The DREAM Centre of Conakry has a new name: the Benedict XVI DREAM centre.
To mark his eightieth birthday, the Pope was pleased to bestow his name and blessing upon the work of the Community in Guinea to counter AIDS.
On 24 January, for the ceremony, the centre was crowded with patients, friends of DREAM, Church and civil authorities. And the Community of Sant’Egidio was well represented, with a delegation from Rome present too.
The greeting of the Apostolic Nuncio to Guinea, Monsignor George Antonysamy, was especially warm. He emphasized how at DREAM, the struggle against the disease is waged with the best drugs but also through friendship and welcome. Monsignor Antonysamy gave thanks for the work and commitment of the Community, and when giving his blessing, he added that of the Bishop of Conakry, Monsignor Vincent Coloubaly.
Pierre Traoré spoke in the name of all the DREAM patients: “The disease is not a curse. DREAM has given me back my future. We are young and with the strength which has been restored to us, we can build a better future for ourselves and for our country.”
Finally, Didier and Bachir, two children of the programme, unveiled the plaque blessed by the Pope and the ceremony concluded with a big party.
Everyone, Christians and Muslims, were happy and proud that the affection and nearness of the Pope should accompany the shared struggle against AIDS in Guinea.