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German student, Britta Kappel ...
Hello good people around the world,
After three years studying in Giessen University, Germany and one year at Stockholm University, Sweden, I am now since November in Cape Town, South Africa for an internship and the research for my master thesis. Together with my colleague Anne, we interviewed 100 Entrepreneurs with the goal to develop training to get more people into self-employment and entrepreneurship.
This is a fantastic opportunity to get to meet a huge variety of people and I am very blessed in learning so much every day. During the course of our work I got in touch with a project that got me excited and which I would like to tell you about: In the Township of Imizamo Yethu (also known as Mandela Park) in Hout Bay, Cape Town. 25 minutes away from my doorstep live approximately 20,000 people in overcrowded space, in shacks without running water or electricity; conditions that I could not even have imagined before my first visit to South Africa six years ago. Of the 3,000 kids that live there, only about 1,000 have the possibility to go to school, the others can’t afford it. The percentage of HIV-positive people is estimated to be about 30%. Unemployment, drug-abuse and crime are high.
"Informal settlements" like this are numerous in Cape Town and in all bigger cities in South Africa. I can understand from my own experience that it is easy to be overwhelmed by a feeling of hopelessness and "what can I do?” But I do believe that every one of us can do and must do something to make this world a happier, better and fairer place and everybody can do so in his or her own way. I am very blessed by and thankful for all the people I have met during my stay in South Africa that have - against all odds - made the best out of their sometimes very limited resources to contribute to the world around them. Very, very inspiring people.
One example of hope is for me the centre named IZIKO LOBOMI (Centre of Life) in the middle of the Township Imizamo Yethu. Already as I was there the first time I had an enthusiastic feeling of "Something good and great is happening here". Many people engage there, work for better conditions in the community, do what they can to offer the inhabitants of the township a better present, a better future. IZIKO LOBOMI is a meeting point for many people that desperately need help. For 1Rand (ca 15 US-Cent) children, elders and needy people can get here a nutritious meal. Job skills are taught, crises and AIDS counselling is given, activities that offer an alternative to drugs, alcohol and crime as well as medical aid are provided, kids are taken care of , and – I cannot put it in right words, I can only tell you that something is going on there, something good and hope-giving. Here is the link for the homepage: http://www.hbcca.co.za - please check it out!
As a student my financial resources are limited as well, but even I can give. A donation of 10 Euro can feed a child for a whole month. Also I prayed about which other recourses I have to help out and I thought about the following: Through my travels I have met so many great people all over the world. If I told all those people about the project and each of these people just gave a dollar or two – oh what a difference this could make…
May the Lord bless you more than you can imagine!
To see the results Britta's letter had, please click here ...
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HOUT BAY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
Hout Bay, Cape Town