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Hospice Chaplain Assists Health Care Nonprofit In South Africa

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Compassus recently sent a team of 12 volunteers, including Chaplain Stephen Scarff of North Andover, Massachusetts, to assist Living Hope, the company’s sister hospice program in Cape Town, South Africa. The Compassus interdisciplinary team, which included registered nurses, hospice aides, a social worker, volunteer coordinator, chaplain and other colleagues, spent a week in Cape Town working side-by-side with Living Hope clinicians and administrators.

“During my time in Cape Town, I witnessed Living Hope and Compassus work together to provide support in a rather complicated economic, cultural and political setting,” said Scarff, chaplain for Compassus – North Andover. “Despite the challenges, Living Hope caregivers live out a selfless and compassionate message on a daily basis.”

Through an international partnership formed in 2011, Compassus donates monetary aid, medical supplies and health care expertise to support Living Hope’s health care and hospice services in the impoverished township communities of Cape Town. Compassus matches voluntary employee donations dollar for dollar for total donations in 2018 of more than $123,000 to the ministry-based nonprofit.

“The most memorable experience for me was hearing the patients’ stories and struggles and, in response, offering hope through care,” said Scarff. “Now I can share the story of hope here and encourage others to seek similar opportunities to serve. This trip taught me many lessons that will inform my work as a chaplain.”

Living Hope offers health care services, counseling and education to more than 200,000 underprivileged residents in Cape Town. Its programs focus on improving general health and hospice care, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, and economic empowerment. Living Hope provides health care for more than 36,000 South Africans annually through in-home visits, medical clinics and a 22-bed inpatient hospice center.

“Compassion is at the heart of everything we do, and our compassion has an even broader impact when we have the opportunity to serve alongside Living Hope,” said Joe Peterson, executive director for Compassus – North Andover. “We are proud of our team and their work with the people of South Africa, and I hope it inspires others to join the effort to advance the well-being of those facing life-limiting illnesses.”

For more information visit our North Andover page or call (978) 777-8222.