In the morning of February 19th, 2009, Mrs Sarah Brown, wife of the UK Prime Minister, visited the Community of Sant’Egidio. She was welcomed by the President of the Community, Marco Impagliazzo, and a delegation of Community members.
The visit was an opportunity to learn more about the activities of the Community, with particular regard to DREAM, the global approach excellency programme for treating HIV/AIDS in Africa, started in February 2002 by the Community of Sant’Egidio and active today in ten Countries, with 31 centres and over 65,000 people on treatment.
Mrs Sarah Brown was impressed by the Community’s efforts in favour of AIDS patients, “the role of faith organisations such as yours is very important” she said, highlighting in particular the need to establish fruitful relations between civil societies and governments.
The issues that have been drawing more the attention of Mrs Brown during the visit, were the excellent results of the DREAM programme in preventing mother-to-child transmission of the virus, with over 7,000 children born HIV-free. This success encourages to face the challenge of preventing the infection in all cases of hazardous pregnancies, that are more than one million just in the african continent. Protection of mothers' life, a focus goal of the programme, allows to look confidently at the future, and to highly reduce the social impact of the sickness. The role of the women activists of DREAM in sensitizing to and spreading of the cure was exposed to Mrs Brown by one of the responsibles of the movement I DREAM in Mozambique.
Mrs Brown confirmed that the government of the Prime Minister Gordon Brown is studying new innovative mechanisms of financing, so that the international community may honour the engagements taken for Africa, notwithstanding the present international financial crisis.