God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

07.10.09 business

This morning the Regional Council of the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry met with the new Consul General of Germany. And as I am part of this regional council as the vice-chair, I attended the meeting. For me as a priest, being involved in pastoral work and now mainly work in the fields of HIV and AIDS the business sector was always an interesting portfolio, so to speak. Not only because of fundraising purposes.. :-), no, I strongly believe that work forms an integral and important part of a life of a person. Having a proper training, having a good job, earning a living is essential for the dignity of people and I believe that ethics play a great role in business dealings. Since years I am associated with the Chamber of Commerce which also produced a wonderful friendship with the head of the Cape Town office, Anja. I mentioned this morning during the meeting that church (= social), chamber and consulate should work hand in hand, especially when it comes to welcome political delegations from overseas. They should be informed about all three sectors of human society and so form a good and reasonable picture of South Africa.
As my father was a banker, I guess, there are also some business genes in my body and it is said, that I am quite good in money matters – which may be the case :-).
So training issues and renewable energy were part of the discussion this morning and I am sure that we as the newly elected regional council can contribute to the development of training possibilities here in the Western Cape. It is indeed difficult to find a training as I am used to find in Germany. Giving people the ability to work and earn money with their hands work will reduce poverty, will reduce crime and will give them a sort of education, which will automatically also benefit our fight against HIV and AIDS.
This afternoon I attended the board meeting of IAM, an organization looking into the ministry of churches for the GLBTI community. This obviously is an important work as it touches on the understanding of peoples lives in a very personal way. Our churches are not known to be very tolerant towards the gay and lesbian community and there is still so much work to do to stop discrimination and to welcome them with an open heart into our church communities. IAM also runs a safe house for gay and lesbian people, who are kicked out from their families after disclosure or similar. Especially in the black communities there are major problems of acceptance which have to be addressed. For all of them should be the unconditional love of God a daily experience, right?

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