Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Bujumbura, Burundi - A summer of solidarity on Lake Tanganyika

On September 1st, the feast of Sant’Egidio, the Community of Bujumbura organized an excursion to the shores of lake Tanganyika with its indigent friends (elderly who are living alone and street children).
The aim was to offer them the opportunity to spend a different type of day, somewhat removed from the city, on breathtakingly beautiful beaches which are not easily accessible to poor people.
Many of the elderly who participated in the trip had gone to Bujumbura during the civil war. Now they are older, without a family and thus without support. The Community has become
their only point of reference, a family that gives them back hope and a future and also offers them an occasion for a free and happy day.
The same freedom and the same joy were also experienced by the street children who immediately took over the beach and fully involved themselves in football and other games. Unfortunately, there are many street children in the city of Bujumbura. This too is a painful legacy of the civil war. They are war orphans or children of fighters who have gone missing. The Community does not despise them, does not reject them, but gathers them in the Schools for Peace, takes them to places to play and have fun which are often accessible only to the children of the wealthy. 
For the members of the Community of Bujumbura this was a nice way to live the feast of the saint whose name they carry, an abbot who, according to the legend, protected the poor and the weak. 

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