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Rome Reports

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Pope to DREAM project: 100,000 children free from HIV-AIDS thanks to you

The pope's arrival at the Zimpeto Hospital on the outskirts of Maputo Friday morning, was met with songs by the youngest in the crowd and excited screams by hundred who were waiting for him.

The president of the Sant'Egidio Community and the coordinator of the DREAM project welcomed the pope to where they care for AIDS patients. HIV-AIDS affects 23 percent of the population in Maputo.

The program is run by the Community of Sant'Egidio and offers antiretroviral treatment to those who can not afford it or have transportation difficulties. The Catholic institution has assisted in the birth of 130,000 healthy children in Africa. 

This Center shows us that there are always people ready to stop and show compassion, who do not yield to the temptation to say,“There is nothing to be done,” or “It’s impossible to fight this scourge.” Instead, you have set about finding solutions.

Whether it is cancer, tuberculosis, undernourishment or HIV-AIDS, the pope commended the center's commitment to caring for others, and even more than that, restoring dignity in those they serve. 

Approximately 100,000 children can write a new page of history free of HIV-AIDS, and all those nameless persons who today smile because they have been cured with dignity in their dignity, are part of the payment that the Lord has left with you.

At the end of the visit, he greeted some of the HIV patients, who are being treated there. NATS kids

As a sign of gratitude, Pope Francis was presented a wooden cross, made from parts recovered from cyclone Idai. Four metal crosses carefully placed on the wood were gathered from the remnants of an elderly woman's house. 

Pope Francis offered them a ceramic plaque of the Blessed Mother and child.

Melissa Butz