André Gildenhuys
André Gildenhuys campaign supporter

Episcopal visit from Germany at HOPE Cape Town

The
Bishop from Trier - Germany's oldest city -, Stephan Ackermann, visited HOPE
Cape Town on Monday April 8, 2013.

A
lot of interesting and diverse items appeared on the agenda. Rev. Fr. Stefan Hippler,
who belongs to Ackermann's staff, showed the bishop and his four fellow travellers
around and explained thereby his different life in South Africa in comparison
to Germany.

Firstly,
the visitors got to know the clinic in Delft and the work which is done by the
Community Health Workers who are deployed there. Here, the guests could
experience how crowded and busy South African clinics can be. After a tour,
conducted by the HOPE Cape Town community health workers, the German visitors
got an introduction by Stefan Hippler to the structure and history of HOPE Cape
Town in the township of Blikkiesdorp. At this point, numerous questions of the
visiting team could be answered since they were highly interested in the work
and development of the organization. Subsequently, one of the habitants of
Blikkiesdorp opened her doors for the foreigners and let them gain a glance at
her poor domestic situation.

Afterwards,
Rev Fr. Hippler drove his guests to Manenberg, a township which suffers from
gangsterism and gang violence.  Fortunately,
the "Holy Family Aftercare Centre" of
the Catholic community depicts a silver lining in this
environment since kids from the township can attend different classes and
programs in order to pass their leisure time in a meaningful way. The team
offers dance classes, a kindergarten program for the younger ones, a drama and
cooking class as well as a musical group. All this was presented to the German
visitors who were evidently impressed by all the work that is done by the team
there with the support of HOPE Cape Town. Bishop Ackermann and his delegation
also visited the township and got the chance to get to know a family with six
children who are also attending the Aftercare Centre. Obviously, this encounter
portrayed an emotional and important moment for the family as they couldn't
hold back their tears of joy when receiving the blessing of the bishop. Shortly
afterwards, the house of the "Little Sisters of Jesus", a small religious order
consisting of four nuns in Manenberg, was the venue for a holy mass by the
German bishop. As a thank you for their attendance the Germans got the
delicious opportunity to get to know the Sister's baking skills.

As
a last agenda item, Father Hippler stopped with his visitors at Tygerberg
hospital to show them the core of HOPE Cape Town's work: the Ithemba ward! HOPE
Cape Town employee Sonia Daniels gave the visitors a tour through the ward and
answered all their questions. All in all it was a long but interesting and
varied day during which the German visitors had the chance to gain insights to HOPE
Cape Town's various local projects and its commitment in South Africa. Bishop
Ackermann can be sure that this employee contributes a lot to improve the
situation of the needy in the Western Cape.

Tsb
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