Lumos is an independent international NGO, founded and chaired by the author J.K. Rowling which works to end the systematic institutionalisation of children, a practice that separates them from their families where they are raised in large residential institutions, often known as ‘orphanages’.
There are eight million children currently living in institutions around the world. More than 90% of them are not orphans, but have living parents. The reasons for being separated from their families are most often because of grinding poverty, discrimination, or a lack of community based services.
Lumos’ vision is of a world in which all children have the opportunity to grow up in a safe and caring family setting or, where this is not possible, in a family type service that meets all their needs, respects their rights and ensures they can fulfil their potential.
Lumos does this through the process of de-institionalisation which is about transforming the way governments and communities think about looking after vulnerable children. Family support services in the community, inclusive schools and foster care can be developed to replace institutions and the money spent on poor quality care in institutions can be directed towards ensuring that children stay or return where they belong to – a loving family environment.