The Hogar de la Luz Foundation in Calí, Colombia provides approximately sixty abused girls between eight and eighteen years old with a safe home and an opportunity to receive a proper education. The girls were abandoned by their families or come from a home where they were not properly protected and nourished.
Located close to our Pulp and Performance Chemicals (Eka) production site in Cali, the Hogar de la Luz Foundation wanted to improve their security and develop recreational areas where the girls could play. Our Calí colleagues decided to give their support and asked the Community Program to also help out with the project.
One of the main things that needed to be fixed was the perimeter fence, which was broken and presented a security problem for the girls living at the home. About twenty Eka employees volunteered to help construct the missing part of the fence. To make the perimeter safer, they also planted trees to create a natural barrier that would limit the access of unwanted strangers.
Another key issue was the lack of recreation and sports facilities where the girls’ could play as they transition throughout the adaptation process. To fix this, one of the free areas at the Foundation was transformed into a multipurpose court, where the girls could play different sports such as basketball, mini football and volleyball.
Our volunteering colleagues helped build and paint these courts and also provided Hogar the la Luz with the proper balls and equipment to play these sports, which helps the girls get over their past negative experiences.
Juan León, an AkzoNobel colleague who was closely involved in this project, expressed how much this experience meant to him and his colleagues, “This project gave us all the chance to see a different side of life. We now truly realize how lucky we are to have possessions, a job and families that love us. Spending time with these girls inspired us to continue our support for Hogar de la Luz and to keep making a difference in these girls’ lives.”
As a result of the hard work and efforts of our colleagues in Calí, the girls can now enjoy a safe and healthy existence at the home. They have an opportunity to learn and maintain their health by playing at the new facilities.
AkzoNobel is proud of our colleagues for brightening up the lives of the girls of Hogar de la Luz and hope that this positive change is the first of many exciting new developments in their lives.