Since its first steps the I DREAM movement, in Malawi and elsewhere, provoked in a lot of its supporters the will to commit themselves in their villages or in the suburbs of their towns in favor of the many persons in difficulty that live in those areas, of the sick, of the poor, of the orphans.
A desire that was born from the consciousness of what a lot had lived. The terrible condition of the illness, of the abandon and of the stigma. And then, however, also the gratitude for the welcome and the cares received, for the return of health and of the lost dignity. All this has made a conscience that life is a gift that can service other people and it’s own country; a choice of return and of sharing has been made in time.
It is well expressed, for example, by Mdala, a woman of the I DREAM Movement of Kasungu, in a letter that she sent us after Christmas:
"… DREAM has done a lot of things for us. We are fine now, we have gained our dignity, we are able to work and many of us have lived a reconciliation with their family. So this is my time to take part, to contribute, to help the others …"
It’s the ancient wisdom of understanding that no is so poor not to be able to help someone poorer than him, or her. And so it is that, from ill and discriminated people that they were, many members of the Movement of the activists have transformed in men and women that live a dream and commit themselves actively for its accomplishment.
The spontaneous initiatives of the groups that have organized to be near the poorest persons, to the orphans, to the elderly, to the prisoners, are a lot.
Since some months, for example, some groups of activists go to find the convicted in the Malawi prisons.
In the African prisons the poverty that torments the majority of the continent is clear in a dramatic manner in the standards of living of those who are being held. To the deprive of freedom, serious sanitary deficiencies are added on. The prisoners sleep on the ground (the most fortunate have mats available), the hygienic services are few and damaged, nutrition is insufficient and those who don’t have relatives that carry them food suffer the hunger. A lot of prisoners do not have clothes to cover themselves, there is no linen, and soap is a luxury item. The majority of the prisons are overcrowded and is easy to get sick.
The visit of a friend is a big gift. It means being important for someone, to regain the dignity as human beings. The reciprocal acquaintance puts out the anger and the resentment, reopens the heart to friendship and to the hope for the future. An extraordinary connection is created and the activists become an example to imitate for the prisoners.
As Bartholomew writes: "The Prison we visit has got 42 teenagers who did different offences. These prisoners to us – as members of the Movement I DREAM – are no longer prisoners, but friends. That’s why we encourage them in so know many ways. I know that when they’ ll go back home they should not repeat what they did …"
Before every visit a collection between the members of the the I DREAM Movement is organized to bring some gifts to the prisoners. Some sugar, a little bit of soap, simple things that are rarely available in the African prisons. They also collect clothes for the prisoners, particularly for those who they are about to to be released and that often do not even have a couple of shoes or some clothing to put on to return home.