God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

In between – NGOs in the times of war and pandemic

I guess nobody would argue against the statement, that NGOs are living through a difficult time. During the pandemic, those in the sector of health, nutrition and social support spend considerably more money than the agreed budgets provided. And those who had not put away some money for difficult times stood quickly at the brink of inability to pay due to overspending.

And no, neither in South Africa nor in Germany the state would consider support in the times of Covid – only companies, only economic entities were able to claim support from the state coffers. Looking at South Africa and seeing what NGO’s had achieved in supporting those left alone and in some instances still waiting for the state sponsored food support, it is clear: the situation would have been much dire without their work. In Germany, the food banks called “Tafeln” also were under strain because of the higher demand versus less support.

Generally, supporters and sponsors worldwide are more cautious in spending and granting support. Nobody really knows what is next and how to survive the possible next economic onslaught. It is understandable, but it hurts the ability of NGO’s to function.

Now the war in Ukraine rages on and as a result everything is getting more expensive while budgets, especially those fixed for some years via a grant, remain the same. Again: trouble is looming when not planned and forward-looking kept house.

The way forward? Not sure, but it is important to point out the in-between position of non-governmental organisations and their value for society and economy. Social interventions and economic development are going hand-in-hand. Development aid has always something to do with economical relationships. Both are important for the good and well-being of countries and societies.

Maybe after Covid and while the war is raging it is time to put those relationships but also the development agencies of countries on the test bench to have a sharper look what serves the purpose. The world is changing, and so the ways we do business – not only in the economical world.

Filed under: Africa, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

30.07.2010 A short week

Two additional nights on the way back thanks to LH and its cancellations makes this week a very short one. Appointments have to be cancelled and re-scheduled. Emails are waiting for answer – and today, we had a guest of a major language school to see whether HOPE Cape Town is fitting the criteria of the school to be their social project. This was the second request for this week, where a company was looking for a reliable charity project for the long-term run. This is always good news and the principle of HOPE Cape Town is to invite the responsible person to come and have a look him/herself – then an informed decision can be made.

Also a step more done on the way to have the English version of our book “God, AIDS, Africa” as an e-book available to purchase through internet. It is the first time that I look into this possibility and it seems to be an exciting one. So watch the space..:-)

The weekend is full of meetings and a family mass with the German-speaking Catholic Community – and I am looking forward again to meet old friends and to engage with those for a while, I was entrusted to look after for almost 13 years.

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

25.01.2010 Golf Day

Today is a Golf Day in lieu of HOPE Cape Town, tomorrow the horse auction at the Milnerton Town Hall. It is amazing to see what people can do to support a good cause. Brian Sharkey and the Men’s Society of the Milnerton/Brooklyn Catholic Church are indeed busy to support HOPE Cape Town and they are doing in now since years. It is always good to be with them in the beginning of a new year and to experience the goodness of people. HOPE Cape Town is very grateful for these local supporters – and that is a focal point of fundraising also for this year: to expand the circle of sponsors and friends of HOPE Cape Town in South Africa. People living here should own their country and they should work hard to make their very own country a better place. Judging from experience it is not often the case. Very often it is easy to support those who are living far away- but to forget the nightmares in front of the own door. I guess it is an international phenomenon. The Men’s Society shows that it is good and worthwhile to look not too far for a moment but to see the needs around the corner of the parish boundaries. I am grateful to know all these people. Well done and all success for today and tomorrow.

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

04.12.2009 Small and big donations…

In a recent email I was advised that my blog contains sometimes too much about big events raising money for HOPE Cape Town and obviously as a consequence  too little about the small events and the single donors. And reading the remarks I must admit: Yes, one hears definitely more about major fundraiser events and almost nothing about Mr X or Mrs Z.

For me it was and is always clear that there is no “big” or “small” sponsor per se – every Cent, every Rand counts and makes the life of another needy person better. Everybody contributing to HOPE Cape Town does whatever he or she is able or willing to do – and that is in every case highly appreciated by us from HOPE Cape Town. We have once off donations, regular monthly donations, donations resulting from weddings, funerals, birthdays or bigger events. In every case there is a thoughtful mind behind it, a great intention – a willing mind to see the need of others and act on it. Every Cent, every Rand is a gift, a miracle – and we are grateful.

Surely on a blog, one reflects on the days events – and bigger events have more exposure – because I am involved more time wise and I reflect on my work and my involvement or what comes to my mind seeing a situation.

I also donate ones in a while – for different causes; give here and there and it is never mentioned anywhere – but I never had the feeling of being a second class donor – the opposite is the case: do I read about somebody given for the same cause much more, I feel joy that others have the same ideas, find the same important and add to it.
Obviously, there must be a recognition – we from HOPE Cape Town have published in the last years on our website always all names we have had on our sponsor list – I admit that nothing is 100% perfect and we do miss out names; we try to send out a thank you letter every year to those, whose address we have (and given the SA post office – some got surely lost in transit) – in other words: we try our best to recognise everybody as much as we can.

Improvement is always possible – if readers have ideas about the balance of recognition between small and big donations – please let me know: I am eager to learn.

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

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