God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Auntie Pat – R.I.P.

Auntie PatShe was a remarkable person – Dr Patricia Gorvalla or Auntie Pat – starting off as a colored woman in Apartheid South Africa as a taxi driver to become one of the most influential people working with there-likes as Nelson Mandela and other struggle heroes.
As a founding member of the HOPE Cape Town Trust and a trustee I was always impressed about her charm, her determination to support those less fortune combined with a clear business attitude. And what made it fascinating for me: She was a real lady in the good old fashion sense of the word. Her skills to host visitors put one back in the good old ’30’s – but in an unforgettable charming way.

Even if she could not make it to the board meetings in the last year, her spirit was always with us – and now, after she has died I am grateful to have known her. And I will miss her, her humor and the way, she could graciously flirt with a priest :-). It was always fun and lots of laughter.

Auntie Pat, rest in peace – or better: live in peace and watch us from above or where ever heaven is…

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

Interviews

HOPE Cape Town has advertised two positions, one of a secretary and one of a resource developer. Tomorrow will be the first round of interviews for those making it to the shortlist. Interviews are not only exciting for those seeking employment or a change of position but also for the prospective employer. It is difficult to pick the right person: Qualification can be measured, but the potential of a candidate and the willingness to fit into an existing team and to add value to it is more difficult to evaluate. Candidates are trying to show their best performance and sometimes I wish to see them performing the worst at such an interview – it would make it easier for me to see the span of performance. 🙂

I am sometimes also amazed about the discrepancy between what a CV promises and what a candidate delivers. An interview showing strength and weakness in an honest way could give a hint about development potential. I am convinced that most jobs are to be conquered by anybody who has an open mind and an open heart and a solid ground of knowledge in the field of expertise. People must like what they doing, they must love to identify themselves with the work they are doing. They should be proud to be part of the company.  Starting a job does not mean to be perfect, but the first day in a new job is the beginning of an exciting development for both, the person and the company or NGO.

And so I hope that this will happen: That we find the right candidate whose work will do HOPE Cape Town proud and HOPE Cape Town does him proud. 31 colleagues are waiting to welcome the lucky one and specially our back office, serving the HOPE Cape Town Trust and the HOPE Cape Town Association will be able to go full speed and deliver on all levels.

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

Enjoy the flight

Ticket for the first leg of the trip

Ticket for the first leg of the trip

Flying seems to trigger all kind of emotions and it seems that there is always an expectation to like jumping on a plane and going somewhere far away. But I guess  growing older one realizes more and more that the best place to stay is home 🙂 and that learning to know the world can make life sometimes more complicated. Why? Well, because traveling opens mind and heart to possibilities and develops views not seen by those staying home all the time.  Travel broadens the mind and the choices one have in life – and can be perceived as threats by others. But the perceived danger of terrorism and the break down of civil rights, once hard-fought for to achieve them, makes traveling across borders more and more a pain in the neck then a pleasantry. Nevertheless it is necessary and so I try to enjoy my flights which brings me again to people I never have seen before, but they are connected either by my faith or by the HOPE Cape Town project. And I surely will come back enriched and with new friends and acquaintances and hopefully more dedicated supporters and sponsors for HOPE Cape Town.

 

Sam Tuntubele - Vice Chair of HOPE Cape Town Trust arrives in Frankfurt

Sam Tuntubele – Vice Chair of HOPE Cape Town Trust arrives in Frankfurt

Even in the days of SKYPE and other tools, the personal contact remains the most important tool to introduce my work to other people. Talks, workshops and various encounters are bringing together the different worlds we are living in and try to create an understanding of each other. And this is by no means a one way road. Not only I want to secure support for the project, but also those working for the project here locally should understand the people feeling connected even thousands of km away. Two years ago, Pauline, our outreach officer was even able to visit Dresden on the occasion of the HOPE Gala – and last year our trustee Sam Tuntubele was part of this very same HOPE Gala in Dresden. So it is not only me, but there will be more ambassadors on both sides trying to bridge the gap between our worlds. And yes, this thought of bringing people together to join the good cause, that makes the time of traveling enjoyable, despite all the hassles of cramped planes, crowded airports, unfriendly custom staff and all the dressing and undressing for security reasons..

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

Culture and language

Township Blue

Township Blue (Photo credit: Joseph A Ferris III)

Traveling through some European countries again I sometimes reflect on the distances between people’s understanding and imagination. Townships and life conditions of most South Africans are known to many in Germany only via TV, a view protected by glass and the possibility to switch it off when it comes to close. How does one bring the real colors, the smell, the atmosphere from one continent to the other?

Also the question of realities and how I name them is different and having the same vocabulary does not mean to understand each other. This is true when talking about people from different life environments, but even within my own circles I often experience that words can have so many different meanings and create so many different associations. What very often irritates me is that words are connected with judgement, with “good or bad” feelings, with “white or black” . The older I get the more I get irritated when descriptions are perceived as judgements and how often people take things much more personal than they are meant to be.

I guess, this all is important to reflect when traveling the world to bring people together and let them join hands, who are far away and maybe even never meet, but hear about each other. But this also important to reflect when working in international teams where people from different cultures and languages are working together. Also HOPE Cape Town has this kind of challenges, bringing together different South African cultures and adding the European spice. Quite a mixture, but I believe in diversity and I am sure that this challenge is also an asset because it forces us again and again to listen to each other and to learn from each other. A lifelong and never-ending learning curve – and at the same time a motor for development into the future.

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

14th HOPE Gala Dresden

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

Ball of HOPE 2020

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