Sant'Egidio in Malawi, a path of peace in a changing country. Meeting of Communities and Youth for Peace on Marco Impagliazzo's visit

Malawi is one of the smallest but also one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Its population is largely youthful with 80% of its 21 million inhabitants aged below 35 years. 
Indeed, younger generations are experiencing profound transformations. The country has been a democracy only since the mid-1990s and has long remained on the fringes of globalisation and modernity. In recent years, however, development has created both opportunity and inequality. Just an example, while there were only five state universities at the beginning of the millennium, there are now dozens of private universities and training centres in Malawi. They reflect what is a vibrant country, an expression of a vast world of youth seeking redemption and a better future. At the same time - and for the same reasons - Malawi has witnessed a growing trend of emigration in recent years. In the country, opportunities for young people are still limited.
Representatives of the Communities of Sant'Egidio from the various districts of Malawi met with Marco Impagliazzo in Blantyre in recent days. The President of the Community encouraged them to face the challenges the country is experiencing, and to contribute to the construction of a peaceful and welcoming society towards the poorest.
Afterwards, a large group of about a thousand young people gathered, the Youth for Peace of Malawi. The President entrusted them with a precise mission: to become builders of peace in their schools, universities and wherever they go, in the spirit of the broader commitment of Sant'Egidio. Three words guided the reflection: 'Friendship, Word, Poor'. Many young people, as they spoke, took these words up. They stressed the urgency of creating, among the new generations, an environment where the word of the Gospel becomes the basis for friendship with all, especially the children of the Schools of Peace and the elderly, who are left ever more alone.

Finally, on Sunday morning, 30 June, the entire Community of Blantyre, the second largest city in the country, gathered. Sant'Egidio in Malawi celebrates its 25th anniversary next year. Thus the assembly discussed how this jubilee could become an opportunity for a renewed commitment to the poor and the little ones. A celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy, which filled the House of Friendship in Blantyre with songs, concluded the three days of encounter and reflection.