Last Monday saw the opening of the 14th edition of the DREAM Programme’s Panafrican Training Course. As usual, the course is divided into two sessions, one for activists (90 participants), and the other for doctors and paramedics with differing qualifications (90 participants).
The activists come from all over Malawi, while the other course participants, apart from those from Malawi, number many from Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria. There is also a delegation of the Mozambique movement ‘Eu DREAM’ led by Ana Maria Muhai.
Among those enrolled in the course for biologists, lab technicians and nurses, the presence of a sizeable group of 25 people from the Malawi Ministry of Health and local hospitals such as the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and the Adventist Hospital, provide yet another example of collaboration between DREAM and the country’s health institutions.
During his cordial and affectionate greeting, the Papal Nuncio in Zambia and Malawi, Mons. Nicola Girasoli, underlined the fact that the Community of Saint Egidio is not in the habit of simply ‘doing’ but also shares in the condition of the poorest.
The course was officially inaugurated by Dr. Mary Shawa, the Principal Secretary for HIV, AIDS and Nutrition, and by other directors from the Ministry of Health responsible for diagnosis and the running of the laboratories. Dr. Mary Shawa spoke of the complementary role that DREAM has in the Government’s program of treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.
Among the participants was Vera Chirwa, the country’s most famous human rights activist, well-known also abroad for her work in favor of abolishing the death penalty.
And last but not least, representing the local authorities, the District Commissioner and District Health Officer made the appreciation that is felt for the work carried out by DREAM manifest both by their presence and through their speech.
One of the most touching moments of the ceremony was the speech by Dofa Namagowa, a Malawi activist in the DREAM program who spoke of the suffering she experienced as a seropositive woman but also of her happy encounter with the DREAM program during her pregnancy.
Mr. Elard Alumando, DREAM program Country Coordinator
H.E. Mons. N. Girasoli, Apostolic nunzio apostolico in Zambia and Malawi
Mrs Dofa Namagowa
DREAM program Activist
Dr Mary Shawa,
PS for HIV, AIDS nutrition, Office and President Cabinet
Government of Malawi
Dr Giuseppe Liotta
Community of Sant’Egidio, DREAM Program