Mariapia Tavazzani is born in Pavia on 29th November the sixth of Carlo and Ida’s seven children. From the time of her childhood, she is taught that wealth must not be selfishly kept,  but seen as a gift of life, that must be earned and deserved, as a sign of respect for those who are not as lucky.


Mariapia moves to Milan where she attends the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera, her teacher is Maestro Franco Russoli.
She works with her brother Attilio in the family textile company. As Mariapia wants to be close to the material needs of her workers’ families, especially the more numerous ones,  her brother decides to build houses for them.


She marries Giuseppe Vecchi († 1973).

She founds the humanitarian association First Help, convinced that “if you send someone your feet rest, if you go your heart rests”. All material help has to be accompanied by some kind of understanding in human condition. Commonality is expressed through words of encouragement as well as  a caress or an act of affection.


Mariapia takes part in the resistance against Nazi occupation, dispatching messages for her brother Attilio, a resistance leader; she helps Jews flee to Switzerland. During the operation they are intercepted by German troops, but she manages to escape capture


She establishes ties with the Italian community in the United States, raising awareness of the difficulties faced by post-war Italy. These contacts reveal important for her future humanitarian missions.



She gives birth to Mario, who ultimately marries Vittoria Colonna of the Princes of Paliano. Her son later gives her the tenderness of being a grandmother, and she watches her beloved nephews Andrea and Matteo grow up



As she has always desired, being a wife and mother, has never stopped her, from her social commitment.
Mariapia has always believed that those who  own nothing can yearn for the superfluous, convinced as she is that the human condition does not relieve itself only through material necessities. Mariapia therefore has brought them both staple commodities as well as the big, expensive televisions of the time.



She brings shipments of aid to victims of the Vajont tragedy, in the province of Belluno, Italy.

Having become a student of the famous photographer Evelyn Hofer, Mariapia follows her in the United States and in Ireland. She falls in love with photography as an art, and starts going around the world, discovering realities that she has never thought existed, visiting hospitals, orphanages and hospices, and fixing everything she sees in images. She documents her findings in photographs which she uses to shake the consciences of people in the promotion of solidarity and peace.



She travels to the Soviet Union for the first time, encouraging cultural exchanges. With the collaboration of Josif Toumanov, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, she organizes a photographic exhibition in Milan entitled “Russia Yesterday Today – 50 Years after the Revolution”. A concrete contribution to the understanding of a world that has been segregated for such a long time, to show that the opportunity to comprehend is always at hand.


Mariapia goes to Poland, again apparently motivated by her passion for photography. The trip is originally destined to the creation of another of her books on Italian embassies in the world, but once again it becomes a sort of humanitarian pilgrimage: Mariapia brings with her food, medicine and clothing for the poorer Poles.
She contacts artists in Poland whose creativity is repressed by the regime and organizes an exhibition of 300 Polish painters in the Renzo Cortina Gallery of Milan. Convinced that culture is the way to reciprocal respect and collaboration between people, she presents the first of a series of  photographic books dedicated to Italian diplomatic residences in the world, and the foreign ones in Rome.



She publishes the volume “Poland Second Millennium” in occasion of the country’s first one thousand years of conversion to Christianity, and receives the “Prix du mérite en faveur de la culture polonaise”  from the Polish Government for her contribution in spreading Polish culture in the world. Only five other women in the world have been awarded the above prize.




Back in Rome, Mariapia presents the volume “Foreign Embassies in Rome”, which completes her study of the headquarters of diplomatic representations, testimony of the importance of relations between countries. These volumes are consulted at the Italian Foreign Office.


Mariapia continues traveling to document the reality in which people live and the necessities they have, without foregoing cultural initiatives. For example in Romania, where she has taken considerable amounts of aid, she contacts the intellectuals and opponents of Ceaucescu’s regime, and documents that painful reality with intense photographic work. The result is a photographic exhibition held in Rome, and the publication of the volume “Romania Latin World”, presented in Milan.


She organizes events to raise funds for old people’s homes and hospitals throughout Italy, and charity concerts for seriously disabled children in the Don Gnocchi Institute of Milan.


Her marriage with Amintore Fanfani († 1999) gives a further impulse to her life, widening her values of peace.


Traveling with her husband, she meets top political exponents in China, fostering dialogue, which at that time is in its early stages. Mariapia photographs. Amintore gives proof of his talent as an artist, competing at the Academy of Fine Arts with the students. From the trip’s experience Mariapia publishes the volume “China, One Fourth of the World”.

