Schooling: an opportunity and a hope for the street children of Cali.

The determination of a small association with a score of members, combined with familiarity with the area and the devotion of nuns, helps work usefully and materially, even with a minimum of resources.

Social and Employment

Cali, Colombia

Bruno Giraudel

5 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/12/01

Project leader



The association Popayan is a small entity working to promote the development of programs for youth, essentially in the areas of hygiene, healthcare, education and training. Its project to help the street children of Cali is directly linked with the Sisters of Prado present on the spot, a religious congregation from Lyon.

The project concerns the schooling of the children over several years, sharing in the expenses of the neighborhood canteen, and opening a street school (primary level) in the same neighborhood. The schooling will give the children the means to fit comfortably into Colombian society. Alongside the teaching, they are supervised by the nuns who give them the daily dose of equilibrium, advice and education that they need to grasp their opportunity.

Since 2009, the opening of the street school offers the most disadvantaged children, in addition to training and basic education, a refuge and an equilibrium that helps shelter them from the perils of the street.

Initiatives that enable over a hundred children to avoid being left to their own devices.


Two nuns have specific responsibility for this project: Sister Marie-Jeanne Vandel for school supervision and the operation of the canteen, and Sister Sofia Malfalda Luna Garrid for the street school. The action is deliberately small scale in order to preserve structures on a human scale in the neighborhood. Today, thirty-two children attend school in the two cycles, about fifty enjoy their daily lunch at the canteen, and another thirty go to the street school.

The investment in which the Foundation shares concerns the improvement of certain installations, such as the drinking water supply of the premises and the sanitary blocks, and the purchase of basic equipment (tables, chairs, kitchen equipment for the canteen, hygiene products) and educational materials for the street school.

The small grant requested for the two years testifies to the desire of the chairman of the association Popayan to control the project closely and to gauge its impact.