Hope House is a faith based charity centre serving as a hospice facility, a home for the terminally ill, HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS related illnesses. It is a center which serves as a half way-house between, hospital and home for those in need.
By Bishop Jose Luis
In the Catholic Church, February 11 is the day of prayer for the sick as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It was then Providential (with a capital “P”) that we chose the day before to gather at Hope House for a short prayer for our sick children and their families.
A few days ago our Bishop Josè Luis Ponce de Leon, supported by Caritas staff, met those asking for financial support to pay their school fees.
A lot of people came. Last year we had 202 requests, but this year we had 621: the number has increased significantly in a year.
Behind all those requests there are different stories: orphans leaving with their grandparents, parents alive but left their families, child headed families, unemployed or under-employed, lost everything due to the lack of rains…”so much suffering” as the Bishop said.
Grateful to all those who dedicated time for this meeting and to all those in Swaziland and abroad “help us helping others”…
Below a detailed report about this meeting…from the Bishop’s blog!
From the Directors Desk 2015 – Caritas Swaziland.
The Encyclical Populorum Progressio – On the Development of Peoples, issued in March 1967 by Pope Paul VI, clearly states that a well-rounded development of every man and of every woman must be realized within the development of humanity as a whole.
At Caritas Swaziland, our work among the poorest in Swaziland derives inspiration from the above statement. This is the driving principle in our efforts which has been recognized for its effectiveness, and which continues to be crucially relevant in our times.
Caritas Swaziland still remains deeply committed to promoting sustainable development centered on local communities, assisting refugees, the advancement of women and the support to the most vulnerable in society.
Today marks the 27th Anniversary of International World AIDS Day, a day when countries the World over stand together in solidarity, and reflect on the progress made in the fight against HIV and its impact on individuals, families and communities. It also is time to honor and commemorate those who lost their lives and have succumbed to HIV and its related complications.
To celebrate this important day, we met on Thursday 26th November at HOPE HOUSE, in Manzini, where Caritas Swaziland implements a project to support HIV/AIDS patients in a quiet and familiar place, serving as an hospice facility.
Many people joined us, including Bishop Josè Luis Ponce de Leon, local and national authorities, staff members, patients with their caregivers and families, and a representation of students from the local schools that amused us with songs, dances and performances.
As the 2014 UNAIDS Report highlights, in Swaziland the number of people living with HIV/AIDS reaches 210,000 of people affected. The introduction of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has made HIV a manageable chronic illness, but, for treatment to be successful, adherence to medication is essential. In Swaziland, traditional family structures have been ravaged by the HIV epidemic, and the number of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) due to this illness is still increasing.
Therefore, the big challenge is to talk and work on prevention, transmission from mother to child, and discrimination. It is fundamental supporting patients with adequate food for treatments, and we learnt from the past the importance to involve the community, especially for the psychological support.
In this special occasion, someone reminded us the words of Saint Pope John Paul II speaking to a group of Health workers and People Living with HIV and AIDS at the Vatican City in Rome, Italy: “Dear brothers and sisters sick with AIDS, don’t feel alone because you are not alone, the Church is near you with love and supports you in your difficult path. She will never abandon you nor forsake you”.