Pope Francis presses for the poor in Madagascar

Pope Francis pressed for the poor to have the dignity of work as he visited a quarry site in Madagascar Sunday.

The Akamasoa village has hundreds of people toiling rather than scavenge in the largest dump of Antananarivo.

“I like the Pope, this one. This one is with the poor people and I like that. That is one of my fights in Madagascar, to fight poverty and to give hope to poor people”, Malagasy singer, Rossy said.

Father Pedro Opeka is founder of the Akamasoa village.

“He supports the poor, he speaks clearly. He cares about the rights of the poor, and the children and young people – it is an immense happiness”, he said.

The Akamasoa quarry has produced stones that has built homes, roads, schools and clinics for over 30 years.

The project is funded by donors the world over and is recognized by the government. About 700 people work in the quarry.

The Madagascan government said the project has built 4,000 homes in more than 20 villages, serving 25,000 people since it was set up in 1989.

Earlier Sunday Francis celebrated an open-air Mass before an estimated one million people in Antananarivo.

According to the World Bank, 75% of the country’s 24 million people live on less than $2 a day; only 13% of the population has access to electricity.

Source: AP

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