On Thursday 13 July, a delegation of the Community of Sant’Egidio from Rome visited the DREAM centres in Blantyre and Mtengo wa Ntenga (Lilongwe).
The centres, which have been operational for some time already, take care of around 1000 people with AIDS, including many children.
The delegation was welcomed by a brief greeting from activists, who wanted to describe their work for the DREAM programme, to explain how this helped them to overcome the stigma often linked to having AIDS.
But above all, they wanted to testify to the miracle of resurrection that happened in their lives.
In the afternoon, a conference was held at the Hotel Meridien to present the Community of Sant’Egidio. Around 1000 people attended, including members of the government of the Republic of Malawi, ambassadors, representatives of civil society and representatives of the communities in the north and centre of Malawi.
Prof.Riccardi talked about the theme of collaboration between the Community of Sant’Egidio and Malawi: a shared future for the country, but also for the rest of Africa. Other people also addressed the conference, among them the minister for elderly and disabled people of the Malawian government, the chairman of the Islamic communities, the Apostolic Nuncio and several bishops of Malawian dioceses. Besides, there were interventions from some village leaders who represented different areas of the country. One and all highlighted the importance of the work of the Community as a factor supporting the development of society and serving to focus attention on the most vulnerable: in the struggle against malnutrition and famine, in children’s education through schools of peace and in the contribution to the fight against AIDS through the DREAM programme. At the end of the conference, a delegation of the Community of Sant’Egidio was received by the President of the Republic of Malawi, Bingu Mutarika, who spoke some words of appreciation and encouragement for the work undertaken so far by the Community in Malawi. He expressed the desire for increased collaboration between the Community and the country in the future.