President Mattarella visits the Community of Sant'Egidio in Abidjan: 'Thank you because you have a dream that becomes reality through hope

The President of the Italian Republic, on a visit to the Ivory Coast, has stopped by the House of Friendship and met the children of the School of Peace, the elderly and many young people
A meeting with the children of the School of Peace, the former street children and the elderly in the "House of Friendship" in Abidjan: The President: "Thank you because you have a dream that becomes reality through hope". The Community: "Here young people rediscover a future in their country through solidarity".
Before leaving for Ghana, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, visited the House of Friendship of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Abidjan. Welcomed by the leaders of Sant'Egidio in the Ivory Coast, the Head of State, accompanied by his daughter Laura, was shown the various activities of the Community, present in the country for over thirty years. First of all, the children of the School of Peace, from the bidonvilles of Abidjan, who presented the President with some drawings and writings against war and messages sent to their peers suffering from the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Eastern Congo DRC. The Schools of Peace (attended by 3,000 children in Côte d'Ivoire) also provide registration at the registry office for many children that were not registered at birth and therefore do not exist for the State.
Mattarella then met a group of former street children now welcomed in the Community's 'Maison du Rêve', the House of Dreams. Moussa, who is now training as a carpenter, and Kouassi, who has returned to school, were among them. The Youth for Peace, the Community's youth movement, were together with them. They told the President that young people often lose hope in the future and see emigration as their only possible option. Four years ago, Laurent, a 14-year-old Ivorian boy, was found lifeless in the undercarriage of a plane that landed in Paris. After this tragedy, the Youth for Peace held conferences in schools to explain the risks of the journeys of hope to Europe, in which so many young people die or disappear in the desert and the Mediterranean. They intended to communicate that it is possible to build a future in their own country by rediscovering the value of solidarity.
The President greeted some young people sustained in their education, thanks to Italian families' long-distance adoptions. The President met with a group of elderly people suffering from a variety of problems, such as not having a pension or social isolation often a result of prejudice. The Community has been building an alliance between generations and bringing the issue of old age to the attention of Ivorian society.
Alphonse Krecoum, on behalf of Sant'Egidio, gave a final greeting: "Thank you Mr President for having met, in this "House of Friendship", some people who are part of our family. Here many young people, attracted by the adventure of emigration, often a tragedy, rediscover solidarity as a value to build a future of peace in Africa. Proud to be Ivorians and of Sant'Egidio, in solidarity with all those in need, let us build a future in our cities where there may be a place for everyone".
 "This and the many activities and initiatives that Sant'Egidio carries out around the world have one thing in common," replied the President, "a basic reason that unites them all. It is the dream of a better humanity in which solidarity guarantees everyone a common future serene and adequate to the human condition". He added: 'I said at the beginning this is a dream, it is actually hope. And hope is the element, the condition that transforms the dream into reality, into real and concrete facts'.