Jean Kennedy asks Mariapia to create “Very Special Art” in Italy, founded years before in the United States. The association, which works on introducing differently able people into the artistic world, continues to operate with the help of Anna Maria Puri Purini as well.


She distributes humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy, especially in the area around Gemona, one of the worst hit. After a plea from the Primate of Romania, Justin, she takes provisions, clothing and medical supplies to the victims of a terrible earthquake in Romania.


Mariapia visits and takes aid to the missions in Sudan, devastated by a crisis of biblical dimensions. She goes to the S.O.S. villages in Egypt to distribute staple commodities, medicines, and school supplies.



As President of the Coordinating Committee of the International Prize ‘Woman of the Year 1979’ in Saint Vincent, Italy, she awards the Senegalese Marie Thérèse Basse.

She is always keen to give recognition to women who work for solidarity and peace and fight all forms of violence.

She supports the ‘Associazione degli amici della Casa di Giuseppe Verdi’ of Milan, Italy, a rest home for those who have devoted their life to music.

She sends funds to the Opera Padre Parini for the ‘Stella Maris’ leprosarium in Brazil, an activity she continues for years.

Mariapia helps Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees in Cebu island, in the Philippines, and she substains Salesian missionaries to shelter  street children.

She funds the rebuilding of an helping centre as well as a school for leper children in  Santo Domingo hit by a cyclone.



At the Italian Consulate General in New York, she organises a committee for the fund raising in the United States (especially among American citizens of Italian origin) to help the victims of the December 1979 earthquake in Campania and Lucania, Italy. 

She promotes various events including a concert given by tenor Luciano Pavarotti in Chicago and Philadelphia.

To help population hit by war, she brings, with Marilis Windisch-Graetz, a planeload of humanitarian aid to Beirut, Lebanon; they are met by ambassadors Edouard and Francoise de Lobkowicz. Part of this humanitarian aid is sent to war torn Sidon.

She brings aid to the Casa de Oraçao Na. Sra. Da Paz in Belem in Parà State, Brazil, and to the ‘Patronato Assistencial Imigrantes Italianos’ in São Paulo.

Responding to an urgent appeal by the Algerian President, she travels to El Asnam, Algeria, to distribute aid to earthquake victims.

She brings humanitarian aid to the Vietnamese ‘boat people’ in the refugee camp of Morong, in the island of Bataan, Philippines.




She brings to the hospital of Bebedjia, in Chad, a large amount of medicines and medical supplies. She has an orthopedic pavilion built to provide prostheses for children affected by polio. She is godmother of a center of social support for handicapped women. This mission, rich in experiences and encounters, leads to the publication of “A Day in Bebedjia”.

She organizes two benefit concerts by Maestro Uto Ughi, in Rome and in New York, in favour of the victims of the earthquake in Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi, Avellino, Italy.

First Lady Rosalynn Carter urges Mariapia to bring the “Atlanta Boy Choir” to Italy, so she organizes a series of concerts and destines the profit to institutes that assist handicapped children.

She presides the committee for the organization of the show “Up with People – Viva la Gente” in Rome, Italy, to support the Don Gnocchi Institute of Milan.


She inaugurates, along with Monsignor Diego Parodi, the “Don Orione charitable institution”, which she has commissioned at her own expense in Casamicciola (Ischia, Italy).

She brings medical supplies, school material and clothing to children in hospitals and orphanages in Warsaw, Poland.

She carries out a humanitarian mission in Egypt accompanied by Marilis Windisch-Graetz. They inaugurate the Sanabel hospital and the haemodialysis Department of the Italian hospital. She meets Suzanne Mubarak, guaranteeing a programme of humanitarian aid.


Mariapia is nominated President of the National Women’s Committee of the Italian Red Cross. Her newly appointed position gives her the possibility of multiplying humanitarian projects. She has experience on the field, energy and determination to solve problems considered insurmountable, as well as a thick network of national and international relations, along with the trust she has earned from heads of governments, international and humanitarian organizations, religious associations and missionaries. Numerous awards and medals conferred to her by many Heads of State witnesses her activity.

Mariapia spends years of great moral involvement at the Red Cross and at the League, where she is aided and learn much from the experience and wisdom of Dr. Massimo Barra, current President, of National Inspectors Mila Brachetti Peretti and Ludovica Lucifero.



