Malawi: 60 organic gardens ensure care and dignity for AIDS patients

In Malawi, an initiative has been set up which is bearing unexpected fruit by putting lights at the end of numerous tunnels. The project consists of organic vegetable gardens maintained by HIV-positive patients who participate in the DREAM project.

"The idea was born in 2017," Davide Brambilla, an Italian biologist who has long been involved in the Community of Sant'Egidio's DREAM project, explains, "thanks to the initiative of Sant'Egidio and Slow Food International, along with the support of a fundraiser organized by the Laudato si' Communities..'

The initial purpose was to start three vegetable gardens in the area of Blantyre, a city in the central region of the country, to support some very poor patient families and also to produce fruit and vegetables for the 'John Paul II' nutritional center, also run by Sant'Egidio, which provides a daily meal to about 700 children in the area. Over time and with the support we have received, we have managed to create 60 gardens throughout Malawi, which employ about 900 farmers, 15 more or less for each garden, and the fruits of the earth benefit more than 5,000 people.

These gardens, besides the nutritional benefit for the treatment of HIV, have given a new opportunity  to sick people who were initially plagued and afflicted by the disease and thought they no longer had a chance for rehabilitation and were left on the margins of society."