People making a difference – meet Charlie

Charlie is the Managing Director, the founder, the matriarch, the progenitor, the heart and soul of The LiLi Centre.

Six years ago, Charlie had a vision to create a safe space, where people could find information to better integrate, improve their education and build a network in Lucerne. Thus the LiLi Centre was born.

Charlie grew up on a boat in Corsica with a Swiss-English mother and an Italo-English-Canadian father. From an early age, foreign cultures and languages were part of her life which meant she was aware that integration brings cultural awareness and diverse experiences and friendships. But integration can also be challenging and lonely. This understanding supported her vision and desire to create this community through volunteering, as Charlie shared, it is a wonderful way to make new connections and be of service.

She said, “The centre is a culmination of many projects, and I am so proud to see how the concept has grown and evolved to meet the needs of the community. It is fascinating to hear the stories of the people who come to the centre, what brought them here, and how they have grown. I am in constant awe.”

Lucerne is one of many places that Charlie has lived but said it is the one place that truly feels like home. “It is the perfect size, small enough that you can easily bump into someone you know and big enough that we have a vibrant atmosphere and an amazing culture.”

The incredible nature surrounding the city, and the beauty of Lucerne itself, amaze and inspire her. She shared, “I love the Saturday food market by the Reuss or sitting at a terrace soaking up the downtown atmosphere. I feel truly blessed to call this place home.”

Her birthday wishes for the centre are the hope that it will continue to grow and serve the community. As Charlie said, and as we all hope, “May it have a long life!”

Lily Töngi-Andrews

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