Saturday 12 April 2014

Rwanda - Sant'Egidio works for hope and reconciliation twenty years after the genocide

Twenty years after the genocide that shattered Rwanda, the Community of Sant'Egidio of the country of “a thousand hills” is participating in a special way to the commemoration of those tragic events. Prayers and meetings with survivors have been organized in key cities around the country where the Community is present: Kigali, the capital, Butare, Kabgayi, Gicumbi, Ruhengeri.
The commemoration of the genocide is not a one-day affair. It marks, and has done so for some time, the service to the poor that Sant'Egidio carries out in different contexts, in the
existential and human peripheries of this country. It is a service aimed at helping Rwandese society heal the wounds of the genocide, set up a true reconciliation, and regain trust and hope in mankind and in the future.
It is true that war is the mother of all poverty. All this is evident in post-genocide Rwanda. Today many of the youth living in the street are children of the orphans of those terrible 100 days, others come from families that have suffered the effects of ethnic conflict. On the other hand, many among the elder no longer have any children because of the genocide and for them, to be a “survivor”, is almost a curse, sentencing them to live without anyone taking care of them in their time of weakness.
Adele, an elderly woman who in 1994 was forced to flee to Burundi and whose children were all killed, said: “I am very grateful to Saint Egidio that teaches you to love us and sends you to meet us. I wish I could live forever experiencing these moments of affection and friendship”.
Rosa, 95 years old, she too with no progeny left because all of her children were killed during the genocide, added: “I love you very much. I would want to see this Saint Egidio and embrace him. He has taught you well and Rwanda needs you very much”.
Among the many people that the Community has met with there are some young people who, as children, attended the Schools of Peace and who at the time were either children of survivors or children of those who participated in the massacres. In the Schools of Peace, as in the shelter home of Butare which welcomes street youth, a new generation has been raised which believes in solidarity and peace, without any ethnic prejudice. Hutu and Tutsi children have grown up together and today help other troubled children. These are the people of reference of a new culture of peace that continues to grow in numbers and bring hope for everyone’s future. 

Thursday 10 April 2014

Republic of Guinea - Sant’Egidio supporting the struggle against Ebola virus outbreak in the country

The spread of an outbreak of Ebola virus hit recently the Republic of Guinea. The virus, identified as belonging to the most aggressive strain, moved from Guinea forestière, nort-east of the country, but now also the capital city, Conakry, is facing several cases.
The Community of Sant’Egidio in Guinea mobilized in order to ensure that even the poorest may have a chance to avoid infection by adopting the most appropriate strategies of prevention against the infection. 
In Guinea forestière, in the town of Guéckédou, Sant'Egidio has sent a first truck with thousands of liters of sodium hypochlorite (bleach), which is essential for personal hygiene and for that of
housing, precious to stop the contagion, and yet difficult to be found away from Conakry, and not always in the economic possibilities of many poor families (and prisoners, and beggars). The Community also distributed a handbook with rules of hygiene and behavior that reduce the risk of infection.

Saturday 5 April 2014

Abidjan, Ivory Coast - The commitment of Youth for Peace

More than 300 young people partecipated two weeks ago to the launch of Jeunes pour la Paix (Youth for Peace), the Ivory Coast branch of the movement of the Community of Sant'Egidio that around the world promotes the culture of peace and friendship with the poor among the
new generation.
In the the Community House in Abidjan gathered many students of the secondary schools of the capital city of Ivory Coast, coming both from the Plateau, the city center, as well from the suburbs of Marcory and Treichville. 
The speeches, testimonies, songs that marked that day have given voice to a willingness to be close to the different situations of marginalization that are often characteristic of the great African city, drawing a perspective of large commitment
with the poorest. The proposal of a joyful and active solidarity involved the hearts of those young students, melting with the enthusiasm of their age. 
In Abidjan, as in Malawi, Mozambique and other African countries, Youth for Peace dreams of being an active player who makes the continent a better place.