Maputo (Mozambico): Encounter among generations: children and the elderly celebratine together
8 july 2010
Mozambique celebrated the International Day for Children last June. This year, the children from the School of Peace in the Nutritional Centre of Matola chose to celebrate the day in a different and special way, visiting the Institute for the Elderly Our Lady of Abandoned, where the Community of Sant’Egidio goes weekly.
60 children peacefully invaded the Institute, showing their curiosity and happiness through singing in the garden up to the big gazebo in the middle. Almost all the 96 guests of the Institute were outside waiting for the friends of Eu DREAM, not expecting such a colourful and joyful crowd of children.
The Mother Superior opened the day at 9am, warmly welcoming all the guests from the Community, bringing loads of affection through the presence of all those children in an Institute for old people. The Institute’s guests could not believe so many children went to visit them. An old lady caressing a child sitting next to her, told him: “Today is a special day for everybody, not only for us: the future national directors are here with us, they came to visit us. If these children are growing up according to this sensitivity, they will become good adults!!!”
Some of the elderly were crying for the emotion, remembering their children at their age, or their grandchildren. Many wrinkled hands were holding children’s little ones, the blinds were showing a delicate curiosity in being close to the little ones. The children felt beloved and welcomed.
A wonderful encounter, plenty of joy and emotion especially at the moment of leaving.
Some of the children were asking: “When we are old, are we going to live in this place?” or “Why are these grandparents living here? Can’t they stay back home with their family as my grandmother does living with us?”
Simple but meaningful questions, revealing how difficulties in life can be overcome only with affection and attention at the children’s way of doing it. The children of the School of Peace managed to leave only after promising to come back soon. And.. keep your word!