Florisa De Leo Magambi, founder of There is Hope, has been honoured with the Knight of the Star of Italian Solidarity Award by the president of Italy for uplifting the lives of refugees at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa.
When she got married to Innocent Magambi, who was a refugee for 27 years, the couple decided to work with refugees, offering them hope, and founded There is Hope and Kibebe Malawi.
The two charities benefit refugees from the camp and surrounding communities.
Handing over the award in Dowa on behalf of the President of Italy, Italian Ambassador to Zambia and Malawi, Filippo Scammacca, said the Knight of the Star of Italian Solidarity award recognises individuals who contribute to the preservation and promotion of Italian prestige abroad.
“The work of Florisa is self-evident. She renounced a rewarding job as finance consultant in Italy and dedicated herself to serving people in this place.
“What she is doing is relevant for development,” he said.
Expressing her gratitude for the award, Magambi, who first visited Dzaleka in 2004, said she is impressed by the sense of hope the refugees have and that, together with the organisation, they are rewriting their story from that of suffering to one of hope.
“The people [from Dzaleka] tell a story of hope. People living there have been displaced, not once, and some of them were born into a country that was not their own, from refugees. But they still live in hope,” she said.