She organizes the production of “Tribute to Ingrid” at the La Fenice Theatre in Venice, collaborating with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, in occasion of the Venice Film Festival. More than 70 of the most famous actors around the world participate to tribute the great actress Ingrid Bergman. Ronald Reagan, to support Mariapia’s cause, gives the participants a warm welcome. The guest of honor is Prince Albert of Monaco. The funds raised are destined to the Italian Red Cross’s humanitarian activities through a committee specifically appointed by Giulio Malgara and Alessandra Lassotovich.

She founds the association “Together for Peace”, which promotes numerous humanitarian initiatives. 



Mariapia airlifts humanitarian supplies to refugees camp in Djibouti and Makallè, Ethiopia.


With Enrique de la Mata President, Mariapia is appointed Vice-President of the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (1985 to 1989) in Geneva.
She founds the association ‘Noi per Loro’. The statute claimes among its many objectives  the promotion and the development of actions and initiatives of human solidarity.  After the BBC report on the dramatic draft in Sahel, Mariapia organizes  the Ship for Peace 1 (Togo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Cameroon, Mozambique, Chad, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde); the Levante Express brings aid to 18 African countries. Trucks are brought from Italy to facilitate access to inland areas.  This experience leads to the publication of “Hayat”; Hayat, which means “lady who brings life” is the word Mariapia is welcomed with in the countries reached by the mission.

After the disastrous eruption of the volcano Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, which destroys  the city of Armero, she helps survivors in Bogotá and Chinchiná.

Mariapia manages to open the era of organ transplants in Italy. She takes a child, Ambrogio, from a small town on the outskirts of Venice, to the United States, to save his life with a liver transplant. 630 millions Italian lira are necessary for this “trip of hope”, and Mariapia manages to raise the whole amount. She reaches Pittsburgh where, with the help of Cavaliere del Lavoro Teresa Cerutti, she meets  Milanese surgeon Bruno Gridelli. After he has performed the transplant of the boy’s liver, Mariapia helps him to return to Italy,  where he presently directs the Ismet in Palermo,  an international research centre.  The success of the operation, induces Minister of Health, Costante Degan,  to authorize transplants in Italy as well. The amount of money Mariapia has saved from Ambrogio’s surgery is used to cure other thirty children




In collaboration with the Italian Foreign Ministry’s Aid Fund, managed by Francesco Forte, she organizes the ship Tigre with humanitarian aid for Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad.

Accompanied by Raissa Gorbaciova, she takes humanitarian aid to paediatric hospitals in Moscow (for the victims of Chernobyl) and to the populations hit by the ecological disaster of the Aral Lake.

With the cooperation of Beatrice Rangoni Machiavelli and Vittoria Cappelli, she organizes ‘Peace Days’.  The film ‘Un idea per la Pace: insieme per un continente’, which is about the mission of the Ship of Peace in Africa, is screened in Mantua, Italy.  Projections also take place in Rome at the Quirinale Palace at the presence of Italian President Francesco Cossiga, in Geneva, in the offices of the International Red Cross Committee, in the UN Building of New York, at the White House in Washington, in Moscow, in Madrid, at the presence of the King and the Queen of Spain, and in many other countries.

Delegations from 65 countries take part in the conference ‘Dialogo per la Pace’ held in Verona, Italy.

As President of the Italian Red Cross, Mariapia has the International Museum of Castiglione of the Stiviere restored. During the same ceremony, at the presence of 65 delegations from different parts of the world, awards are conferred upon the Presidents of the Red Cross who have distinguished themselves for particular merits. For the first time after the Solferino battle,  an Austrian official delegate, Vice President of the Austrian Senate Herbert Schmbeck is present at the ceremony.

She organizes a humanitarian mission for the victims of the terrible earthquake in Kalamata, Greece, flying there with an airplane laden with supplies.

During the “Day of Prayers for Peace”in Assisi she participates common prayers led by Pope John Paul II for peace among peoples.



Mariapia promotes the International Seminar of Studies on new African literature, with the participation of twenty-one writers from the Black Continent. Francesco Cossiga, President of the Italian Republic, agrees to hold the meeting in the Castel Porziano estate, near Rome.

The head of the government appreciates the initiative, which builds a bridge of understanding between Africa and the West, and gives the latter the chance to enrich its culture through contact with the lesser-known one – but no less interesting – worlds of the African continent.



