Who We Are
Who we are
The name of our Association, Vimala, or “purity”, comes from the name of the dermatological hospital in Mumbai for the treatment of leprosy.
The Association was founded on 12 January 1999 as a charitable, non-political and non-denominational association that pursues the sole objective of social solidarity with those who are disadvantaged due to their physical, mental, economic, social or family conditions.
The Association works with the Amici delle Missionarie dell’Immacolata (“Friends of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate”) and a group of volunteers actively engaged in supporting the many Tibetans who have fled from Tibet, in addition to giving support to other independent and necessary projects.
In 2023, a new association was formed: the Vimala Association – Italy. It will act independently, while maintaining strong mutual aid relations, e.g. in the supervision of works and their subsequent control. The new entity will simplify the increasing fiscal and administrative duties.
Deborah Carrani becomes president of the new association.
What we do
Our attention is focused on children in need, who have been abandoned, are suffering from leprosy or serious diseases.
We also assist Tibetan refugees in refugee camps in India, by helping them to regain a dignified life and to overcome separation from their families, always with due respect for the culture and traditions of these people.
Besides offering immediate material assistance, we offer the possibility of planning for a better life. The Vimala Association organizes sponsorships and participates in funding education for children in the slums, offers scholarships for deserving pupils who want to continue their studies, and also supports projects in the fields of education, health and community.
How we achieve our aims
Every cent that is given to us is used entirely to implement our projects since all costs incurred by the Association are covered by members or benefactors. We are all volunteers and we are actively and directly present in the areas concerned.
By means of periodically planned trips we are able to follow the development of the projects up to their completion. Maintaining the results obtained is ensured by subsequent accurate checks.
To get to know us better
I live in Lugano, I have two sons and four grandchildren. I began my adventure as a voluntary worker in India with Dominique Lapierre. A few years later I joined my sister-in-law Ornella and an Italian group that was helping the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate in their leper colony in Mumbai: sponsorship of children with leprosy or whose parents or relatives are ill. In 1999 Ornella and I founded the Vimala Association in Lugano and very soon afterwards we met Debbie who had already been working for many years assisting Tibetan refugees in India. The synergy produced gave a new impetus to the Association which since then has brought to completion a large number of projects. This work has given me an immense amount of joy and satisfaction, it has given me the opportunity of meeting some truly fantastic people in both continents, and especially the possibility of helping those in need. My son Federico also participates in the Association, thus ensuring its future.
I am from Turin but have been living in Milan since I married. I have two daughters and five grandchildren. In 1991 I felt an urgent need to actively assist people less fortunate than myself and I believed that in some countries simply with a smile you can be repaid by another smile. So it was that I started my humanitarian adventure in India, in the leper colony in Mumbai. A few years later, together with my sister-in-law Mimmi we founded the Vimala Association that to-day, with the splendid support of Debbie as well, works mainly for the health and education of children in India and Tibetan refugees in India, but also has humanitarian projects in many other countries. To-day, considering what we have achieved – “a drop in the ocean” – it is a joy to think of how many smiles I have received and with the hope of receiving many more still.
I have two sons, Tommaso and Niccolò, I live in Lugano, I did classical studies, but I have been working in the finance sector for 15 years.
I have for many years and with enormous pride been following the voluntary work of my mother, my Aunt Ornella and the whole group of charming ladies who commit themselves with a smile.
In 2012 I at last accompanied the expedition to India and, of course, I returned much richer than when I left.
Since then I am happy to help in whatever way I can.
Become one of our supporters
Please contact us to find out more about us or how you can support a particular project or cooperate with our Association.
There are many ways you can help us, either with a cash donation, or offering your services, products or cooperation, or participating in the events we organize and fundraising in your area.
Via Canova 16 – 6900 Lugano
IBAN CHF: CH97 0849 0000 2712 1000 1
IBAN €: CH59 0849 0000 2712 1000 6
Corso Italia 22 – 20123 Milano – Italia
C/C 100000006527 Associazione Vimala