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Berenika Stefanska

Stefanska’s visit to a family who had benefitted from FAO Somalia’s Milk Nutrition Project. Stefanska said she felt lucky to help change the lives of Somali people (June, 2014) © FAO Somalia

FAO mourns the loss of its dear colleague and friend.

Berenika Stefanska, FAO Communications Expert, has passed away at the age of 33.

On Thursday 8th September 2016, Stefanska was involved in a tragic plane accident in Kenya which resulted in her instantaneous death.

Described by one of her FAO colleagues as "always reaching for the stars and encouraging others to do the same", Stefanska joined FAO Somalia as a Videographer in June 2013 after working as a reporter across East Africa. A fearless adventurer, in 2011, Stefanska traveled to Jubba, South Sudan where she began her career as a Journalist for Reuters News Agency.

FAO Representative Richard Trenchard, in his letter to staff, recounted her depthless passion for Somalia, its people, and future. She was "committed to telling the story of Somalia as it really is," said Richard Trenchard.
"Somalia's energy and enthusiasm seemed to shine through every story Stefanska told".
"Stefanska's many friends and colleagues will be as devastated as we are by this shocking news."

Friend and former colleague, Frank Nyakairu, spoke of Berenika Stefanska as "larger than life". "She brought a great deal of courage, always pushing the boundaries, with a joyous charm and boundless charisma to her work," Nyakairu said.

Tributes to Berenika Stefanska

Here is a selection of comments from those whose lives she touched.

We have lost one if our finest colleagues. Berenika was a fearless journalist and adventurer. We shall miss her depthless passion for Somalia, its people and its future. She leaves us a legacy of extraordinary work – a true inspiration.
Richard Trenchard, FAO Somalia Representative

I think of Berenika as a meteorite – dazzling, fast and beautiful.
May her soul rest in peace.
Chi Lael, FAO Somalia

She would often wear a pendant of the dragon of St. George around her neck, a symbol of faith, devotion, and fearlessness. She told me that St. George was one of her greatest inspirations to be unafraid and to have faith in the hardest times.
Patrina Pink, FAO El Niño Surge Response Team

It is hard to believe. She produced lots of state-of-the-art video products for FAO. In solidarity with FAO-Somalia, RAF Communication Network mourns and deeply regrets this considerable loss.
Liliane Kambirigi, FAO Regional Office for Africa