CASA DEI FIORI
REFLECTION WRITTEN BY PATRIZIA CONTRI, FOUNDER OF UNA CHANCE
The Una Chance House is currently home to Touch A Life’s older boys. We are so blessed by this structure. Read on to learn more about Una Chance’s story.
“Almost three years ago, in the spring of 2010, a dear friend gave me a copy of Pam Cope’s book, Jantsen’s Gift. I was at a crossroads in my life. I had just left a job that was very satisfying but left me no time for anything else. I was 61 years old and I thought it was time to do something different. I had, for some time, been planning to dedicate some of my time to those who were less fortunate. I didn’t know exactly what to do but I knew that I needed to look beyond the confines of my own life.
Pam’s book arrived at just the right moment. Her account of the children on Lake Volta made me feel that I was on the right path, so I decided to go see for myself what Pam had described. And that was the beginning of this adventure. I went to Ghana and met the children saved from slavery by Touch A Life. I felt that, even in Italy, I could try to do something not only for these children but also for those children still on the lake.
In the meantime, Pam told me that Touch A Life was looking for land upon which they could build a facility for the children. It wasn’t an easy prospect because it’s not simple to obtain land in Ghana. Without hesitation, I told her that if they found a place, I would help them build it. When I returned to Italy, I spoke to my daughters and the friend who gave me Pam’s book. We decided to create a charitable organization called Una Chance. We began to tell others the story of the children living as slaves on Lake Volta. Our friends, followed by many others, began to support our efforts.
We are so grateful to all of those who believed in us. In particular, we are thankful for Fabio Fiori, who gave us the means to finance the house that Una Chance built at the Touch A Life Care Center. I met Fabio Fiori by chance. He came with a dear friend of mine, Serenella, to spend in day in the countryside of Italy, where I live. He wasn’t well, and he wanted to relax and forget his worries. He seemed very tired, but we spent a lovely day chatting and getting to know each other. I never saw him again, but Serenella gave me updates about him. Unfortunately, despite taking medication, Fabio’s illness was getting the best of him. Just a few months later, Serenella told me that he had died. She had spent a lot of time with him and had spoken to him about the work Una Chance was doing in Ghana. Just a few days before I headed to Ghana on my second trip, where I would meet Pam, I learned that Fabio had left us an inheritance that would enable us to carry out our promise of building a home at the Touch A Life Care Center for the children rescued out of slavery on Lake Volta. Today, the house is called Casa dei Fiori (Fiori was Fabio’s last name, but it also means “flowers” in Italian) in memory of Fabio. Through his generosity, coupled with the support that Una Chance has gained over the last few years, our dream has become a reality.
Thank you, friends, for believing in us. Thank you, Pam, for your tenacity. And thank you, Fabio, for your generosity.”
– Patrizia Contri