Charlene Davidson

 

Nelli Shika

 

Robert Pickup

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Charlene Davidson
Chairperson of House of Hope Organization – Switzerland

House of Hope is dedicated to my foster brother Nicolas, who was only 1 year old when he died from AIDS in 1989, Swaziland. He was truly an inspiration to me with his beautiful spirit and strong will to live. His ongoing struggle with the disease during his short life - at the time when little was known about HIV/AIDS - left a deep and lasting impression on me. This inspired the idea to establish a House of Hope centre.

Meeting Nally Shika was another influential moment. We happen to share the same vision via two different experiences of what the effects and influence HIV/AIDS has had in our lives. A deep love and trust between us has brought about the idea of working together to establish and develop the centre situated in Soshanguve near Pretoria, South Africa

Our mutually shared vision is to bring back HOPE to children who have been affected by the traumatic effects of HIV/AIDS and poverty. We aim to restore them their basic right for love - care - security - support and education. In order to help achieve this objective we aim to involve both the local and global community to assist and support the establishment of a House of Hope in this area of South Africa.

 

Nally Shika
Director of House of Hope Centre Soshanguve, South Africa

My experience with HIV/AIDS was traumatic and extremely painful. I watched my sister and her baby die. I felt so helpless watching them dying, not being able to do anything to save their lives, knowing that they were going to die and there was nothing I could do. That was killing me. My sister and her baby daughter died in my arms. She looked so beautiful, as if she was sleeping and would wake up soon. At the time, in 2002, there was nothing to stop HIV/AIDS from killing young and old people in South Africa.

I dedicate this to my sister and her baby: to bring hope to those who have lost their parents because of HIV/AIDS, and to give them love, trust and happiness. Charlene and I have experienced the same, which is why we want to help those children who need it. We will give from the bottom of our hearts because we know the pain. We want to bring Hope to those children.



Francesca O’Connor
Kids and their education are my life and my passion. After gaining a diploma in Montessori teaching and completing several child development courses in my home country of Ireland, I lived and worked in Italy, Ireland, England and Switzerland. Over the course of my career I have worked with children of many ages, backgrounds and cultures and have become increasingly aware of the importance a good start in life has on every child's overall happiness and success in life. It is my strong belief that all children have the right to a safe, happy childhood, regardless of where they are born. It is for this reason that I am honoured to be involved with the House of Hope.



Robert Pickup
I grew up in South Africa and studied music there. I am now principal clarinetist in the Philharmonia Zürich and play concerts all over the world. In South Africa I was given a great education, all kinds of opportunities to develop my passion for music, and took for granted my security, stable family life and prospects for a bright future. There are millions of children all over the world that don't have these things. Through this project I'd like to bring hope to some of those children.