Mariapia contributes to the equipment of a hospital at Gao in Mali where there is need of an adequate medical infrastructure.

She takes humanitarian aid to Lebanon, with three military airplanes. From the airport of Damascus, supplies are transported by fourteen trucks to Beirut and given over to the Lebanese Red Cross and the Syrian Red Half Moon, to the S.O.S. village of Damascus, and distributed to those severely in need with no concern for religious creed.

While she is distributing help in Sao Tomè, she manages to obtain from the President of the Republic, Manuel Pinto da Costa, amnesty for the Italian UNICEF physician Filippo Curtale, unjustly accused and imprisoned for killing his wife, and brings him back to Italy, finally free.

She organizes a rescue mission in Valtellina, Italy, which has suffered devastating floods in August.She sets up a second mission in Mali to distribute necessities to the population.


Mariapia and Beatrice Rangoni Machiavelli promote the “Women’s Forum: Let’s Talk together”. Nobel Prize laureate Rita Levi Montalcini’s reports are discussed at the presence of Matilda Cuomo, New York Governor’s wife.

She organises a relief mission to Armenia, hit five days before by a terrible earthquake centred on the town of Spitak that has caused a great number of victims;  she distributes aid to Hospital 3 and to the Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics in Erevan.

An American benefactor has a personal reason to thank Mariapia, because she has arranged a special audience for him with  Pope John Paul II in the middle of the summer. Knowing that she would never accept something for herself, he donates an operating foundation in Delaware (USA) the “Together for Peace Foundation”.

The Foundation’s aim is to spread the ideals of peace and solidarity to all nations, without discriminating  race or culture. Therefore, not only humanitarian missions, but also scholarships, prizes and awards for people who distinguish themselves for their services to Peace. Henry Kissinger officially presents the “Together for Peace Foundation” at the awarding ceremony of the “Peace Awards”, in New York at the United Nations.






Mariapia sends a large amount of medicine to answer requests that have come from the pediatric hospital in Damascus, Syria.

She donates various medications requested by the local Red Cross to Warsaw, Poland.

She distributes a shipment of humanitarian aid to the Italian hospital in Istanbul, Turkey.


Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, Head of the United Nations Office for Aid to Afghanistan, charges her with the organisation of an important initiative: the ‘Salam Express’ train, which leaves Rome to take shipments of rice to this war-torn country. The aid are provided by Italy, Finland, Norway and URSS. In this complex operation she is assisted by Italian Foreign Office Minister Gianni De Michelis.

She brings another shipment of aid to Spitak, Armenia, and also donates a jeep to the Red Cross to help coordinate rescue operations.

The tragedy that hit Armenia in the country’s most inner core deeply impresses her, and she transports 100 Armenian children with an Alitalia airplane from Spitak, Leninakan and Kirovakan to a children’s camp in Jesolo for the summer vacation, at her own expense. On July 10, she organizes an audience for them with the Pope in the Vatican.

She takes humanitarian aid to the Afghan refugees in the refugee camps of Quetta (especially to the New Saranan Camp – 30 km north of Quetta) on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and to the Shuhada clinic, then directed by doctor Sima Samar, with whom she still works. Sima Samar, who has been Vice President of the Afghan transitional government after the Taliban’s defeat, is presently Head of the Independent Afghan Commission for Human Rights.

Mariapia promotes an international seminar on the topic “Solidarity as the Foundation of Peace”, held in the San Michele cultural center in Rome. Delegations from fifty countries, many led by First Ladies, are present. The seminar ends with the speech of President Fanfani who underlines that “the first world meeting on peace and development has been promoted by women, not men”. Barbara Bush and Raissa Gorbaciova send messages.

During the revolution in Bucharest, Romania, she distributes medicines and staple commodities to schools and hospitals.



Mariapia brings more medical supplies and children's clothing to Spitak in Armenia.

After the fall of the Ceausescu regime, she organises, with the collaboration of the Italian government, the ‘Train of Peace and Culture’, bringing 20 container loaded with aid to Romania for the paediatric hospitals Victor Babes and Christiana (children affected  by AIDS and tubercolosis) in Bucarest and in Jasi.

She also helps various institutes for blind children, and three orphanages in the city of Orasul Corabia.

