God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

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

26.10.09 new week, new ventures

While this post is coming alive, I am on my way to Frankfurt to meet with representatives of the AIDS action alliance to discuss possible involvement at the 2nd ecumenical church day in Munich in May 2010 and the World AIDS Conference in Vienna. Mid November we have our annual planing meeting with HOPE Cape Town and then most travel arrangements must be decided on. Monday Frankfurt, Tuesday/Wednesday Bitburg and Wednesday eve Aachen are the next stations of my travel – Bitburg with a talk @ the Lion’s Club and various encounters and talks with the students and teachers of the St. Willibrord Gymnasium regarding the work of HOPE Cape Town and obviously touches the general situation in South Africa.  In Aachen I will talk about “HIV and AIDS as sign of the times” and discuss a possible theology of HIV and AIDS for our days.  All encounters create the opportunity to function as a bridge between South Africa and Europe. This becomes more and more important. In my talks in Berlin I once again realised how necessary it is that information is floating freely and honestly between South Africa and Germany to foster the development of relationships between the two countries which are helpful to the people and not only to the ruling class. Sometimes the European or German partners are very quick with solutions to our problems between Cape Town and Johannesburg – forgetting the different way, people in the South experience their realities. South Africa has a lot still to learn and to develop, be it that politicians are team player and not lone warriors trying to gain as much as possible as long as they are in office. But also the cooperation between NGO’s and government needs improvement and also here, the working mechanism developed in Germany between those parties, could have an assisting factor for us at the bottom of Africa.

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

13th HOPE Gala Dresden

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

Ball of HOPE 2018

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

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