Riccardi Andrea: on the web

Riccardi Andrea: on social networks

Riccardi Andrea: press review

change language
you are in: home - news contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community

October 21 2013 | N'DJAMENA, CHAD

Food and friendship are the Community's response to this African tragedy. A story from N'Djamena

printable version

Chad (the Republic of Chad) is one of those countries between the desert and the green highlands of Central Africa. Its territory, always a crossroads of different worlds, has its own charm but it is also the scene of the tragedy of drought and war. Many national languages​​, Arabic and French mix together like the colours of its inhabitants (about one million , but the figures are approximate, the civil registry services do not help) in N'Djamena, the capital. The population grows in a chaotic way: the Christian and Muslim neighbourhoods alternate along the big arterial roads, and then many poor people, victims of famine and widespread violence.

The Community of Sant'Egidio has taken care of street children living around the market of Dembé, a peripheral area of the capital, since January 2013. At night, they take refuge in the wooded area to escape the dangers of the road, and in the morning they come out and scatter in the city.


The friends of Sant'Egidio in N'Djamena say:  “The first stage of their wanderings is the market. We meet them there, of different ages. They are among the first guests to Christmas dinner and the great festivals with the Community.

But now this friendship is enriched with a weekly appointment on Saturday: we have to look for them in the wooded area in the early morning, between 6 and 7 am, before they scatter in the streets of the city. We take to eat a plate of rice with tomato sauce, pasta, a hot drink (tea or milk), and when we succeed even potatoes, minced meat and fruit juices”.

 And so, little by little, the regularity of the meetings has conquered these children and adolescents hardened by street life: faithfulness opens the heart to the desire to confide their stories and the gratitude for the affection and protection of their older friends (Sometimes, several high school students have helped in this service on the street for only one year).

Some are orphans, others have moved away from home due to family difficulties, but also due to poverty looking for something to eat. They are often victims of prejudice and superstitions or of issues of internal interest to families.

 There are those who simply get lost because the houses are very fragile and the family may suddenly move to another neighbourhood. 

 They stop at the crossroads, on the roadside, sometimes they do not even have the strength to look for food. Even a minor illness, a fall, can become a tragedy: wounds become infected immediately with the dust and the heat, without any water to wash. They would need care and protection, like all children, and yet people pass by, sometimes even insulting them and attacking them for no reason, just because they are dirty. They must defend themselves and hide: at night the darkness of the forest is more reassuring than the road. But from this year on, it is less scary to go out on Saturday morning, there are friends who wait, who protect and soothe life affectionately.

April 25 2017

Youth, Africa and interreligious dialogue at the centre of the meeting between Andrea Riccardi and Angela Merkel

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT
March 20 2017

Congress of the representatives of the Communities of Sant'Egidio of Africa and Latin America took place in Rome

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL
February 3 2017

Letter from Goma, Congo: We are the spokesperson of poor and neglected elderly of the outskirts

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR
October 13 2016

A delegation of the Community of Sant'Egidio meets the President of the Central African Republic Touadéra

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | RU | HU
October 5 2016

5th October, World Teacher’s Day: All to school…of peace!

IT | EN | ES | DE | PT | RU | ID | HU
August 29 2016

Sant'Egidio in Nairobi to talk about peace, development and the right to care for all

IT | EN | ES | FR | PT | CA | RU | HU
all news
April 22 2017
L'Osservatore Romano

Senza arrendersi alla disumanità

April 20 2017

Corridoi umanitari: Caritas Italiana e Comunità di Sant’Egidio in Etiopia per aprire il primo canale dall’Africa

April 14 2017
Sette: Magazine del Corriere della Sera

Il mercato della fede tra sette, miracoli e promesse di soluzione dei problemi quotidiani

April 10 2017
Vatican Insider

Senzatetto e poveri, apre la “Lavanderia del Papa”

April 10 2017
Radio Vaticana

Aperta "Lavanderia di Papa Francesco" per i senzatetto

April 2 2017
La Vanguardia

La Michelin de los pobres

all press releases
October 31 2014

Inaugurata a Bukavu la campagna "Città per la vita"

October 12 2014
All Africa

Africa: How the Death Penalty Is Slowly Weakening Its Grip On Africa

September 20 2014

Ciad: il nuovo codice penale prevede l'abolizione della pena di morte

September 20 2014

In Ciad rischio criminalizzazione gay, ma abolizione pena morte

go to no death penalty

La Comunità di Sant'Egidio e i poveri in Liguria - report 2015

Sintesi, Rapporti, Numeri e dati sulle persone senza dimora a Roma nel 2015

Le persone senza dimora a Roma

Alcune storie raccolte al telefono della Comunità di Sant’Egidio - 2014

La povertà in Italia

Burkina Faso - La Paix est l'avenir: Rencontre des religions pour la paix

all documents


1084 visits

1133 visits

1080 visits

1071 visits
all the related media