She prepares the first “Italy-USSR Airplane for Peace”, an Aeroflot cargo craft (put at her disposal by the Soviet Union) loaded with medicines, food, clothing and school material for children affected by AIDS (or coming from the infected areas around Chernobyl), all staying at the Clinical Children’s Hospital of the Federal Russian Republic, under the patronage of Raissa Gorbaciova.

She organizes the second ”Airplane of Peace” that transports a large amount of aid to Moscow, for the Clinical Children’s Hospital of the Federate Russian Republic. She then goes to Nukus, in Uzbekistan, with a vast quantity of staples to help people afflicted by the drying up of the Aral Lake.

She loads a truck of humanitarian aid destined to Moscow, in the Soviet Union, in favor of the Clinical Children’s Hospital of the Federal Russian Republic.

She sends seven truckloads of aid to Moscow, Soviet Union.  Four of them are destined to the Republic Children’s Clinic Hospital, one is consigned to Chernobyl hospital, another is given to the President of the Moscow Red Cross Mr. Venedictov; she distributes toys to children in the Children's Clinic Hospital of the Russian Federal Republic, during Christmas celebration.

She delivers shipments of medical supplies to the Afghan refugee camp of Quetta, in Pakistan and to a local hospital in Karachi.
Mariapia brings humanitarian aid to the Albanian refugees camp of Restinco, Brindisi, Italy.

She delivers a shipment of medicine and health supplies to hospitals and institutions for children affected by AIDS or blindness in Bucharest, Romania.



She distributes food and clothing to Kurdish refugees in the Uludere camp, in southern Turkey.She again takes humanitarian aid to the Albanian refugees camp in Restinco, Brindisi.Mariapia delivers three truckloads of supplies to the Children's Clinic Hospital of the Russian Federal Republic, and to the Charity and Health Foundation; she also equips a playground for a Moscow hospital, in the Soviet Union. Some of the supplies sent from Italy are consigned to the patriarch of Moscow.

She brings three truckloads of aid to Vilnius in Lithuania, and consigns them to the Health Minister Juozas Olekas, to the Vaiku Paediatric Centre for the treatment of cancer, to the Lithuanian Red Cross, to the “Vaikai” Opera SOS, and to the Infant’s Home for handicapped orphans.

She brings six truckloads of medicine, health supplies and provisions to Moscow, in the Soviet Union, for the Institute of All Union Cancer Research, for the Centre 13 for orphans, for the Republican Pediatric Hospital, for the Health Ministry, for the Orthodox Church in the person of Patriarch Alexis II, for the Misericordia Centre, for Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Down's Children Assistance Centre, for the Red Cross and for the Red Crescent.

She takes medicines, clothing, and staples to the “Noor al Hussein Foundation”, to the S.O.S. village, to the Red Half Moon, to the Schnellen Refugee Camp, to the Orphanage of the Franciscan Nuns and to the Italian hospital in Amman, Jordan.She takes staples and medical supplies to the Medical Center of the Bebedjia mission, in Chad.

Upon request of the Italian Ambassador in Lima, Perù, she organizes four missions to consign a vast quantity of essential vaccines and specific medicines against epidemic cholera.

With the assistance of Olga Havel, she delivers a cargo of medicines, medical equipment and children’s clothing to the managers of the “Motol” pediatric hospital of Prague, Czechoslovakia, to the Committee of Slovenian Humanitarian Assistance and to the Arpida Organization.Mariapia brings humanitarian aid to the victims of cyclone Gorky in Bangladesh and personally distributes aid in the worst affected areas, including Chittagong, and the islands of Kutibdia, Hatia, Sandip and Chara.

She delivers a truckload of humanitarian aid to the “Princess Maria Luisa” orphanage of Plovdiv, to the “Pirogov” Medical Centre in Sofia, to the Sofia Maternity Centre, to the “Sirak” orphanage in Tirnovo and to the Catholic Sisters in Sofia, Bulgaria.Mariapia sends relief supplies to the Red Cross in Tbilisi, Georgia in favor of the earthquake victims.She sends relief supplies to the Red Crescent for refugee camps in Djibouti.She organizes three deliveries of aid to the Victor Babes hospital in Bucharest, Romania.





She organizes the Ship of Peace 2, which traces the steps of Christopher Columbus after five centuries and leaving from Genoa, takes humanitarian aid to San Salvador, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.  The ship Islas Galapagos, put at Mariapia’s disposal by the Ecuadorian ship-owner Luis A. Noboa, thanks to the intervention of UN General Secretary Javier Pérez de Cuellar, stops at Puerto de Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo), Puerto Limon (Costa Rica) and Puerto de Guayaquil (Ecuador). The delivery is made possible thanks to Donatella Dini.

