Children of Africa Foundation was born in Lugano in 2002 with the aim of supporting children and young people of the weakest social groups in Kenya, with particular attention to the female gender, guaranteeing them access to quality education, health and food protection, psychological accompaniment and support to families of origin.
2002: Children of Africa Foundation is born
In 2002, after a trip to Kenya, Lorenza Bernasconi decided to found Children of Africa (initially known as Child to Child for Africa) with the aim of helping to improve the lives of the people she has met. She is totally dedicated to this project, becoming the heart and soul of the Foundation. She personally travels to Kenya several times a year and organize fundraising events in Lugano, the city where she lives.
Lorenza decides to dedicate the work to the memory of the young Domizio Lepori, who tragically died in the sinking of the Joola ferry in Senegal, whose existence was characterized by a deep commitment and love for the marginalized and the most unfortunate.
Initially, the Foundation focuses on the education of the youngest, with the aim of providing them with the tools to build themselves a dignified future. Thanks to distance support, the Foundation helps groups of sons and girls, some of which have been victims of abuse.
In 2003 Children of Africa deals to refurbish the female section of the primary school in Waa and in 2004, at the request of the authorities of the district of Kwale, the school becomes a provincial shelter for girls who are victims of severe sexual abuse and early marriages. It will be exactly this project that will lays the foundations for the birth of Mama Lorenza’s Vocational Center.
2005: Children of Africa Organization is born
In 2005 the NGO Children of Africa Organization was officially established in Kenya.
In the same year Children of Africa Foundation joins to FOSIT, the federation that gets together many associations and foundations of Italian-speaking Switzerland.
2006: support in rural villages
In 2006 the Foundation begins supporting a group of children and families from Ukunda, who moved to the coast in search of opportunities in tourism. In this context, Children of Africa takes care of inserting children in local schools, organizing game-recreational and recreational activities, guaranteeing children quarterly medical checks, organizing training courses for adults on disease prevention, family planning, female empowerment and literacy, promoting micro-credit projects and the development of income-generating activities.
2011: Mama Lorenza’s Vocational Center is born
Lorenza learns to know better and better the context in which the Foundation operates and to understand the difficulties that families, and in particular women, face every day. For this she decides to build a vocational school for girls in difficulty.
In January 2010, construction works begin on the school and, unfortunately, in July of the same year, during a trip to the United States, Lorenza was the victim of a car accident in which she loses her life.
On the day of the inauguration, a plaque in memory of Lorenza is installed at the entrance to the school and it is decided to plant a frangipani, a symbol of immortality and rebirth.
Even today, visiting the school and talking to those who met her, it clearly perceives how people remember her kind soul and the determination with which she dedicated herself to the project.
2020: Emèl is born
Emèl is our female social enterprise dedicated to the production of high-quality leather and fabric items, thought to offer a job opportunity in a fair and safe environment to female students degreed from the MLVC.
2020: Children of Africa O.d.V. is born
In 2020 we established Children of Africa O.d.V. in Italy. (Volunteer Organization), with the aim of extending our family of supporters and collaborators and discovering new opportunities for growth.
Translated by Monica Giancaspro