying. I guess we are on the right way, broaden the objectives and filling the gaps the government is not able to fill in 2014 – HOPE Cape Town has changed over the years and was always able to adapt to developments within South Africa. I am looking forward to all the new steps taken in the next 12 months and I am proud to be part of a journey full of life and dedication serving those who need it most being infected or affected by HIV or AIDS or TB.

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

Bridge between grass root and sciences

Civil and state flag of Brandenburg.

Civil and state flag of Brandenburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today HOPE Cape Town is graced by the visit of a delegation from Brandenburg in Germany. 55 delegates will come and hear about our work, but also the work, the University of Stellenbosch is doing. More and more we discover how important it is to connect sciences and grass root and create a synergy which is beneficial for both sides. Prof Erasmus, Prof Wolfgang Preiser and myself will present this afternoon and the accompanying minister will then visit the Ithemba Ward. So for HOPE Cape Town an exciting start into the week. Other developments are also to be reported: We welcome our new two doctors and with Izane Reyneke we also have now a program coordinator on board to oversee all our working arms, assess and streamline them. We also bid farewell to Prof Bernd Rosenkranz, who resigned from the Board of the HOPE Cape Town Association and thank him for all his good work, support and advice. It is always sad to let people go, but there is, as Kohelet in the bible already said, a time for everything in life. During the Ball of HOPE Monika Rosenkranz as well as Ryan and Dennis presented each their donation result about the support projects they had run till now for HOPE Cape Town. Also here a word of thanks for the creation of wonderful trappings with the mummies for hope and the hard work of running for HOPE. As one can see, there are so many ideas how to support the good cause and there is no limit to creativity in doing so.

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pictures: Visit of Elke Ferner (MP German Bundestag) and other guests @ HOPE Cape Town

In BlikkisdorpA walk to Blikkisdorp with MP Ferner (German Parliament) , MP Evelyne Gebhardt (European Parliament), Consul Klaus Stross (CPT), Consul Isa Anderson and Counselor Hubert J Jaeger (German Embassy SA)

Elke Ferner MdB meets a new friend

We don’t say which political party she belongs to…. MP Elke Ferner with Rev Fr Stefan Hippler, the chair of the HOPE Cape Town Trust

Consul Stross @ the Ithemba Ward playroom

@ Delft Primary Health Care Facility: Mr Jaeger from the German Embassy in Pretoria, Acting Director HOPE Cape Town Prof Detlev Geiss and Rev Fr Stefan Hippler, chair of the HOPE Cape Town Trust listening to the sister in charge.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 years HOPE Cape Town: The Ithemba Ward in 2001

The Ithemba Ward @ Tygerberg Children's Hospital 10 years ago

The Ithemba Ward 10 years ago

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, ,

13.12.2009 25 years of Tafelsig Parish

In half an hour I will got to attend the luncheon, given on the occasion of 25 years of the Catholic parish Tafelsig in Cape Town. A friend of mine is parish priest for this community and it is with pleasure that I will go and mingle with the people there. 25 years is not a long time – and one has to realise, that being a “Catholic” in South Africa is until today rather something suspicious. Invitation, where I am invited with wife show the grade of knowledge about Catholicism and from the “good old times” it was known, that Catholics are subversive: during the apartheid times it was mainly the Catholic church siding with the black communities; a lot of priests were driven out of the country. Only after the end of apartheid the Catholic church really starts to be much more visible. I remember the year 1998 where my application for permanent residence was put on hold. I had to appear in front of a committee, at that time in the Western Cape rather a “white affair, and the only question I had to answer was about my relationship with the Vatican. Amazing experience- you could still sense the anxiety of the apartheid system about possible Vatican spies on the wrong side of the battle of minds and for the security of a “white country”.
I think one can compare this a bit with the situation in the occupied territories of the Westbank and the Gaza Strip, where the state Israel also does everything to make it difficult for Catholic priests and social workers to do their bit to ease the situation.

Also at Tygerberg Hospital during the opening of the HOPE Cape Town project and the Ithemba Ward once again it showed that Catholicism was not “normal” in Afrikaans circles. According to some from the hospital, it was the first time in 2001, that a Catholic priest was doing the official blessing – in this case together with a Rabbi and an Imam.
And HOPE Cape Town remains a brainchild of a Catholic priest and the Chairperson of the German-speaking Catholic Community at that time – even when the organisation is since then working together with all denominations, religions and society groups.

So in celebrating 25 years of the Catholic parish in Tafelsig all this comes to my mind – and I am pleased to say, that the vast majority of work in the fields of HIV and AIDS is done by the Catholic church or initiated by our church.  A lot is said about the Catholic Church in these days, and not always that positive; therefore it is good to remind ourselves of all the good things the church is doing, most times through the people working at grass root level. Let’s celebrate these people also in Tafelsig.

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

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