Mariapia takes off with two airplanes loaded with supplies destined to the Somali refugee camps on Somalia-Kenya  border. The material is distributed in the other centers of Utang, Liboi, Ifo, Walda and Marafra. In the refugees camp in Liboi, she meets Deka, a little girl affected by hydrocephalus; she rents a small airplane and flies with Deka and her father to the Nairobi Hospital, where Professor Ruberti offers to perform surgery on her. In Nairobi, she creates a committee “Together for Somalia”, which buys  the necessities destined to the refugee camps on the site.

She organizes other two missions to aid the refugee camps in Majengo and Sunthan, in Somalia.

She organizes the Ship of Peace 3 (Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen) to rescue 20,000 Somali and Ethiopian refugees fleeing into Yemen. She reaches the refugees camps especially set up. During the first stop in Djibouti she visits the hospital of Balbalà and distributes necessities on the streets to the refugees in the Hariba neighborhood. Her next stop are the refugees camps in Ali Sabieh, Ali Adde, Are Aoussa; she continues up to Northern Somalia until she reaches Hargeisha, where she provides to set up a school under a big tent and crafts workshop. During her second stop in Aden she distributes staples to the refugees camps in Madinat al Shah, Kharaz and Lajeh.
She takes humanitarian aid to Doctor Lapinshaitè’s Republican Dispensary, to Doctor Sinicienè’s Large Family Community of the Vilnius University Children Hospital, and to the Infant’s Home of Vilnius, in Lithuania.
She sends various medicines to the missionaries and the hospitals in Kinshasa in Zaire according to the requests received.
In answer to an urgent request of assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross for the serious emergency developing in Croatia, she hurries to Zagreb with staples, educational and medical material, which she delivers to the Red Cross.
She sends a truck full of staples to Belgrade, in Serbia. The goods are sent to Father Lukic of the Beogradski Sajam Church, who distributes them to the centres for refugees.
Upon the request of H.R.H. Princess Irene of Greece, President and founder of “World in Harmony”, Mariapia sends a considerable amount of clothing for the Vietnamese population.




She gathers and sends specific medicines to cure Lubochka Tatyana Vladimirovna Myakinina, affected by hyperinsuline and serious pancreas disease, who is hospitalized in the “Republican Children Clinical Hospital” of Moscow, Soviet Union.
She sends to the hospitals of Lima, Peru which are in great medical difficulty measles, meningitis and  DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccines.

She sends medical supplies to the Italian hospital in Cairo, Egypt.
She sends the Carmelite Nuns of Sophia, Bulgaria, clothes, medicines and provisions.

She flies to Sarajevo, Bosnia with an airplane laden with humanitarian aid destined to the refugee camps.

Mariapia brings medical supplies and children's products to the Motol paediatric hospital of Prague, Czechoslovakia.

She continues to send health supplies, medicine, toys and clothing for children in the V. Babes hospital of Bucharest, Romania.


The mission Ship of Peace IV (Djibouti, Kenya, and Somalia) sails in support of the countries aided by Ship of Peace 3 and the refugee camps on the Somali border; she takes a vast amount of medicine, clothing and school material.

Mariapia delivers aid to the Clinical University Centre, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, to the mayor Mohamed Kresevljakovic Skupstina Grada and to the archbishop Vinko Puljic, so they can distribute it. She brings back to Italy two children, Gorana and Dany, who are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention. They are treated at the San Camillo Hospital of Rome and Gorana is afterwards adopted by an Italian family.

She sends to the hospital of Zagreb, Slovenia, a large quantity of medicine, clothing and food.

She promotes the “Silver Train” to distribute food, medicine, educational material and clothing to 300 hospices throughout all of Italy: Turin, Milan, Genoa, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Bari and Palermo. The island of Sardinia is reached by sea.

She sends the St. Damien Paediatric and Surgical Clinic of Ambaya, in Madagascar, medical supplies, and infant care products: the support program continues in the following years.



She brings three trucks of humanitarian aid to Croatia, for the Bosnian refugees camp of Varazdin.
She delivers medical supplies, food and infant care products to Bosnian refugees camp near Lubiana, Slovenia.
She donates food and medical supplies to the SA.IT Association of Tbilisi, Georgia.

