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July 12 2014 | MOZAMBIQUE

Sant'Egidio in Mozambique: the urgency of making society more humane to preserve peace

Andrea Riccardi's visit to the Communities of Mozambique and to the new Dream centre of Matola

 
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Mozambique is going through a time of political and military tension. In some areas of the centre clashes and violence make insecure the life and future of the people not only of those areas, but across the country. That is why they expect with apprehension the presidential elections to be held this year in October.

In this climate of threat to peace, signed in Rome in October 1992, Andrea Riccardi met the representatives of the Communities of Sant'Egidio in Mozambique. They were intense days of reflection during which there emerged expectations of peace and justice that so many, concerned about their future, direct to the Community. Encouraged by the words that Pope Francis addressed to Sant'Egidio during his recent visit to Rome, which invite to go out and continue on the path of prayer, of the poor and peace, the Communities of Mozambique feel the urge to make society more humane. The value of free work represents a revolution in behaviour. A gratuity which is manifested in friendship with so many poor people in the country, from the School of Peace (about 150 across Mozambique) to the Youth for Peace, from the service in about 35 prisons to the friendship with the elderly. In Mozambique, as in all the world, to work for peace is also to ensure a different future for the most vulnerable.

Andrea Riccardi then visited the new Dream Centre "Anamaria Muhai" in Matola, near the capital Maputo, specialised in the prevention of the mother-to-child transmission of the HIV infection and in the treatment of HIV-positive children. Many mothers and children were in the centre, recently built thanks to the generosity of the Vincentian Sisters that donated the land. Dr. Ines Zimba, Mozambican Head of the DREAM programme, said that the program has saved and continues to save many lives throughout Mozambique. Andrea Riccardi pointed out that, after a complex story, Dream has become a reality that has changed the history of the treatment of AIDS in the country.

Also in Matola, the visit continued in the Nutrition Centre of the Community of Sant'Egidio, attended on average by about 450 children a day. In the structure there is also a kindergarten for 75 children, a school of cutting and sewing for 15 girls. In addition, a course of training for the cultivation of vegetables involves some teenagers grown up in the Centre.

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