During Pope Francis’s three day visit to Kenya, he graciously and with affection had a visit with 15 DREAM clients, representative of all the clients, including 14 infants and toddlers, 2 years of age and under, who were born HIV free through the intervention of the ‘Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission’ program of the DREAM Centre.
As Pope Francis approached the venue the mothers greeted him with a loud, joyous African chant. He met every single one who was introduced by Grace a staff member. He blessed and touched every child. The infants responded with smiles and only one baby cried. The Pope commented: “he thinks I am the doctor because of my white outfit.”
He then jokingly asked the Daughters: “are you sure you are Catholics?” He handed a bag of rosaries to each one as a present.
DREAM (Drug Resource Enhancement against Aids and Malnutrition) managed by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul is a collaborative programme and receives support from Ireland through Misean Cara.
The DREAM program is a care, and treatment program for persons living with HIV/AIDS. A very strong component of the program is the prevention of the transmission of the virus from a pregnant mother to her unborn child.
This visit was arranged by Dr. Gianni Guidotti of the Sant ’Egidio Community in Rome. There were also two Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Sr. Rodah and Sr. Tsige, who work at DREAM and two staff members, Grace and Davies present. He engaged with the group after he addressed the Clergy and Religious women at St. Mary’s School grounds on Thursday afternoon November 26, 2015.
It was altogether an exciting and memorable experience for the parents, especially the mothers, who felt honoured and privileged to have met the Pope face to face and to be individually blessed. He has touched everyone’s heart and spirit.
Special Report by Sr. Caridad Tatayon from the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Administrator of DREAM Nairobi, Kenya.