In January 1999 in Bamako, Mali, Juliette Soto became aware of the abandoned, disabled orphans. The Leo charity (the law of 1901) was founded in France to support these child outcasts.
Leo is the name of the first orphan the charity started to care for; his smile became the charity’s logo. Leo is now 20 years old and has been able to make progress in spite of his serious handicap.
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LEO IN 10 QUESTIONS
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.
To improve conditions for the lives of handicapped orphans in Bamako. They suffer from the double exclusion of being both orphans and handicapped.
The charity provides financial assistance to care for and educate them: the children are making improvements and they have the benefit of medical care. We have been caring for some children since 1999, others, sadly, have had only short lives.
Serving handicapped orphans
We prioritise the interests of handicapped orphans in dealing with the Malian authorities and local partners to improve their care and plan for their future.
Care and Education
We pay for medical care, neurological and orthopedic consultations, therapy, schooling, play and teaching activities.
You can support our activities with handicapped orphans by completing the donation or sponsorship form.