On 30 April, the mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, visited the DREAM centre of Blantyre in Malawi. The mayor was accompanied by around 130 high school students from Rome.
Campaigners of the Women for DREAM association welcomed their arrival with singing and dancing. Ellard, coordinator of the centre, greeted the delegation on behalf of DREAM and described how the programme in Malawi works. He also took them on a guided tour of the Day Hospital and the molecular biology laboratory, introducing the staff members who work there.
Veltroni then wanted to meet some patients, especially Sandro, the first child born in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme – hence AIDS-free – in the centre of Blantyre. Holding the child in his arms, he thanked the Community of Sant’Egidio, on behalf of the city of Rome, for the DREAM programme that “allows so many African children like Sandro to be born healthy”. At the end of his visit, Veltroni was given a gift by Rachel, a six-year-old girl who is our patient – a DREAM t-shirt.