While donating time, Marcos Paganini created a chain of volunteers united in favor of building houses to Malawi´s refugees

Marcos Paganini iniciou ação que tem reunido voluntários de vários países

The quiet night at Lousanne, Switzerland, went through normally when Marcos Paganini woke up with a fixed idea on his mind: “I have to do something, beyond my donation action. I know a lot of people, I am a high executive in a company for several years and lived in the entire world. The best thing I am able to do at this moment is using what I have got, which are my contacts and my time. Donating my time”. At that time he suddenly triggered an initiative that would take him throughout the path of many families who live in Dzaleka refugee fields, in Malawi/Africa.

Marcos´ tigh agenda, who is Jonhson & Johnson´s vice-president in Switzerland and Fraternity without Borders´ sponsor, did not avert him to take action in favor of people and the idea that awakened him that night, grew up: courage, the habilities developed through 13 years at work and also his contacts were used by him in order to take the fraternal message to many hearts. Along with his wife´s help, Ana Paula, set up WhatsApp groups and started presenting the community work developed by the Fraternity without Borders.

The first group, set up by 20 Brazilian members, soon got together on a video call in order to know more about the projects and the impacts that many united hearts would be able to reach out at the entire globe. From this first initiative on, the fraternal message multiplied out. Every single volunteer invited more people, sponsored and released the Fraternity without Borders´ mission. “For my surprise, now we have 150 people – 100 are Brazilians who live in Brazil, the 50 others are Brazilians who live abroad”, explained Marcos.

Currently, he donates a considerable part of his time to talk about fraternity with the foreign public. The first online meeting took 35 people from several nationalities: French, Indian, Italian and Spanish. The initial fear of not knowing how the public acceptability would be, due to cultural differences, was soon dissolved: “Everyone was heart touched and thrilled, the culture did not change anything”, stated. 

This fraternity movement that took Marcos to get together with people has always been a question of humanitarian principle in which he passes to his family and to people he knows. Moreover, it is exactly this principle that woke up the Ubuntu feeling in many hearts that were united, sponsored the cause and looked for finding new ways to help. Upon the fourth meeting, Marcos had a very grateful surprise: the volunteers network wanted to take more action and contribute so that more people could be helped out.

Along with his daughter Giovanna´s contribution, Marcos prepared a voting session, so that the volunteers would be able to choose an action from Fraternity without Borders to help on. “We had 90 responses on such voting process”. “Around” 70% from the people that voted, voted on small houses, he said. From this movement the volunteers network got together, united, for raising funds in order to build houses to the Dzaleka camping refugees, which shelter over 45 thousand people who broke away from his original countries due to wars, persecutions and humanitarian crisis. Many of these people stand by many years in the Malawi transition area (space where war refugees stay until they are able to build their own houses), living in small cubicle spaces separated by pieces of tissues, in an extreme vulnerability environment.

Everybody took action to deliver and give a home to the families that live at that field. “The people´s reactions (volunteers) were fantastic. The engagement has been so good and fast that we are now at the third week of campaign and have already reached out to 10 houses. The goal we created was initially 15 houses”, said Marcos, enthusiastic with the action proportion.

The courage and criativity of one of the volunteers took laughters of admiration from Marcus, Neusa, a Brazilian who has got a beauty salon and is a close and known person from his family, being able to raise resources for building 2 houses: “She placed a small box on her salon, and every person that visits her salon she shows the families pictures and talks about the campaign. Within the first week, raised resources for an entire house. In addition to that, last week, a customer of her donated an entire house.

Every time a family has a new home, that is celebrated by the volunteers network and by Marcos´ family, who, now, has as dinner subject the houses that have been builded in Malawi: “At every single house we are able to build, we celebrate, this is a good feeling”, tells us. The entire family is involved on this initiative, which has been contributing to spread the fraternal seed in the world and awakening more hearts to the humanitary work.

Paganini family

Connected to the Ubuntu feeling, of understanding that we are part of one single family, the human being one, and that we are responsible regarding the welfare from each other, each volunteers has been contributing by own ways: Time donation, finacial resources, spreading the campaign and, mainly, taking the fraternal message to many other hearts and inviting them to take action in favor of others.

The Ubuntu Nation Project coordinator, Clarissa Paz, tells us how the volunteers union has been contributing to modify the reality of hundreds of people: “The Fraternity is made out by thousands of hearts. Each one gives a little bit and at the very ending, we can do many things. All sponsors´ actions and moves are important, being big or small, they have their own value. Marcos´ actions are wonderful, one more love action from many we observe at the Fraternity. Furthermore, this is what makes it so beautiful”.

Currently, the Mutumoyi Bebe Tomaso´s, Bakali Johari´s and Ndayiragije Odette´s families received a house through Marcos´ initiative and many hearts who contributed to the campaign Houses of Hearts, and could leave from the transition area for living at homes that are able to give them safety and to their children as well.

Whenever seeing their faces and knowing these families histories, transformed by the union of many volunteers, Marcos tells us how the movement has been: “For me, the biggest lesson I have had from the campaign phase, from my life – and the biggest lesson that many people is taking -, is that there is nothing to do with money. That is all about time! You need to donate and invest your time. Many people that used to say that did not have money, positively gave an impact to the campaign by spreading, chipping in and creating raffles. My lesson is that there is no limit if you are convinced you can help others. The threshold is your time and, the time is you who choose.

Attitudes such as this one, which makes a fraternal message pass through the atlantic ocean and connect people to collective well-being is the same that takes comfort to thousands of hearts, welcomed by Fraternity without Borders and that makes them feel there are many brothers and systers around the world who care about their histories.

Houses of Heart 

 Until this posting´s moment, this campaign has already conquered 25 houses, of which 6 have been collected by Marcos´ initiative and his friends network.

The building process from these 6 houses, empowered by Marcos, starts soon and will bring up smiles in many families that live in Dzaleka field, in extreme vulnerability.

Would you like to contribute with the campaign and provide a home to families that live in refugees fields?

Access the link and give your donation!



Mutumoyi Bebe Tomaso family


Ndayiragije Odette family


Bakai Johari family

Picture of Emanuel Pizarro

Emanuel Pizarro

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