J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, has been a frontrunner in the effort to deinstitutionalize orphaned children, as well as children who have been taken from their homes due to poverty, disabilities, or being an ethnic minority. The charity, started by J.K. Rowling in 2005, seeks to fund and incorporate alternative programs to provide better lives and more opportunities for children facing adversity, working primarily in several Eastern European countries, such as the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine. According to Rowling,
There is still much to be done to transform the lives of eight million children in institutions worldwide – including raising awareness and challenging the misconception around the world that orphanages are ‘good’ for children in adversity, which they are not.
According to the annual review for the charity, Lumos has saved the lives of 450+ children suffering from malnutrition and neglect, redirected €367m in EU funding from institutions to community based care, trained over 6,000 social workers, health professionals, teachers, and policy makers, and supported 12,000 children to move from institutional to community-based care.
The review also announced,
More than 40 policy-makers, whose decisions affect the lives of millions of children in ten countries on four continents, will attend a ground-breaking event organised by Lumos, J.K. Rowling’s children’s charity, which is committed to ending the continuing practice of institutionalising children in so-called orphanages worldwide by 2050.
The event will be a specialized training course geared toward teaching world politicians the importance of implementing these alternative programs in their own countries. Lumos seeks to end institutionalization by the year 2050. Many attendees will be from European countries whose policies concerning the institutionalization of children in orphanages or other institutions has remained virtually unchanged in the post-Communist era, according to the review.
To read the full review and learn more about J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, head here. There is plenty of information about the causes the charity supports, the work they do, and how you can get involved! Also, don’t forget about the special fundraising event that we mentioned earlier where you can win some fantastic Harry Potter prizes while helping to benefit J.K. Rowling’s charity just in time for her birthday!
Update: According to International Business Times, Lumos is now seeking help from Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in order to bring the mission of getting rid of institutionalizing children one step closer to completion.
The charity wants MEPs to vote to prevent EU member states from spending any public money to support institutions outside of Europe, and members of the public can help.
If you would like to help Lumos in said mission, then you can contact an MEP in your region (either via Twitter or email) and ask them to sign the Lumos pledge. To gain information about who to contact – if you’re not entirely sure – please visit this page. All you have to do is select your country’s flag and then choose the appropriate person you would like to get in touch with.
We here at MuggleNet are proud to support Rowling in her charitable efforts and to be able to bring you this news about her newest effort at making the world a better place.