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Add your voice to the conversation

Inspired by the SACF – Spotlight on Carmen Stander

Carmen Stander is a SACF member based in Germany. The SACF is calling for stories from people who have been inspired by the SACF to send in their stories to be shared. So let’s hear from you. Thank you Carmen for sharing your journey in care.



“I work at the Liebenzeller Mission, Bad Liebenzell. It is a spa resort in the Nagold River Valley, in the northern part of the Black Forest area. It is situated in Baden Wuertenberg, west from Stuttgart and south of Pforzheim. 

“I work as a registered nurse, in the sick bay of the LZM, where we, as a team, care for the elderly sisters, some of whom were missionaries world wide. In Africa, (Niger, Nigeria, Kenia/ Sudan, Burundi, Tansania, Malawi, Botswana and Zambia). Also in Canada, USA, Ecuador, France, Great Britain, Austria, Bangladesh, Russia, Mongolia, Japan, Guam, Yap, Palau, Papua New Guinea. It is absolutely exciting to hear their stories and they enjoy speaking English to me, whenever possible. It is an honour to be part of such a worldwide Christian network and to experience their mission festivals and updates worldwide. Every Tuesday we have Chapel Hour, where visiting missionaries give feedback and we have praise and worship and time in prayer. All our updates can be viewed on You Tube under LiebenzellerMission.org


 “A special sister Erna Weimar, has just published her book and DVD regarding her experience in Africa. Interesting enough, the TV crew were there, filming when I was on duty, so to my surprise I feature too, near the end. The clip is 26 Minutes long and at 24.49, you can see me interacting with Sr Erna.”

 “I am sooooooo excited. This morning I received an email from Dr Ingrid Eyers, where she shares about the PROTEA project…..(the project where the SACF called for wish lists last year) I am planning to meet up with her here in Germany.

“I want to THANK YOU again that I may be in contact with you through the SACF and share all these great happenings. It helps to feel connected and motivated and I am amazed at the plans I am creating. Of getting more nurses to speak of their journeys and experiences, of challenges they are faced with and their celebrations of achievements made and success stories. It will be great to get the spark going and the flame and eventual light, of human care, connections and contributions, to burn bright into the future.  Wow, what a vision. I just get goosebumps thinking about this incredible opportunity. 

“I am responding to your request to write about my experience working in care.  First of all I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful leadership, enthusiasm, encouragement, passion and motivation.

“I read your Growing Connections: A Personal Journey in Global Ageing (IAHSA blog posted on 22/9/16).  I am amazed at your journey and felt a definite connection.  So, I want to accept your challenge, to become involved, to contribute and be valued.

“Making a difference where I am and working together, with others and making a better place for our dear elderly, who we serve. Being blessed to bless others. My nursing journey started when I was a child.  I grew up in a house, where four generations lived together.  My great granddad lived to be 99 and 8 months.  What a wonderful opportunity to learn to care for each other and realize, that each of us, has an important and unique role to fill in our lives.


“To appreciate and respect the other person, no matter their age: from the new born to the aged.  I always knew, that one day I want to be a nurse, to care.  And so it became reality. My career started off in the beautiful Natal Midlands, back in 1984.  Then I discovered the amazing Cape.  My nursing journey has taken me from South Africa, to Australia and Germany.  Most of my experience, has been in the medical, mental health and aged nursing field, in both state and private organizations, and in the hospital setting.

“I have been able to gain a great deal of knowledge and experience through my care, studies, interactions and connections, with so many different nationalities, languages, age groups, beliefs and cultures.

“What an honor it has been and still is, when one can care for another person.  To be at another’s side. To care, to comfort, to listen, to empathize and give an encouraging word. The importance, of just BEING there. Being present and responding, as needed. To connect and share in another person’s life. To value that one person and provide dignity and respect. To hear (the spoken or unspoken word), their story, their joy, pain, grief, excitement, or loneliness (when some elderly are left in care and not visited by their loved ones, for whatever reason)  It is then, that one realizes the value of the person caring and being there, to assist in whatever way is appropriate, expected and appreciated.

“I met Margie in South Africa, Pietermaritzburg ,Natal, in February 2016, at a South African Care Forum Conversation Hub at Riverside Park. What an honour. I also appreciated that she had invited 2 guest speakers from Australia who shared the Australian Aged Care Channel with us. I was fascinated and thought Wow South Africa!  Now we are getting somewhere. As I mentioned earlier, not to be isolated, but part of an international forum. That is what caring is all about . To share and learn from each other. Building a future of care, together. As are the values of SACF: inspiring, quality and engagement.

“I also want to mention certain benefits of the Eden Alternatives: which are powerful: creating a shared vision and opportunities, teamwork and empowering staff, international networking, accessing resources.

“What I found interesting, is that people are people, just in different situations , no matter where in the world.

“Different tools are utilized in care. In Australia, they base their care of the aged on the ACFI system and in Germany ,the AEDL of Monika Krohwinkel ( 13 activities and existential experiences of life). I am fascinated by what is being done for people living with Dementia, and the studies being done and care that is available.  I plan to continue with my studies and am excited to see where my journey takes me, having met Margie and other international connectors.

“What an honor and privilege. Thank you for this opportunity to share my experiences. A quote from Max Lucado:

” YOU make a difference: Your Handshake, Your Warmth, Your Friendliness, could make the Difference in Someone’s life”