My name is Edith Dunia Daliwonga and I come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, from the Great Lakes Region in Africa, which has been through a terrible war, with an endless series of acts of violence that still continue to this day, especially against the weak: women, children and elderly people. I was born in 1985 in Bukavu. I was 9 years old at the time of the genocide in Rwanda and starting in 1994 I grew up in an atmosphere of war and violence. I belong to a generation which has only seen war and violence: one could say a generation lost and hopeless. Indeed, without peace there is no future and no hope. For human beings war and violence are like a storm, and how easy it is to shipwreck! The only way we can be saved is together, if we do not abandon anyone to a destiny of violence and poverty. Do not abandon Africa!
For this reason for all of us young Africans Sant’Egidio is a name of peace and hope. And I thank the Community very much for its work in Africa. It is a sign that reminds us that God has not forgotten us and there is always a future if we begin to live for others. In the Community I have grown up together with many people who are not from my country, nor of my ethnic group: people from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, a mixture of all ethnic groups, Africans and Europeans together… I have learnt to overcome prejudices and understand that we are bound to live together and violence and separation are not our future.
During these days here in Munich I have seen that the world can change. Here there is a new vision: we may be different from each other and come from all over the world, but we have proven that we can live one beside the other and not one against the other. Today I am full of joy. It stems from these three days during which I learnt to look at the other considering him a gift of God, who is essential to live together and build the future.