Local shopkeepers in Cali find an economic opportunity with The LEO Fund

The Humanitarian Aid project to 300 low-income families in the hillside and eastern areas of Cali will benefit some shopkeepers from the two territories

“Participating in this project is a blessing, because in addition to helping alleviate hunger for so many people who are suffering, earning income in a crisis situation like COVID-19 will help me restock my store and pay my rent,” said Alejandra Almario with emotion in her voice.  Alejandra is a shopkeeper living in Agua Blanca in the east side of Cali, Colombia. She is one of the shop owners that will be working with The LEO Fund to provide food and supplies to help feed 300 families who are struggling during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The LEO Fund’s humanitarian aid to 300 low-income families in the hillside and eastern areas of Cali - Colombia for the COVID-19 quarantine project provides two weeks of basic food supplies such as rice, beans, lentils, and other items, as well as cleaning and sanitary products. With the help of our community partners, purchases will be made from stores like Alejandra’s, located directly within the communities themselves. This project will provide an additional economic stimulus and multiply the positive social impact.

Faced with an unprecedented public health emergency, the resulting quarantine requires that the general public confine themselves to their homes. Many families within our partnering communities make their living as street vendors. As the heads of their households, the loss of economic opportunity places their families in extremely desperate conditions. A lack of food and basic supplies often impacts children or elderly family members the most.

According to Karen Tatiana Usuriaga, a shopkeeper in the Ladera hillside area, being a part of the project as a contracted supplier is a blessing. Like many others, she has been struggling financially as a business owner and this opportunity "gives us a break," helping to make it through the crisis.

Given the high level of informality within in many neighborhood stores, The LEO Fund and our community partners worked intentionally to identify four community markets, who are formally registered and have the necessary documents to comply with the legal requirements of the Colombian government.

The humanitarian aid to 300 low-income families in the hillside and eastern areas of Cali, Colombia for the COVID-19 quarantine project is being overseen by the Fundacion Talentos in the Altos de Menga neighborhood, and will be completed in partnership and with resource assistance from the Association Red Cultural Agency and the community radio station Oriente Estéreo Cali, Colombia.

Your financial support to The LEO Fund assists in social justice and community development programs such as this, positively impacting the lives of others. Please consider a donation to The LEO Fund so that we can sustain and grow our partnerships with these amazing community leaders.

Alejandra Almario is one of the shopkeepers participating in the Humanitarian Aid project for 300 vulnerable families in Cali-Colombia.

Using neighborhood stores is part of the projects economic strategy to help provide economic stimulus into our partnering communiites. 

Thank you to our neighborhood volunteers who helped make this project possible!.