The number of chidren we care for has grown from 4 in 1999 to 40 now. Our plan of action is to respond to the daily needs of this group of handicapped orphans and where possible place them in families.
Those who are able to express themselves are aware of what we are doing for them. Some have been under our sponsorship for more than 20 years. Others, sadly, have only a short life.
Having listened to Malian professionals, the LEO Association has entered into partnerships in Bamako with the Centre d’Accueil et de Placement Familial (CAPF), the Direction Nationale de la Promotion de l’Enfant et de la Famille (DNPEF), the Denkagneta Association and the NGO Santé Sud.
An annual partnership agreement formalises our activites with CAPF and DNPEF to respond to the therapeutic and educational needs of the handicapped children.
This is a Malian legal association, which was created in 2009 by some social workers and parents of handicapped children to coordinate education and family placements for the handicapped orphans. The activities are subsidized by LEO and are governed by an annual partnership agreement.
Sante Sud is an international NGO, created in Marseille in 1984 by health professionals to promote access to care by the most vulnerable. It has a national branch in Bamako managed by Malian development directors.
In 2006, LEO approached Santé Sud to access its expertise in projects associated with abandoned handicapped children. Since then, in addition to financing the daily lives of handicapped children, LEO has partnered with Santé Sud in 3-year programmes, which have allowed us to present to the Malian public authorities the difficulties of the daily and future existence of orphans in general and handicapped orphans in particular.
The programmes in years 2009-2013, 2015-2018 and 2019-2021, supported by both state and private institutions, (Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Direction de la Coopération of Monaco and others) have helped reduce the number of children being abandoned and have improved care conditions for children who have no family by providing training and coaching to state and non-state bodies.
Santé Sud works with a network of medical and social professionals from the North and South to improve the care of children who have no family in Mali whilst at the same time working to limit the number of abandoned children by raising awareness in communities of the issues around unwanted pregnancies.
In the current 3 year programme of 2019-2021, we continue the focus on the well-being of orphans in institutions, including handicapped orphans. Research is under way with foster families into alternative solutions to institutional care.