In memory of Lorenza
Lorenza Bernasconi, was born in Lugano in 1950. Since an early age, she devoted herself to the education of the young: she graduated from high school (a teacher training school) in Locarno and she started working as elementary school teacher.
In 2002, after a journey in Kenya, together with a friend she realized she couldn’t remain indifferent to the poverty and decided to engage in a humanitarian project by founding “Child to Child for Africa”. Pouring body and soul into it, Lorenza took a path decidedly focused on this enterprise, so much so that Africans called her “Mama Lorenza”. In order to follow up the projects more closely, she travelled to Kenya several times a year and she organized charity dinners, information meetings and stalls for fundraising in Lugano.
On the 19th of July 2010, during a trip in the US, in the company of her husband, one of her sons and some friends, she snatched from life by a fatal accident, bringing with her many charitable undertakings waiting to be accomplished, both for her family and for the Kenyan community.
A woman, a wife and a superb mom with a sweet and generous heart, she’s been an essential reference point for many people.
“We may, indeed, say that the hour of death is uncertain, but when we say so we represent that hour to ourselves as situated in a vague and remote expanse of time, it never occurs to us that it can have any connection with the day that has already dawned”.
The Guermantes Way – Marcel Proust
Despite she confined death in a remote and abstract time, Lorenza Bernasconi, an inspirational model and founder of Child for Child of Africa, didn’t expect it to come around 3.30pm of a beautiful well-deserved day off on her three wheels Honda BTM with her family and friends.
“To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.”
Man for himself - Erich Fromm
Lorenza has lived intensely and began a wonderful humanitarian work in Kenya. In particular we think about:
- Vocational school for girls in need that will bear her name. Its construction works are almost done, the teaching activities will begin early next year as planned;
- The girls of Waa, where we have been entrusted with the care of abused girls, child brides or victims of other forms of violence;
- The children we help in the showground of Ukunda;
- Microcredit projects.
The Council of the foundation, together with her family, has decided to keep working on those activities and that three of Lorenza’s sons will stand in for her.
Today, August 16th, marks the 100th anniversary of Madre Teresa of Calcutta’s birth: we want to remember this emblematic figure with a memory that Lorenza wrote in 2009 in an annual report:
“In all of us there’s a place where we belong, where we feel particularly attached because the fate decided to step in and and led us there. For some reason or another, I belong to Africa. The love that I got for this country is the result of the feelings I experience towards every little breakthrough. Despite its hardships, I consider myself a stepdaughter of this bountiful land: I try live it and tell it for all the intense things it has to offer. Here I find the sacred value of hospitality, the spirit of sharing and the importance of community before individuality. Faces of Africa that invite us to reflect on ourselves and on our western lifestyle, making us revalue the ability to thrill to the existence and simple things”.
Thanks Lorenza for letting us participate in the miracle of your life.
Giorgio Noseda – President of Child for Child of Africa