Our District 410A, honoured Dr. Lutz van Dijk of HOKISA with a Citizen of the Year award. This achievement recognition, in the form of a Melvin Jones Fellowship was presented to Dr van Dijk by our District Governor Moira Theron at her Welcome Home Breakfast Gala.
A little history on Dr. Lutz van Dijk
“…is a German-Dutch writer, born in Berlin in 1955. He began as a teacher in Hamburg (Germany), later he joined the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam (Netherlands). Since 2001 he is at home in Cape Town (South Africa), where he became a founding member and Co-Director of HOKISA, a South African NGO which cares for children affected and/or infected by HIV/AIDS.
Most of his books are written in German and translated into many other languages (like Afrikaans, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Swedish, isiXhosa – and English). Lutz van Dijk has received several literary awards, among them the Namibian Youth Literature Award (1997) and the German Gustav-Heinemann-Peace-Award (2001).
Next to Germany and Holland, where he is on reading tours twice a year, he has given readings in schools, libraries, bookshops and with human rights groups in Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, England, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and outside of Europe in countries in Western and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the USA.“
Dr. Lutz has a PhD; he is a qualified teacher for special education of disturbed children; writer (free-lance); volunteer fundraiser and coordinator of Amakhaya Ngoku housing project in Masiphumelele.
His most recent books are set in South Africa and his work includes a “History of Africa” with a foreword by Archbishop EM. Desmond tutu. All royalties from his South African books are donated to the Hokisa home, and form a major financial support for this project.
Characteristically, Dr Lutz van Dijk’s main concern is developmental, and his focus at all times is on those who have been marginalized, helping them to discover their abilities and nurturing them to grow into their full potential as human beings.
DG Moira Theron gave such an insightful introduction of Dr Lutz van Dijk and everyone present was overwhelmed with what he has achieved over the years. We are proud to have honoured one of many of South Africa’s unsung heroes.