God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

20.11.2010 Companies as sponsors…

Meeting with major sponsors is one of the major focus points while traveling in Europe. And it is one of the more tricky matters. Many people think it is easy: Someone wants go give money and someone wants to have money – that’s the deal.
But in the world of serious NGO’s there is more to it: Does the sponsor fit the projects objectives? What is the motivation? What is the reputation of a sponsor? Are sponsor and project able to go together in the next years to come?
HOPE Cape Town is taking sponsorships very seriously – companies which want to commit for a couple of years must fit the objectives of our project and must accept and support our mission statement. There must be a sort of relationship and for us from HOPE Cape Town it is important that someone of the company is able to visit and see by him/herself what HOPE Cape Town is all about. We are proud of our sponsors and they should be proud of the work we are doing.
At the end, money is not everything – only when there is a real partnership, sponsorship is making sense for me.

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

17.05.2010

The ash cloud is approaching, but Frankfurt Airport promised to be a good boy and be open until midnight. That should do the trick to bring us out. This morning a talk for 150 students of the Gesamtschule Stromberg and I once again realise how far away the real world is for those kids, or better: how well protected they are not to know the realities of life in all its facets.

Then back to Frankfurt to check in the luggage and go quick to town for a last shopping. A sms telling me, that a friend of mine got a heart attack and is lying in hospital, another phone call from South Africa telling me, that a person I know from Rotary has been found dead floating in his swimming pool with 42 – and some last-minute chaos regarding the Ball of HOPE… I feel it is time to get back home.

Now sitting at the airport and trying to sort out all the emails of the last three days.. there was no time to really read and answer every of those and now it looks like work down a hug pile of emails from around the world.

So what is the result of the trip?

Many talks, new connections and the renewal of old connections with sponsors and donors of HOPE Cape Town. Quite a lot of invitation to give talks or preach – a donation from the Kolping family Muenster – Sarmsheim, a couple of new HOPE Cape Town fans and supporters – re-connecting with those who are faithful sponsors the whole years and finally a big step regarding our new project for HIV positive priests and religious.

This trip was full of wonderful experience, little sleep, some flu in between but when Fr. Wim and I will write our final report and outline future steps, I am sure that it is to the benefit of HOPE Cape Town, Justice & Peace Cape Town and the joined venture we persue. Thanks to all and everybody who made this trip worth the efforts – thanks for all cooperation in Wolfsburg, Rome, Munich and Muenster-Sarmsheim as well as Stromberg.

And of course I am always grateful that LH grants me the pleasure of flying with them.. those encounters at the counters have been a real inspiration – in the best and in the worst way possible.. alternating…  as usual. 🙂

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

06.08.2009 amazing and difficult

Sometimes looking up the lists of sponsors and donors or reading through emails I am amazed to read and sense how much people, whom I  never have seen in person, are close and well connected to my own life and work.  The work in the fields of HIV and AIDS, the somehow upstream battle with being able to hold on your own conviction in your own church, it leaves one often exhausted and down. But then, somehow and from somewhere, an uplifting email arrives, a much needed donation is done, an to me unknown person dedicates times and thoughts to be with me in spirit and thoughts.

For me, this is the most amazing part of working with HOPE Cape Town and advocating a measured and meaningful response to the pandemic. Even if the conflict potential within the church sometimes brings me down, there is always a light coming from somewhere. Be it a person, I am dealing with in my work, be it a totally stranger from the other end of the world.

For me, this is the miracle of life and the most amazing experience I have made in the last years. And the warm feeling it creates is worth all the pain and suffering while trying to develop a way in the minefield of HIV and AIDS and all the moral implications, when some of our church leaders are to afraid to tackle them.
It is so endless difficult to have my voice heard in my own church and to be respected for what I am going through and experiencing while doing this work. It is breathtaking how fast one is corned and in effect put in a corner and labeled and sidelined from individuals within the church, who think that their own limited (office) experience represent the whole world.

But once again reading through the encouraging emails, listening to voices of strangers on the phone just wanting to say their appreciation of what you are doing – they are like angels and they do more for the good course than they can ever imagine.

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

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