The 1st Training Course for Malawian activists took place in Blantyre from July 24th to 28th after the conclusion of the 8th DREAM Training Course.
25 activists, both men and women, coming from the DREAM centres of Blantyre and Lilongwe, attended lessons of health and nutritional education, and counselling, under the supervision of teachers from Rome, and of two experienced activists from Mozambique, Ana Maria and Cacilda, who guided the training of their Malawian ‘colleagues’.
The role of the activists in the DREAM programme has an increasing relevance. They are men and women – seropositive and not – who experienced a new birth, and strive to welcome the people coming to the centres for the first time. They are also active in the homecare service to our patients, and provide information in the surroundings of the cities and the small villages. They are serving the movement of hope and new birth represented by DREAM.
They are Africans who talk with other Africans, ill people with ill people: this is a major secret of the success and diffusion of DREAM. Moreover, the women activists have a revolutionary role because they contribute to redeem the traditionally subdued figure of the African woman.
This sense of a newly found dignity for men and women who suffered from weakness and exclusion is very strong in our activists. They become deeply conscious of themselves, and desire to know and understand. This was the image offered by the Blantyre Course: thirst of education and knowledge from everybody, concentration and seriousness in attending the lessons, asking questions, giving answers.
Moreover, the regained dignity and the awareness of everyone’s personal resurrection are the reasons of the joyful and serene atmosphere experienced during the lessons. It is the joy of those who are aware of being free from fear, a sense of the impending end, stigma, an apparently worthless life. And of being able to free many others.