LETTER FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dear LEO Fund community,
On behalf of The LEO Fund board, we hope that this letter finds you, our LEO family, safe and healthy. 2020 has been a difficult and challenging year, impacting all of us. We have worked to adapt to a global pandemic, headed the call for racial justice, endured economic challenges, and seen our daily lives upended. This truth is no less evident than in our partnering communities in the neighborhoods around Cali, Colombia. While complying with governmental quarantine measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, many families found themselves without food and basic supplies, struggling to survive.
Due to the economic realities and lack of basic services in our partnering communities, many families routinely survive on less than one US dollar a day. Without an ability to work and earn a normal living, many families found themselves facing extremely dire circumstances.
Despite hardship, we are encouraged by the stories of solidarity and community that have been shared with us throughout 2020. We hope you will read more below, about each of the projects The LEO Fund supported this year. In the words of Lonis Murillo however, Director of Fundación Talentos, one of The LEO Fund’s partnering programs: “This is proof, that in times of great crisis, human beings bring out their very best to support their fellow human beings.”
As we look forward to 2021 and prepare to start our two newest projects, we are asking for your help. This holiday season, please consider making a financial donation to The LEO Fund. This can be as a one-time donation, enrolling as a sustaining supporter, or perhaps a donation to LEO in lieu of a holiday gift for a friend or family member.
This holiday season, some of our supporters have pledged $7,000 in support going into 2021. Let’s double the impact and match their generosity! Visit our Ways of Giving page on our website to learn about how you can support us.
As an all-volunteer agency, we work to ensure that 95% of all our donated resources go directly to our projects. This way, you can be assured that your generous donation will tangibly impact those you hope to help. We thank you for your support and for helping us make this a better world.
Ryan McLean, Yeiffer Molina, Morgan Owen, Haley Stupasky
Over the last year, The LEO Fund has seen the successful completion of four projects.
•The remodeling and expansion of the Fundacion Talentos school in the Altos de Menga neighborhood, that allowed for the addition of new projects such as art, music, and writing classes, as well as the ability to expand the school capacity almost doubling the student population.
•The LEO Fund supported Afro-Colombian women in the Brisas de Comuneras neighborhood, through the provision of business classes and commercial food preparation supplies so that they could expand their fledgling business growing their skills and creating brighter economic opportunities.
•We partnered with many other agencies around Cali, Colombia to help purchase and provide critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and healthcare workers in the Pacific Coast region who were previously caring for COVID-19 positive sick patients without necessary medical supplies.
•And, during the most desperate times of the COVID-19 quarantine, we successfully completed a humanitarian project providing two weeks of basic food and cleaning supplies to over 300 families and the students and faculty of the Salem school directly impacting over 1,450 people.
These incredible results were only made possible through the hard work of our partners in Colombia and through the financial support of you, our LEO Fund family.
Learn More about Colombia
What social issues are present in the communities we support? How does this connect to overall social issues in Colombia? How does it relate to us in the United States?
We are always learning and relearning about Colombian culture and society. Here are just a few resources you can use:
The Sound of Things Falling(El ruido de las cosas al caer) by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
The City of Musical Memory: Salsa, Record Grooves and Popular Culture in Cali, Colombia by Lise A. Waxer
There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia by Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno
Colombia: A Concise Contemporary History by Michael J. LaRosa
Articles, Web Resources
Recursos para hispanoblantes