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June 13 2013

Overcoming AIDS: the encounter between the dream of Sant'Egidio and the dream of African women

in the book "A better tomorrow for my children" by Pacem Kawonga, activist of the DREAM programme for the fight against AIDS in Africa

 
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Watching the fight against AIDS in Africa from the inside, sharing the sorrows and anxieties, but also the dreams and hopes of those who live this struggle on their skin.

Following the steps towards the release of so many African women, marked not only by the virus, often contracted in the family, but also by the stigma which makes them "ghosts" and deprives them of all dignity.

Discovering the hidden energies in these outstanding women, capable of giving life to a new African generation, releases not only from the virus but also from fear, thanks to the Euro-African synergy of the DREAM programme, the dream that the Community of Sant'Egidio had shared with Mozambique before and with so many African countries afterwards, and which now boasts of over twenty thousand children born healthy to HIV-positive mothers.

There is this and much more in the beautiful book by Pacem Kawonga "A better tomorrow for my children ".

But who is Pacem? Born in Lilongwe, Malawi, in 1978, was orphaned by both parents when she was still very young, got married at a very young age, was infected by the husband who had concealed his HIV-positive health condition and transmitted the virus to her and to her second daughter, she faced the difficulties related to the status of women in Africa.

 

She is one of the first patients in the DREAM programme for the treatment of AIDS in Malawi, launched in 2005 by the Community of Sant'Egidio and she has started to support the programme as an activist. Committing herself to fight violence against women and for the right to health, she took charge of witnessing, with her experience, the opportunity to embark on a path of rescue and emancipation for the conquest of the dignity of women, who are often relegated to play a secondary role, victims of violence, mistreatment and discrimination. The numbers of DREAM

 

 Pacem has personally contributed to the foundation of the I DREAM Movement, of which she is the national coordinator. The movement I DREAM: to learn more

Pacem Kawonga is committed to spreading and enhancing access to treatment for the most vulnerable people allowing many women to live, thanks to AIDS treatment, and to give birth to children immune to the virus due to prevention treatments available. Her awareness-raising activity and testimony have exceeded the boundaries of her country, and she has participated as a speaker and as a witness at numerous international events.

 

In 2009, during the meeting of the G8 countries held in Rome, she took part in the debates on Africa, AIDS, and the status of women. 




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