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Return of girls to education and schools in conflict-hit areas

School Rehabilitation Project – Afghanistan

A part of the Initiative “Destination Schools Afghanistan”

In Partnership with La Chaîne de l’Espoir

In 2010, the Cuomo Foundation started supporting the rehabilitation of a school in the Panjshir Region, Afghanistan. This renovation is part of the “Destination Schools Afghanistan” program created and managed by La Chaîne de l’Espoir, which promotes the return of girls to education and schools.

Due to the deterioration and unsafe conditions of the Koha Tulkha school, parents were afraid to send their children there. The positive impact of the renovation was an increase by 37% of pupils for the new academic year in March 2011 (110 in total). The Cuomo Foundation has also funded and provided for the school, hygiene and school equipment kits (pens, books, uniforms, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, etc.)

To give better life chances to ex-street kids of favelas

Presença de Sabores, Miguel Couto

A project undertaken with the partnership of Monaco Red Cross

A Collaboration with Monaco Red Cross

At the beginning of 2011, in collaboration with Casa do Menor and Monaco Red Cross International Actions, the “Presença de Sabores” project was created in the favela of Miguel Couto, Rio de Janeiro.

An existing property has been fully adapted and equipped to run as a hotel and catering training school.

This social project gives former street kids a qualified vocation enabling these young adults to gain employment in the catering industry as kitchen assistants, waiters and barmen.

Partnerships have been formed with local professionals, restaurants and hotels to encourage placements.

A healthcare initiative supported within the hospital of Phnom Penh to help cardiac children

Hearts Pavilion, Cambodia

The Children’s Pavilion in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a health and rehabilitation center dedicated to children with heart diseases. The center is managed by the French Association La Chaîne de l’Espoir which has been present in Cambodia since 1988.

A Collaboration with La Chaîne de l’Espoir
The partnership was effective between 2012 and 2014

The “Alfredo and Elena Cuomo Unit”, created with the support of the Cuomo Foundation, opened in the Children’s Pavilion at the beginning of 2012. It offers many new equipments and facilities including a kitchen, a waiting room, a dental facility and patient rooms. Since its initial involvement, the Foundation has been providing major support to the center’s operations until 2015.

“School at the hospital”

Due to the care required, from post-operative phase to long-term follow-up, some children in the Pavilion experience significant delays in their schooling. To minimize the impact of this problem, the Cuomo Foundation supported an educational program called “School in the Hospital”.


“Caravane Cuomo de l’Espoir”

Jointly set up with “La Chaîne de l’Espoir” between 2012 and 2014, this initiative aimed to transfer low-weight Cambodian infants, suffering from serious heart diseases, to Vietnam. In Vietnam, the infants are taken in charge by the Ho Chi Minh City’s Heart Institute, which practices open-heart interventions on these patients.

Under this program which ran for three years, twenty infants were able to receive treatments. In addition to the rescued children, this project also provided Cambodian medical personal from the Children’s Pavilion, travelling with infants, with a very useful overseas professional training.

The Caravan Cuomo has stopped in 2015 since the Pavilion has now the capacity to undertake open-heart surgeries on fragile infants.

Project sustainability

To ensure the sustainability of the Children’s Pavilion, medical practitioners are recruited locally and trained as part of a project, launched in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Cambodia. This is bound to help Cambodian personnel to gradually take over the management of the center in the coming years.

To Provide High-level Education to Under-privileged Girls

School Project for Young Female Pupils

“Toutes à l’école” is a French organisation that promotes education for young girls from vulnerable family backgrounds and extreme poverty in Cambodia

In Partnership with the “Toutes à l’école” association

Throughout the world less than one third of the children enrolled in schools are girls. Because of this observation, the journalist Tina Kieffer decided to found a charity called “Toutes à l’école” in 2005. The mission is to provide high-level education to under-privileged girls and to allow them to get jobs in the future where they can enjoy freedom and dignity.

The Cuomo Foundation supported the funding of a vocational training centre for the pupils of the Happy Chandara School. It was opened in December 2013.

School rehabilitation project after the 2011 earthquake

Destination Ecole – Haiti

In partnership with La Chaîne de l’Espoir

In 2011, following the catastrophic earthquake, the Cuomo Foundation funded through La Chaîne de l’Espoir, the renovation of 10 schools in the Mornes region, Haiti (Dejeume, Roche Pierre, Balisiers, Ranou, Saut-Balisiers, Chrétien, Charles, Tofié, Bois Panyol and Deck). Each school was fully renovated and equipped with tables, benches and blackboards. Six additional classrooms were built.

An after school/work study institute for teenagers and young adults located in Bamako, Mali

CECJ Monseigneur Luc Sangaré

Vocational training for young adults

The Luc Sangaré Centre was built in 2006 on the outskirts of Bamako, the capital of Mali. The centre functions as an after school/work study institute for teenagers and young adults, providing study areas, evening classes, lectures and courses.

In 2010 the Cuomo Foundation supported the funding of an extension to the Centre, a two-storey Building providing two large additional classrooms, a library and video conference centre. Over six hundred students are able to make use of these facilities, all free of charge.

