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March 14 2015 | BUKAVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

We defend the elderly from violence and neglect: the "cultural revolution" of the Youth for Peace of Bukavu

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, students and young people have decided to commit themselves with Sant'Egidio to spreading a new culture that is friendly to the elderly

 
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They are often called "sorcerers", evil spirits accused of stealing the lives of young people to prolong their own, and for that are they abandoned, chased away, abused. There are many elderly people in Africa that daily live a stigma fuelled by stereotypes and popular beliefs that see them as enemies of life and the source of all evil. Sant'Egidio has always worked to build and spread a culture of welcoming, of friendship between different generations, of protection of the elderly and the weakest. It is a "cultural revolution" that covers various countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it starts precisely with the youngest.

Thus, these days the students of different schools and universities of Bukavu have decided to join the movement of the Youth for Peace of the Community of Sant'Egidio, committing themselves to defending the elderly, to fighting every kind of stereotype and prejudice, to establishing an alliance between the youth and the elderly. A cultural change that comes from living those three "P’s" of which Pope Francis spoke when he visited Sant'Egidio on last 15 June: prayer, the poor and peace. In this way, a series of meetings, conferences, parties, prayers and demonstrations have been started: an idea of the Youth for Peace to talk to society, in defence of the elderly and against all forms of violence and exclusion.


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