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November 12 2013 | BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

Villa Miseria 21: hope is learnt at the school of peace of Sant'Egidio

Andrea Riccardi 's visit to Buenos Aires, where the Community has been close to the poorest children and elderly people for more than twenty years

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The "Villa Miseria 21" is a large neighbourhood of the great Buenos Aires, made ​​of shacks and hovels , which includes about 20,000 people  and where the Community of Sant'Egidio has worked for the future of the children for more than 20 years. In recent years, violence more strongly due to the spread of drug trafficking. In the lanes of land of the neighbourhood, there are frequent firefights and sometimes, unfortunately, even the youngest children are hit by stray bullets, as it happened to 9-years-old Kevin two weeks ago. 

Even David, in his early twenties, was killed next to his house a year ago. The mother, Carolina, (in the photo at right) welcoming Andrea Riccardi in her house, said that her consolation is the son, Nestor, who has grown up at the School of Peace, has been able to resist violence and now has a regular job.

Andrea Riccardi’s visit, together with a delegation of the Community of Sant'Egidio of Rome, was an opportunity to have fun and to talk about the value of the School of Peace, which represents hope for the future of the younger people. Mrs. Blanca said: "I have 8 children, all were in the school of peace, everyone here has been loved and has learnt something".

The memory of Pope Francis is alive here. He often visited the "Villa Miseria " when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. "Does the Pope remember this neighbourhood?" asked the mothers of the children, glad to know that, as Andrea Riccardi told them, "the Pope remembers the School of Peace very well".




The following day, Andrea Riccardi and the delegation also visited the Rawson old people’s home. They have a great desire for companionship, for finding someone who listens to them. On the occasion of this visit, many spoke about their stories of migration and hard work, and have expressed their great affection for the Community.

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