The Cuomo Foundation inaugurated an additional extension of the Luc Sangaré Centre on January 11th, 2014. Since its creation, over 5,000 students have attended the Centre. Those students are mostly students coming from different schools of Bamako, employees or looking for an employment. The daily evening courses, held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., take on topics such as project management, human resources management, computer science, corporate communication and English.

The Foundation also provided funding for educational materials, computers and an electrical generator.

The Hobart Method® is a form of dance therapy for diversely-abled children and adults

Hobart Method, The Dance Therapy

Dance, as an artistic discipline, is a unique way of bringing out non-verbal expressive qualities in diversely-abled as well as the abled person.

The Hobart Method was formulated by Gillian Hobart, well-known dancer and distinguished teacher, guest teacher for modern dance at the National Academy of Dance (Rome), the Syndicated Centre for Dance (Rome) and the Regional Centre of Dance (Perfection Course) in Reggio Emilia; she is also a Counselor in the Psychotherapeutic method of Carl Rogers at the Italian Centre for Clinical Psychology in Rome.

The Hobart Method was developed to focus particularly on the diversely-abled, giving support to a wide range of therapy and its use in the understanding of the body. Its innate ability for personal expression in defense of the non-verbal and physically disadvantaged person, brings about a better relationship with others and ‘know oneself through dance’.

The first positive results of the Hobart Method were evolved and developed at the Association for Assistance and Social Integration (AAIS) in Bracciano, the Cooperative for Solidarity in Ladispoli, and at the Movimento Centrale Dance & Theatre in Rimini. It was also applied in state schools in Emilia-Romagna, focusing on mixed classes presenting aggressiveness, Down’s Syndrome and familial violence.

Throughout the study course, emphasis is also placed on musical appreciation, fundamental to the successful outcome of the body-mind unity.
The Foundation has supported the Hobart Method at Movimento Centrale Centre since 2001.

An organisation that performs face reconstruction surgeries in Niger.

Operation Smile

Face reconstruction surgeries in Niger on young subjects

Operation Smile is an organisation which started in 1989 that performs face reconstruction surgeries in Niger. It aims to help children to be cured of pathologies (noma, burns, congenital malformations, tumors) worsened by malnutrition.

The aim of these operations is not only to bring a solution to the physical and moral throes of these pathologies but also to allow a social rehabilitation.

Two expeditions are organised each year in the National Hospital of Niamey under the direction of Prof. Jean-Marie Servant. With his team of specialists, of which Dr. Daniel Cataldo is a member, more than 1,000 surgeries were performed since the creation of this organisation.

In 2010, the Cuomo Foundation sponsored the “Special Luigi Frateschi support” programme which permitted “a new smile” to 40 young patients.

Prof. Jean-Marie Servant and Dr. Daniel Cataldo on a mission

Placed under the Supervision of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Partnership with The Thuyloi University of Hanoi, Vietnam

An agreement was made in January 2016 between Thuyloi University of Hanoi and the Cuomo Foundation to establish, build and equip a qualified multimedia teaching room. This new teaching unit will serve as a language laboratory and an International Education Centre for its students.

Thuyloi University is recognised as a leading technical university in the field of water resources and hydropower in south East Asia. It offers a multi-disciplined curriculum in mechanics, transportation, construction, water supply and sewerage, IT, natural resources, environment disaster management, water resources, hydropower, economics and climate change from junior college to postgraduate level.



The International Education Centre was implemented in a context where it is compulsory to study English as a subject for all the students of the university and all advanced programmes are taught in English.
Globally, English is increasingly the universal official language for teaching. The university recognises the need for an up-to-date international language centre to create a modern facilitated studying and research environment for students and staff so they are equipped with appropriate skills for careers in the future.

Establishment of a Tiébélé Cultural Cafe

In 2016, the Foundation supported a Tiébélé social enterprise initiative by funding the opening of a ‘Cultural Café’ close to the Tiébélé Royal Courts-an important heritage site situated in the south of Burkino Faso.
The project has proven a financial and social success.

Managed and run by a local ,Mr Herman Nassara, the café offers a unique social meeting centre for not only the local inhabitants but also the many varied cultural tourists who tour the regions historical sites.

Offering both refreshments and information the centre will act as a vital cultural hub involving the diverse groups that make up the social life of this historic village including its local jazz musicians, its guides and the visiting tourists, its youth and the learned elders.

Encouraging an enterprising individual !

Maurice Sagna left school early and with only a basic technical vocational certificate. He lived in Dakar, working primarily in the informal sector but with the commencement of the construction of the Centre Cardio-Pédiatrique Cuomo in Dakar Maurice Sagna found a more permanent position, as he became an official driver for the various teams working on the site.

During this period, he was able to become acquainted with the visiting members of the Cuomo Foundation team and with their encouragement submitted a proposal for his own career initiative and dream of creating his own car rental company with a chauffeur service in Dakar.

The Foundation was impressed by his serious commitment and entrepreneurship and agreed to support and fund his initiative through a 2-tier financing scheme.

In the first stage, one vehicle was purchased followed by a second vehicle purchase and the employment of an additional driver. With the rental of office premises, a genuine business was launched, and Maurice Sagna is now the proud owner of a car rental agency called ‘Authentik Business’.

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