God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée 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 policemen and 11 days

What do you expect from the police when you are robbed and all your belongings you carry with you are stolen? Right: to go to the police station and lay charge and get a case number. That’s the theory but it seems that even that simple truth is not always working properly in South Africa.

One of our HOPE Community Health Workers was robbed on the street and with all her belongings also the new tablet just received was taken from her. The tablet, a donation from the Consulate General in Cape Town was insured and so it seemed to be a clear-cut case besides the trauma of being robbed: to go to the Police Station and report the incident and to get the case number for the insurance company. Not so with the South African Police Force. According to them, a tablet can only be reported stolen if one has the number of the SIM Card inserted into the tablet. But what happens if you don’t have a SIM card because your tablet should work only with wireless and there is no need for a SIM card. Well, according to the police their form has a field requiring the SIM card number and the consequences are clear: no SIM Card – no robbery case number.
One would think that policemen are able to think outside the box, but it took 8 different policemen during 11 days to archive the goal: getting a case number – and it needed finally the threat of our outreach facilitator to camp inside the police station until she gets the case number to make it happen.

What do we learn of it: Giving a police officer a form to fill in can be dangerous in South Africa… and there is a long way to go to get people to think on their own or to apply common sense. One of the most dangerous pitfalls in the training and education of South Africa is that repetition is all it need to pass – to think of your own is not only not required but even not wanted. The consequences are obvious and annoying to those having just gotten out of a dangerous situation and then not able to lay charge because of formalities. About police I can share another story just coming to my mind.

I remember being stopped by a policewoman in the North-West Province for not stopping correctly at a four – way stop. I was asked to step out of the car and the fine form was filled in. Question of the policewoman: “What is your profession?” Answer: “I am a priest.” Question: “Is that a profession?” My answer: “Yes” – Follow up question: “How do you spell that?”
Funny? – Well, depends how you see it – but it is better than having to buy chicken wings for hungry police officers to get off the hook while stopped for a traffic offense in Johannesburg.

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

Chaplain in a special mission

A real priest playing a chaplain on a cruise liner for a trip – that was the wish of the production company when approaching me to join them discovering the beauties of the Black Sea on a trip on the MS Artania. Not more was said during the time before we left Venice two days ago and one would think that the filming would concentrate on the priests obvious duties: the prayer services.

But that was not what the film crew had in mind. Their request was and is to add a religious figure on land during land excursion to let him explain some landmarks in more depth to the persons they accompanied on the trip. The priest as a sort of guarantee for a bit of quality and in-dept information in a reality series normally focusing on emotions and stories more on the surface of life.

I found this approach first strange, then more and more appealing, because at the end that is the task priests should have: being able to add more quality and more sense to normal life, being able to read the signs of time and individual life and to assist in translating life experience into a deeper sphere of understanding. Touching those layers in our existence which are fundamental for understanding and living life to the fullest without being in the lead – connecting the dots in history pointing to what lays ahead in the future and is also represented in this particular moment in time – and all this in a serving role, not overwhelming the persons concerned. So not the leading role but being a supporting actor is the part we as priests are called to perform often in life.

I guess there is more to meditate about during this trip.

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, Religion and Ethics, , , , , , , , , , ,

Conclave talk on SABC 3

copyright: expresso show – you tube channel

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, Religion and Ethics, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Translation in 54 languages – Blog Uebersetzung

Since today the blog “HIV, AIDS and HOPE” has added the possibility to automatically translate the page. Whether German, Hebrew, Afrikaans, Malay, Urdu – all is possible and with this, the author hopes that those not able to speak and read English are now able to follow this blog. The languages possible are: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic , Armenia,  Azerbaijani , Basque , Belorussian,Bulgarian, Catalan ,Chinese (S),Chinese (T),Croatian,Czech,  Danish, Dutch ,Estonian, Filipino ,Finnish ,French ,Gallic , German, Georgian, Greek,    Hebrew, Hindi ,Hungarian, Icelandic ,Indonesian, Irish,Italian,  Japanese,Korean, Latavian, Lithuanian ,Macedonian,

Malay, Maltese,Norwegian ,Persian,Polish, Portuguese,Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese.

 

 

 

 

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13th HOPE Gala Dresden

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

Ball of HOPE 2018

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

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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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