Mariapia organizes a second humanitarian mission to Sarajevo, Bosnia, bringing school material, health supplies and food, which she consigns to the mayor of the city.


In the initial phases of one of the greatest genocides in the history of humanity, she responds to an appeal by Amelia Barbieri, an Italian aid worker who refuses to leave Rwanda without the 52 children sheltered in her orphanage in Muhura, north east of Kigali. She miraculously makes her way to Uganda along roads littered with mines (escorted by soldiers of the patriotic front), bringing all the children and other three sick children from the hospital of Gahini with her to safety. A plane for them arrives laden with relief supplies.

She is nominated member of the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans; Giscard d’Estaing, Margaret Thatcher, Bernard Kouchner and Bernard-Henry Levy are also members of the organization led by Mabel Wisse Smit, with whom Mariapia prepares several humanitarian missions for Sarajevo.

She distributes humanitarian aid to the Bosnian refugees gathered in a camp near Lubiana, in Slovenia.
She sends food and clothing to the “Noor Al Hussein Foundation” and to the “Jordan National Red Crescent Society” in Amman, Jordan.

She delivers staples to the people of Sarajevo, Bosnia and to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
She brings medicine, medical supplies, clothing, a water-filtering system that runs on solar energy, farming equipment and seeds to the Don Bosco Orphanage in Byumba, Rwanda. It is the first time that Rwanda has drinkable water again.
She delivers  medicine, medical supplies, clothing, a water-filtering system that runs on solar energy, farming equipment and seeds to the Gahini Hospital in Mulindi, and to the Rehabilitation Centre in Nycondo, Rwanda. She also goes to the refugee camp in Goma distributing water to the refugees who don’t have any.

Having realized the terrible state Rwanda is in, she organizes the “Ship of Peace V, full of humanitarian aid for its inhabitants. The ship anchors in Mombasa, Kenya, and from there the entire cargo is transported to Kigali by train, and finally distributed to the population. She goes back to Rwanda a number of times, always accompanied by Gabriella and Marco Caldelari, who are in charge of the programs of the Association “Always Together for Peace” regarding Rwanda. They finance and set up a bakery in Kigali, having personnel coming down from Switzerland to teach the local population how to make bread.



Bread will become one of the primary resources of the local economy. They have a number of water-filtering systems installed, which  meets  water emergency of a vast area of the country. Their major commitment is to bring families back together, assigning houses that are rebuilt or built anew after the genocide, or helping children through international adoptions.

They have laboratories and crafts workshops built for the women and teenagers, to teach them a job and give them hope of a different future.
She sends the Kosovo Hospital, the Sarajevo Mayor, Dr. Tarik Kuousovic, the archbishop Vinko Puljic, and Father Tomasevic, humanitarian aid for the Muslim and Catholic children of Sarajevo, Bosnia.

She returns with provisions for the orphanage of Janette Musuweni (Uganda President’s wife) in Kampala, Uganda, and for the Gahini hospital in Mulindi, Rwanda. She brings back to Italy one hundred children for treatment.


She participates in the realization of the “Fourth International Conference on Women – Equality, Development and Peace”, in Beijing, China, to testify women’s contribution to a culture of peace. The first ladies of many countries are present, including Hillary Clinton, Gertrude Mongella and Suzanne Mubarak.

She sends medical and school supplies, clothing and food to the East Samar Dispensary, located by the “Nostra Signora del Rosario” parish, in Hipad, Philippines.
She sends medical and school supplies to the dispensary for blind children run by the “Sœurs du Sacré Cœur” of Father de Focault in Gao, Mali.

She takes staples and medicine to the Kosovo Hospital and to the State Hospital of Sarajevo in Bosnia several times.
She sends medicine and school supplies to the “Hijas de la Caridad de San Vicente de Paul of Santa Cruz”, in Bolivia, for the children they treat.

She sends school supplies, medicine and infant food to the Missionary Nuns of the Immaculate Child Mary, for their centre  near Dacca, Bangladesh.

She delivers food and staples to the “Together for Peace Centre - Ministère de la Réhabilitation”, in Kigali, Rwanda.
She sends medical supplies and infant food to the Shuhada Clinic directed by Sima Samar and to the State Hospital of Quetta, in Pakistan.She donates humanitarian aid to the Jordan Red Cross, for the “Prince Abdullah Ben Al Hussein Orphanage”.


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