change language
you are in: home - friendsh...the poor - the aged - uvira (d... elderly newslettercontact uslink

Support the Community

  

Uvira (Democratic Republic of Congo) - The commitment of Community of Sant'Egidio in the Kivu region to protect the life of the elderly


 
printable version

Uvira (Democratic Republic of Congo) - After the tragic murder of Sophie Zabibu, an elderly woman friend of the Community, the Community of Sant'Egidio in the Kivu region renewed their alliance with the elderly
March 25, 2011

Her name was Sophie Zabibu Mulondala, 80 years old, and was a friend of the Community for several years, ever since the Community of Sant'Egidio in Uvira had started a service to the elderly in the Rombe district.

She was accused of having caused the death of her granddaughter with witchcraft. The local people began throwing stones and using sticks, shooting her to death. Her son, who wanted to defend her, was killed too.

This senseless and violent death has shaken the Community of the Kivu region (the most eastern side of the Democratic Republic of Congo) who have initiated discussions on how to protect the lives of older people.

The elderly people in Congo experience a very difficult economic and social situation. They are mostly women, widowed and alone, living in utter destitution, forced to beg, lacking food, clothing, exposed to disease and the dangers of the road.

The number grows in the slums of cities. Victims of a culture of contempt, the elderly are often seen as a danger to the younger, strong and active society. It spreads so the killing idea of witchcraft. In fact, very often at the source of these accusations, there are family conflicts.

The Sant'Egidio Community has decided to commit to oppose this culture of contempt and death every week in the district Hyppodrome in Bukavu, the young high school and college of Sant'Egidio visiting the elderly, they gather to pray together.

It's moving the courage and fidelity of these elderly people who make great sacrifices, they walk long distances on foot, just to never miss this appointment.

Over time, among them a strong bond of friendship and solidarity grew, visiting one another when they are sick and sharing the little they have when someone of them is in need.

But, above all, the visits of the youth of the Community, "the students", begin to break the wall
of myths and misconceptions that surround the lives of older people in the neighborhoods.

Anastasie, who was treated in the district as a witch, after the boys began to visit her at home, has seen a change in attitude of the neighbors against her.

A culture more human walks in the footsteps of these youngsters, strong of friendship and hope, born from hearing the Gospel, to change the lives of not only the elderly, but the neighborhoods in which they live.

RELATED NEWS
January 18 2018

Elderly: the creation of a Minister for Loneliness in the United Kingdom is an alarm bell


Enabling in Europe protection networks against social isolation and favour alliance between generations. The experience of the programme "Viva gli Anziani" ("Horray for the Aged!") and the movement of the Youth for Peace
IT | EN | ES | DE
August 19 2017
GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Sant'Egidio with the street children of Goma who flee from the militias: ''We don't want to be child soldiers''

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | ID
July 11 2017
BENIN

Benin: Sant'Egidio opens in Savé a Family House for elderly in need


Many people at the inauguration to give a warm welcome to the first guests of the house
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | ID
July 10 2017
MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Summer of solidarity: Moscow's elderly in vacation with homeless friends. WATCH THE PHOTOGALLERY

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA
March 7 2017

Let this March 8 be a feast for #allthewomen. Find more....

IT | EN | ES | FR
February 3 2017
GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Letter from Goma, Congo: We are the spokesperson of poor and neglected elderly of the outskirts

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR
all related news

ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 26 2018
Roma sette
Congo e Sud Sudan, Gnavi: «La liberazione ha il nome di Gesù»
February 22 2018
Famiglia Cristiana
La preghiera sia un urlo contro le guerre
February 21 2018
SIR
Giornata preghiera e digiuno: Comunità di Sant’Egidio, adesione all’invito del Papa. Veglia nella basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere a Roma e in molte città italiane
February 21 2018
Vatican Insider
Sant’Egidio si unisce alla Giornata di digiuno per Congo e Sud Sudan indetta dal Papa
February 7 2018
Avvenire
L'Italia già «casa comune». Anziani e badanti, la forza di un abbraccio di debolezze
all press-related

PHOTOS

687 visits

655 visits
all the related media