Sant'Egidio and the lepers from Kompany VillageLeprosyNigeriaELDERLY
The power of an unconditional friendship
Last Saturday, a great feast was held at the Kompany Village to inaugurate the new sanitary facilities - donated to the local residents by the Community of Sant’Egidio in Minna (Nigeria). Kompany Village, on the outskirts of Minna, is the place where many elderly lepers live: treated from the disease, they are too deformed to go back to their homes, and that is why they all live there.
For over eight years, Sant'Egidio has been tied to these people through powerful friendship, made of visits, listening, parties and practical help. The major issue for the residents was the poor condition of health services. Following the unsuccessful request to the local authorities for improvement, the Community decided to take action by donating new sanitation to the people living in the village, somehow forgotten by all.
Bishop Mons. Martin Uzoukwu, who joined especially for this occasion, emphasized the ability of Sant’Egidio to build bridges and live the Gospel by showing an unconditional friendship with those who have nothing to give in return. Janet - of the Community of Minna - and Bako - an elderly leper - told the story of their friendship. Janet also recalled Auta Bala, Auta Azeh, Yohana, Bello and Maliha, leper friends who departed in recent months and years.