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February 11 2014 | PÉCS, HUNGARY

The story of Marika and her family, now larger than ever

Friendship with the elderly in Hungary creates new links and frees from institutionalization

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For some years, the Community of Pecs in Hungary has been next to the elderly living in institutions, visiting them every week. There are 4 homes where every week university and high school students go to meet about 200 of their friends, in addition to other elders who are visited in their homes. Their situation is difficult: the economic crisis also affecting Hungary is even heavier for the poor and the elderly living alone. In nursing homes they save on everything, even on food and medicine. Whenever the friends of the Community visit the elders, there is always a festive occasion with good cakes: there are so many birthdays to celebrate! And the visit always creates an atmosphere of joy and friendship, gives life, hope, and also works miracles, as happened to Marika at Xaver nursing home.

comunità di Sant'Egidio: visita agli anziani in istituto a Pécs, Ungheria. Febbraio 2014
Marika came to the Nursing Home in September 2013 and she was very sad and did not speak; then her pain began to melt with friendship and, together with the community, she began again to pray and hope. Contact with his family, who had stopped visiting her, resumed. On Christmas day, her granddaughter came to visit her and invited her home for lunch. Then finally, a few days ago, Marika definitely went back home with her family that has now been enlarged. Her grandchildren are more numerous: the youth of the community that will never leave her!

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