Ad Laos - To the People of God

Dear Friends

I am delighted again to express our thanks and appreciation to HOPE Africa for being focused and deliberate about servicing the needs of communities in the province. This year I particularly want to commend them for promoting awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic, about COVID relief, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and about the vaccine. The awareness raising they have done to prevent Gender Based Violence (GBV) is also commendable.

We are truly grateful to God for the organisation and its leadership, and I invite you, friends, to reflect and celebrate with me on the wonderful work that HOPE Africa has done in the past year.

The world continues to experience the worst pandemic in a century. We are, however, people of hope. As I said in my Easter message: My call today, to all people of faith, and those of no faith, is: we are never alone; let us renew our determination, let us remember our resilience, let us bemoan the corruption which brings death, let us weep for the people who have died in the pandemic so far. But above all, let us challenge our government(s) to be transparent and fair in the rollout, for while vaccines will not do away with COVID-19, they will help us cope better with it. And let us take those vaccines as soon as they become available.

HOPE Africa have proficiently assisted the province with a successful Lenten Appeal for the Dioceses of Lebombo and Niassa in Mozambique, dedicated to helping with relief efforts in response to the devastating effects of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth. In the face of the pandemic, HOPE Africa partnered with Peninsula School Feeding Association and the Diocese of George to provide meals, food hampers, hygiene packs, educational material, school shoes and party packs to children on Mandela Day.

Prior to lockdown, the organisation facilitated a number of workshops to build the capacity of church leaders to champion gender issues in the church and society. I am grateful to have been part of the robust, honest and necessary dialogue on patriarchy included in this report. With support from CCI and NACOSA, HOPE Africa continue to empower adolescent girls and young women – as well as men – to lead healthy, safe lives, free of violence and HIV infection.

I strongly encourage Dioceses and Parishes to help keep HOPE Africa sustainable, especially because it is the only Provincial agency which can respond to emergencies such as the pandemic. I applaud the HOPE Africa staff, led by the CEO, Canon Delene Mark, as well as donors, partners, supporters and friends, for the work they have done collectively. Thank you too to the Board of Directors for providing strategic leadership, accountability, governance and oversight on behalf of the province.

Yours in the service of Christ
The Most Reverend Dr Thabo Makgoba
Archbishop of Cape Town

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