Lou Calen is first and foremost a human project, based on sharing and goodwill. Deeply tied to the village where it was created, the project is dedicated to revive and share the history and Provencal culture of Cotignac.

Its goal is to contribute to the economic and cultural development of the village to the benefit of the Cotignac community as a whole.

Heritage restoration, development of local cultural initiatives, global solidarity… the flame of Lou Calen has never been so strong.

In 2015, the NGO « Cotignac Côté Culture » opened the « La Falaise Art Centre » in Cotignac. Ideally situated in the heart of the village, it presents exhibitions which are open to all artistic disciplines including painting, sculpture, photography and new forms of expression. Visitors of all ages are welcome to discover the works of recognized or emerging artists often inaccessible in remote villages.

In addition to the art exhibitions, the Art Centre also hosts concerts and conferences, and supports other cultural events outside its walls.

Heritage Projects

Lou Calen supports heritage preservation projects such as the restoration of two historic monuments in Cotignac:

  • Saint Martin Chapel (1174): repair of the roof and frame, restoration of the facade and removal of the floor.
  • Watchtowers (12th century) located at the top of the famous limestone cliffs of the village : addition of glazing to the crests of the two medieval towers to protect the buildings from rainwater erosion.

Baraka Community Partnerships is a small, UK-based charity, founded in 2007, that currently operates in Zambia and Laos.

Baraka firmly believes that the long -term route out of poverty is through education, and approximately 80% of its funds are focused on improving educational infrastructure and resources for rural communities and children.

The charity also has healthcare, water and sanitation initiatives.

Baraka Learning Centre, Zambia

The Learning Centre is an educational hub and resource to many schools in a rural part of Zambia near Kapiri-Mposhi. These schools have no computers and lack basic resources such as books, desks and in some cases even classrooms. Baraka aims to help raise the standards of education in the area and anticipates 15,000-20,000 visits per annum to the Centre.

Laos Book Boats

Baraka funds two library boats that operate along the Mekong and Ou Rivers. The boats reach rural schools that are often inaccessible by road and conduct educational games and learning sessions as well as handing out educational resources and supplies such as soaps, toothpaste etc. They are an invaluable boost to the schools and a source of joy and delight to the kids who always rush down to the riverbank in anticipation when the boats arrive.

Zambia Medical trips

Baraka conducts a biannual volunteer medical trip to Zambia in partnership with a Canadian Hospital. The purpose of these trips is to save and enhance the lives of people without access to healthcare. During the last trip in 2019, over 1200 patients were seen by volunteers in a mobile clinic.

Zambian Schools

Baraka supports over 20 schools in Zambia and helps provide basic necessities such as books, desks, chalk and pens as well as larger items such as toilets and classrooms. Baraka also provides and trains teachers and has a sponsorship programme that has enabled over 100 kids to return to school.