PROJECT DREAM Encounter in Rome

A training program for PROJECT DREAM was held in Rome in December 2013. It took place in the Central office of the Sant‘Egidio Dream Service near the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

hnas.egidioIt was attended by the leaders of the DREAM Centres of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and representatives of their healthcare staffs. The participants were from six African countries where PROJECT DREAM is present: Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon and Tanzania.

Others who were present were:

  • Sister Evelyne Franc, Sister Rosa Maria Miro, Sister Neghesti Michael and Sister Pia Humbel, D.Cs from the Mother House, Paris, and Sister Felicia Mazzola, D.C. from D.C. International Project Services
  • Andrea Riccardi, the President of Sant’Egidio Community
  • Father Robert Maloney CM, who is the coordinator of PROJECT DREAM and those responsible for PROJECT DREAM services from the Sant’Egidio and Daughters of Charity communities: Doctors Gianni and Paola Germano and Doctor Massimo Magnano; Sister Catherine Mulligan and Sister Jacqueline Nbanga, D.Cs

Andrea Riccardi welcomed those who attended from the different countries and underlined how Africa needs alliances in the name of the deprived, in order to bring peace and hope to a continent where those who are poor, and among them the patients suffering from AIDS, are victims of the culture of waste and the globalization of indifference.

The visible collaboration between the Daughters of Charity and Sant’Egidio, exemplifies that the realities of putting our charisms and our expertise together is possible, and brings hope to those who are marginalized. It highlights a way to respectfully join our hands, skills, spirituality and humanity.

The program addressed the many challenges of the future regarding the treatment of the African patients affected by HIV / AIDS. Better protocols are needed for a more effective prevention of the transmission of this disease from mother to child, and a more effective way to assure that the patients remain faithful to their treatment against HIV as well as against Tuberculosis. It was noted that tuberculosis is becoming increasingly common in Africa. Unfortunately it is often fatal.

During the program topics included the organization of care centres and laboratories, the use of telemedicine, and the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. There were also practical sharings such as the use of solar energy systems in the centres located in rural areas, and the use of computer programs to identify the ongoing needs of the patients.

The group had the opportunity to visit some services of the Community of Sant’Egidio in nearby places: the soup kitchen, the house for the sick, the home of the elderly, and the art exhibition of Friends.

The closing talk of the encounter was presented by Sister Evelyne Franc. She thanked the Community of Sant’ Egidio for their generous cooperation with our Sisters in the different countries highlighting two fundamental principles: an ongoing commitment to those who are poor, and the need to respect those served by providing the best for them.