The Maria Bonino Foundation was established in 2006 to continue the work of a paediatrician born in Biella (Italy), Maria Bonino, who died in Africa in 2005 from the Marburg virus, after a life entirely devoted to the care of African children.

Those who knew and loved her are left with an infinite sorrow, relieved only by the awareness that the best way to remember her is to continue her work in support of the children she loved and cared for.

For everyone Maria is an example of humanity and generosity, which the Foundation celebrates by identifying, supporting and promoting projects that aim to relieve suffering of the African populations plagued by poverty and disease, first of all the youngest children in need of care.

Among the first objectives that the Maria Bonino Foundation has set is the adoption of intervention protocols in our country that make the necessary clinical tests accessible, and enable a possible repatriation for those who, having contracted a highly contagious disease in a foreign country, cannot be guaranteed locally an adequate treatment.

Special guidelines for an inter-ministerial protocol were in fact defined just after the difficulties dramatically emerged in the attempt to transfer Maria Bonino from Angola to Italy.

The measures taken proved crucial in saving the life of an Italian doctor infected in Sierra Leone with Ebola, the disease that spread rapidly in West Africa between 2014 and 2015.

With an endless great regret and sorrow in the face of Maria Bonino’s death, I would like to express my condolences to her mother and to Paolo Bonino, together with all their loved ones. It was a great sorrow for me. Together with all my children and relatives we send you our condolences. After Mary’s death I don’t know what I will do, because I was hoping for her help. Unfortunately since my financial resources are few, but I will have no peace until I can visit her tomb, which would be my joy. The children she was helping are crying as they can no longer count on her help.

I wish you, Paolo and Gabriella a peaceful life. May God receive her into Paradise, amen.

We received this letter a few weeks after Maria’s death. It was written by the father of a little girl with a heart condition whom she met during her stay in Tanzania. Maria was particularly fond of this little girl, so much that she brought her to Italy for surgery. On her return, she committed herself to ensure that the child could study to avoid an early entry into the working world which would have been too difficult for her. Since then, she has continued to support her from afar, helping her parents to get her through school and providing her with the medicines she needed.

The letter from this girl’s father moved us because it underlines what Maria’s style was in being close to those in need and strengthened our conviction that we had to do something to continue her work.


We treat children in sub-Saharan Africa, especially those under the age of 3 and 5 kilos under, and we care at heart about the whole maternal and child area.


We support school, university and vocational education for deserving children who lack sufficient financial resources.


We intend to improve living and health conditions in homes and health centres by installing, for example, mosquito nets or by improving water connections and energy supply.


We fund studies and research on diseases such as malnutrition and infectious diseases.


With us for the health of mothers and children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Let’s continue together Maria Bonino’s dream, let’s fight so that it doesn’t remain just a dream: every contribution, even the smallest, will be useful to carry out the Maria Bonino Foundation’s projects.