• Since 1999 - For the health and education of disabled orphans in Mali

The Leo Association

Since 1999, the LEO Association goal has been to support abandoned, handicapped orphans in Bamako, Mali. These children suffer from both being orphans and handicapped.
Leo is the name of the very first orphan taken into the care of the association and his smile has become its emblem.

There are few resources in Mali to care for such disadvantaged children. The Centre d’Accueil et de Placement Familial (CAPF), known as the ‘Pouponnière de Bamako’, is the only public organisation in Mali that takes in abandoned children although its main purpose does not take into account the handicapped.

Donations allow us to hire local staff who share the same culture and traditions as the children and who ensure that their handicap is treated not as a death sentence but as a condition.


In 1999 in Bamako, Mali, Juliette Soto became aware of the exclusion from society suffered by very young handicapped orphans. In order to support their cause, we created a registered charity in France (under the law of 1901): Leo
Leo is the name of the first orphan the charity took under its wing; his smile became the emblem of the charity. He is now more then 20 years old and has made progress in spite of his serious handicap.

– Support abandoned handicapped orphans in Bamako, they are doubly excluded by being both orphans and handicapped.
– Prioritise above all the interests of the children when seeking solutions in their own country with local partners and the Malian public authorities to their funding requirements and their futures.
– Put emphasis on their care and activities: neurological consultations, orthopedic treatment, therapy, schooling, educational activities, teaching, play…..

Places for handicapped children to live do not exist in Mali. CAPF, otherwise known as the Bamako Children’s Home, makes room for them in the absence of an alternative. The oldest child is more than 20 years old….

Local Malian professionals: doctors, therapists, educators….The charity helps to pay for the fees.

There are many different problems: Motor disability handicaps, mental illness, cerebral palsy, autism….
The number of children is growing constantly: there are 40 in 2017 with regular new admissions but also there are deaths due to the frailty of these children and the difficult sanitary conditions. In Mali, 1 child in 5 dies before the age of 5 years old.

Some of the children are able to enjoy adapted schooling. All of them benefit from care: neurological, psychological, orthopedic, therapy…
All of the group participate in educational and teaching activities, in outings: the museum gardens, the park with games, the zoo…

Under a partnership agreement with the local ministry guardian, the charity provides funding to care for them and to educate them: the children are improving, they do not suffer from malnutrition and they are benefitting from ongoing medical supervision. We have been caring for some of them for more than 17 years, sadly others have short lives.

From the generosity and loyalty over the last 17 years of sponsors, and donations from individuals, associations and businesses.

In Bamako : CAPF, DNPEF, Santé Sud, Centre Bernard Vespieren, CRHP, AMALDEME. CNAOM, Spana.
In France : Santé Sud Marseille, Demisenya, Klali Nantes, Le Cœur au Mali Rodez, Blachère Apt, Rencontres des Cultures Saignon, Mairie de Mazan, Malik Nejmi.

hese children are very weak, improvement in their care cannot happen without the permanent involvement of the Malian guardian authorities who determine the methods of intervention and the effectiveness of specific actions linked to the handicap.

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and donors, the Leo volunteers are able to work to support handicapped orphans in Bamako and continue to seek funds to:
– Strengthen local competencies in partnership with the professionals of the Santé Sud Marseille and Bamako NGO.
– Study the feasibility of family placements, and professional and social inclusion for these children and young adults within the Malian socio-cultural context.
– Participate in the development of a living space project adapted to the needs of the growing handicapped children. 60% of them have passed the age limit for the Bamako Children’s Home (5 years old) and 3 are now adults.


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April 10th, 12:04 pm
Association LEO

Voici le bulletin LEO d'avril 2023 présenté lors de l'Assemblée Générale du 1er avril à Saignon. Bonne lecture ! ... See MoreSee Less

Voici le bulletin LEO davril 2023 présenté lors de lAssemblée Générale du 1er avril à Saignon. Bonne lecture !

Comment on Facebook

Un bulletin rempli d'amour. Merci. Tu es et resteras à jamais dans nos cœurs champion 💕 repose en paix 💕

March 15th, 11:23 am
Association LEO

L'assemblée générale LEO 2023 se tiendra le samedi 1er avril à 17 heures à Saignon à l'invitation de l'association Rencontre des Cultures. A cette occasion nous présenterons des photos de Léo décédé le 22 juillet 2022 à Bamako ainsi que le prochain bulletin qui lui sera dédié. ... See MoreSee Less

Lassemblée générale LEO 2023 se tiendra le samedi 1er avril à 17 heures à Saignon à linvitation de lassociation Rencontre des Cultures. A cette occasion nous présenterons des photos de Léo décédé le 22 juillet 2022 à Bamako ainsi que le prochain bulletin qui lui sera dédié.

Comment on Facebook

A traves ses images il est immortalisé!

Ces photos sont tres belles

February 19th, 1:50 pm
Association LEO

5eme année de partenariat avec l’Association pour Personnes à Besoins Spécifiques pour l’accueil de jour de 10 orphelins en situation de handicap soutenus par l'association LEO. Ils sont soignés, éduqués, nourris le midi, continuons ensemble ! ... See MoreSee Less

December 28th, 11:19 am
Association LEO

Bonne fin d'année avec les meilleurs voeux 2023 des bénévoles LEO ! ... See MoreSee Less

Bonne fin dannée avec les meilleurs voeux 2023 des bénévoles LEO !

Comment on Facebook

Très jolie hommage, émouvant et touchant comme Léo au quotidien

Très émouvant l'hommage rendu à Léo puisse il reposé en paix! Merci a l'association Léo pour les multiples efforts consentis pour le bien être des enfants en situation de handicap! Bonne et heureuse année 2023

Que des souvenirs quand nous t'avons récupéré en 2001 à la pouponnière. Tu avais retrouvé le plaisir de jouer avec Bakary et Azoulou. Tu éclatait de rire en tapant des mains dès que le plat de riz arrivait !!! RIP grand Léo que j'ai connu enfant. ❤️

October 18th, 11:13 am
Association LEO

... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

C'était merveilleux ce jour là


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We are all volunteers

Working with volunteers means not only that we can reduce our expenditure but it provides a strong human dimension to our work with the handicapped orphans who have very special needs.

Board Members : Catherine COSTE – Claire DENIS – Thierry MUR – Christian NENON – Patricia PECHON – Bernard PECHON – Juliette SOTO

Serving handicapped orphans

We support handicapped orphans to serve their interests alone in dealing with the Malian authorities and local partners to improve their daily life and their future.

Care and Education

We pay for medical care, neurological and orthopedic consultations, therapy, schooling, play and teaching activities.

Donations/ Sponsorship

You can support our activities with handicapped orphans by completing the donation or sponsorship form.

Our partners