God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

980 Millionen

English: BRICS counties. BRICS - Brazil, Russi...

English: BRICS counties. BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, People’s Republic of China, South Africa. Português: As Potências regionais. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

980 million Euro – that was more or less the contribution of the EU to South Africa as special development money in the last budget circle. And when I traveled to Brussels last month, the question was, how much the European Union might give in the new budget. There are countries like Germany advocating for zero Euro. Simply because South Africa falls short the markers set by the World Bank for being categorized a developing country. Being a preferred partner for the EU also doesn’t help nor does joining the BRICS countries. Corruption and attitude of some representatives of the political sector also doesn’t help a lot.

This money is not even one percent of the South African annual budget, but still: it was used in the past to try new approaches, it was the money used for going new ways of governance, health care, development of democracy and much more which never otherwise would be part of the normal budget provided by government. On the request of the South African Representation to the EU I tried to lobby for a new round of developing money as I believe that South Africa, stripped of attitude and corruption is in urgent need of assistance from outside. Go to the Eastern Cape and I visited Sterkspruit last year deep into the eastern part of the fairest Cape – and you feel beamed back into a third world country. And government and NGO’s depend on the goodwill of others – putting aside political talk about an “African Renaissance” and “new colonial treads” – even in the sector of HIV and AIDS we would not have come that far without the assistance of the Global AIDS Fund. So politicians are asked to set aside ideology or party politics and concentrate to better the life of the people. And to establish a good governance to be entrusted with resources from those who are able to donate and give.

980 million Euro – it is for sure that there will be not that amount of money given again for the new budget circle. But lets lobby that there is more than zero – European Embassies are called to look realistically at South Africa and report back honestly about the situation where still people starving, living under the minimum to sustain their lives, where housing, clean water, health are not accessible for all.  And the NGO sector also needs still that kind of support even if most of the money is anyhow given to government, some is essential for the work of civil society organizations and NPO’s.

There is no decision yet, but there remains hope that the EU will consider South Africa as what it is: a country which came a long way but is still not able to run its affairs without assistance from partners outside.

Filed under: Politics and Society, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Do you know where Sterkspruit is located? Or Herschel? I did not know till I visited it: Eastern Cape – Diocese of Aliwal North – somewhere close to Lesotho – and arriving there after a long drive from Bloemfontein feels like getting in a forgotten corner of South Africa. On invitation of Sam, one of our trustees of the HOPE Cape Town Trust, who is coming from here, I meet different people like Fr Joe and his flock with 30 chapels and churches. I hear of the plight of the people, their attempt to make the best of their lives, of mismanagement of the environment, of crime, abuse, hopelessness, poverty and all the credentials which one would hope to defeat in the new South Africa. And once again I encounter the ABCD programme of the Catholic Student movement, which puts being HIV positive on the same level like being a criminal or a drug addict. Nobody thought about it really – coming from the official church side, nobody questioned it.

After 25 hours intense listening and trying to take in the situation of the people I am out again – with proposals in my bag of projects, with thousand thoughts how people can exist like this for ages, with admiration for my fellow priests keeping the hope up in these circumstances and with the determination to make things happen as much as I am able to from a distance. Most of our HOPE Community Health worker are coming from the Eastern Cape and I heard many times how much assistance is needed – now I know first hand…

I first have to reflect on it more – good that there is the Easter break – time for reflection in the light of the unconditional love of God. What does it mean for those people I left in Sterkspruit?

By the way: If you read this and you have skills like bricklayer, electrician or whatever practical professional skills and you have some weeks time to go there and teach those skills to young people in the area: let me know…

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

Blog Categories

Follow God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE on WordPress.com

You can share this blog in many ways..

Bookmark and Share

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,134 other subscribers

Translation – Deutsch? Française? Espanol? …

The translation button is located on each single blog page, Copy the text, click the button and paste it for instant translation:
Website Translation Widget

or for the translation of the front page:

* Click for Translation


© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This not withstanding the following applies:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

%d bloggers like this: