When I was recently in Como, Italy for Proposte, I was lucky enough to visit this place named Cometa. Cometa is both a project and a home founded by brothers Erasmo and Innocente Figini and their wives Serena and Marina.
Thirty five years ago (before Cometa), Erasmo was a prominent textile designer, and Innocente a well-regarded eye surgeon. Although successful in their chosen professions, the Figini brothers felt there must be something more to life - a higher calling.
After a meeting with a renowned priest and a new take on faith, Erasmo and his wife, Serena, agreed to foster a baby who was HIV positive. So began a decades long project to care for underserved children in the community - now known as 'Cometa.'
Over the last 30+ years, hundreds of foster children have been cared for by the Figinis. If children need a home, the Figinis do what they can to provide it, when other foster children in the community need resources, the Figinis designed and launched after school programs. When the local high school drop out rate began to creep up, Cometa grew to include a vocational school to entice the students who were overlooked by traditional education.
The basic principle of Cometa is to always say yes. If there is a need in the community, the Figinis (and everyone who now calls Cometa home) try to fill the hole. They saw the need for a mental health center, so they built one, there was a need for parental counseling within their community, so they provide it. These days you will find hundreds of children living at Cometa, and about a dozen dedicated adult caregivers.
There is no grand plan, there is just the passion of this group of people coupled with a lot of hard work. Beyond providing a home, education, and love (as if that's not already such an amazing gift), Cometa is a beautiful place. Tastefully decorated, gorgeous gardens, and modest but lovely architecture. A safe haven anyone would be proud to call home.
Click here to learn a bit more about the Cometa project!
A few weeks ago, Mike and I were able to steal a weekend away in Sedona. It was a lovely, restorative trip - such a beautiful part of the country!