Pope Francis insisted on Sunday that poverty is not inevitable and that the poor deserve the dignity of work when he visited a quarry in Madagascar, where hundreds of people work instead of rummaging through the capital's largest dumpster.
Francis called for new development strategies to combat global poverty while visiting the Akamasoa project, or City of Friendship, which flies over a hill above the Antananarivo dump.
The project is the brainchild of an idea of an Argentine priest who was so impressed with Madagascar's abject poverty that he began to create ways to make a living for the poor.
For over 30 years, the Akamasoa quarry has produced the stones that built the houses, roads, schools and health clinics that now dot the pine-covered slope.
Villagers, students, and workers lined the tidy streets and pastel-painted doors to greet the Pope when he arrived, and thousands of children sang their hearts for him in the village auditorium.
The pope was clearly impressed by their enthusiasm, especially when a girl named Fanny told her in French that her visit would encourage students to work and pray more.
Source: The Associated Press