God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

One of those days…

Preparing for my flight to Europe and the airline already now know that there will be a more than 4 hour delay. Nevertheless they insist of being at the airport and check in at the normal prescribed time. Not really enhancing the mood.
Following the news also does not help – the Khashoggi case seems to develop slow but steady – to imagine that in a NATO country an embassy is used to kill a journalist and then cut him in pieces is not only appalling but it was one of the things I could not imagine – like so many developments in our current world affairs. USA, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Italy – the amount of countries which seemingly fall into the trap of authoritarian rule or xenophobic attitude  – weakening democracy and darkening the horizon of the new dawn of freedom, liberty, human rights and decency among countries most of us have had in the beginning of the millennium – seems to be growing.
Social media and modern technology hailed to bring people together are dividing and causing anxiety on all fronts of societies – in the moment one has the impression that the negative effects of possibilities to connect are clearly winning the day. And so do all those politicians with simple populist answers knowing perfectly well that disaster is looming when they gather enough followers. Populism is self-destructive – history has proven it over and over again.  And social media are weapons of choice for trapping those who are vulnerable to propaganda and easy solutions.

Maybe that is the reason why I believe that beaming people via SKYPE and conference call and Whatsapp are not enough to really engage with each other. I prefer the surely more expensive and time-consuming way of meeting the people, share some time with them and discuss matters relevant in person.  It is then and there that real conversation is happening – encounter in the real sense of the world. And if you can’t hide behind a slogan or a screen or a party or an ideology but one is looking into the eyes of the person sitting opposite – real communication, real problem solving is happening – real understanding is given birth.

I am convinced we have to stop being computer screen warriors and instead really engaging with the world. Clicking “like”or any other emoji might give a feeling of having done your bit – but this is self-deception and fooling oneself. It is also the only way that we can stem the non-sense of populism, bad right-wing politics  and – in the case of the USA – anti-academic attitude like denying climate change. Otherwise we are playing with our future – but maybe Mother Earth is happy to continue to exist without human beings – maybe it is not a great loss if the human race is failing and fading away.

Be it as it be – I am preparing for flying out today and I am looking forward to meet all those in the next days and weeks who are part of the HOPE Cape Town family or interested to know about it and maybe join those spreading hope and engaging with real people. Real people, who want to live with dignity striving for decent prosperity and who want to create a future for the next generation to come.

Filed under: General, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

Kids for Kids – Look at our Manenberg kiddis…

Kids from the After School Care Project in Manenberg performing via SKYPE for their new friends in Ruemmelsheim. A great afternoon to raise funds for this worthy project in South Africa in the Trollbach Halle in Germany.

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

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

13th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 27th, 2018
more info www.hopegala.de and admin@hopecapetown.com

Ball of HOPE 2018

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

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