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Antananarivo (Madagascar) - The growing friendship with the elderly, in towns and villages

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Antananarivo (Madagascar) - The growing friendship with the elderly, in towns and villages
March 9, 2011

In the large island said to be the remains of a sixth continent, now disappeared, among the old wooden houses and the crowded streets of Antananarivo, is hiding a piece of the "continent" of elderly people rapidly growing here as elsewhere.

Since the political and economic crisis, people pour more and more numerous in the capital from the countryside, families find themselves living on the street and the elderly are likely to remain alone, worried about being a burden to their children. Others, more fortunate, live with remittances from children working abroad. They have a house, but the family is gone.

The youth of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Antananarivo regularly visit some elderly people living at home or at the "Foyer de vie". But in recent months, some of them had been transferred out of town for the restoration of the foyer.

It took a little time to figure out where they were but the young members of the Community finally tracked them: more than a village, Ambohimananbola, there is still a long hike in the midst of rice fields to the top of the hill. Older women were waiting with impatience.

The isolated and unfamiliar place, the new environment, the distance from the city, but also the separation from roommates, the changing moods ... We all felt a bit scattered, as said the old Razafy, on behalf of all: "You found us out". 

Prayer together and then the party helped to express being part of a family that does not forget anyone and that does not resign to distance. A secret to be kept together, young and old.

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