Today, DREAM is an intervention model well known throughout Europe and the United States, a model that has received recognition several times over in various international, scientific congresses, as well as a number of awards. Among the most recent are the 2004 Balzan Prize “for humanity, peace and the brotherhood among peoples”, and an award from the University of Aquila, given to the Community of Sant’Egidio precisely for its implementation of the programme in Africa.
DREAM has meant and still means good news, first and foremost for African people who are ill, but also for many associations, religious congregations, and people of goodwill who have felt encouraged and supported in what they hoped for, or dreamed of, but could not achieve. It has been clearly confirmed that treatment is there for Africa too, treatment that is effective and followed by people, just as it is in the West.
Today, it has become matter of course to talk about treatment. We can read about it in African newspapers, it is a topic discussed both by scientists and international agencies. This is very important. It is nothing less than a victory, because there was a time when one could talk only about prevention and training. Now, instead, there is a much wider path that can be taken by all, a reality in some countries and a model for others, an achievement and a point of no return for those who would otherwise by tempted to subscribe to afro-pessimism.
But this victory is not the achievement of a lone hero. Rather, it is the industrious work of a people, of common individuals who accepted to take up a challenge and to ban the word “impossible” from their vocabulary. DREAM is a participative programme. Being able to work together provides further opportunities. And everyone can help: in the west, scientific institutes and entities in the industrial and economic world have become stable partners of the programme, while a large number of private individuals support DREAM in many ways.
This synergy allows for the daily increase in the number of sick people who can be reached. It is a sort of positive contagion among those who are able to work to multiply the effectiveness of a decisive battle for Africa’s future, and for many other places on the margins of the world.
In recent months, many non-governmental organisations, researchers and volunteers, many missionaries living in several African countries, have joined in the work of DREAM, making their centres and resources available to us, sharing in depth the values and features of our methodology that cannot be renounced: The centrality of the person, excellence in health services, the communication of hope, treatment given free-of-charge, and accessibility.
DREAM has thus become a reality in many new countries. After Mozambique came Malawi, then Tanzania, Kenya, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and so on… But we believe that we can and must dream about many other parts of Africa and the world…
It is contagion that improves Africa, but makes us better people too.