J.K. Rowling hosts charity conference, meets with girl helped by Lumos

J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, has helped nearly 12,000 children move out of institutions and be reunited with their families or communities over the last five years. Last week, during a conference she hosted for government officials in London, Rowling was able to meet one of the children she’s helped face to face.

Jo hosted the conference to raise awareness about the work of Lumos and to push for the end of the institutionalization of children by the end of our lifetime, saying,

Locking children away, often in atrocious conditions, has a Grimm’s fairy tale quality about it… I recently committed to becoming President of Lumos for Life, and it is my dream that by the time my life ends, the very concept of taking a child away from its family and locking it away will seem to belong to a cruel, fictional world.

Fourteen-year-old Dumitriţa, a young girl who lived in a Moldovan institution for five years before being reunited with her family in 2013, also spoke at the conference, moving the audience to tears with her story and bravery. J.K. Rowling tweeted of Dumitriţa’s words:

Since leaving the institution, Dumitriţa, who is disabled and has some learning difficulties, has become an advocate of inclusive education for all children and is thriving at a mainstream school. Her success story is just one of thousands that has been made possible by the work of Lumos and the generosity of J.K. Rowling. You can read the entire dossier of the conference here.

At the conference, Rowling also helped to launch Let’s Talk Lumos, a new social media campaign aimed to help raise awareness about the harmful effects of institutionalization, facts that are especially appalling considering that over 80% of institutionalized children have living parents. You can help spread the word about Lumos by visiting the Let’s Talk Lumos page and using the hashtag #LetstalkLumos on social media.

In conjunction with these efforts, Lumos is also currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to help children in Moldova access education. Thanks to a generous donation by Rowling to cover operating costs of this fundraiser, 100% of the funds donated will go directly to helping children in need. You can donate right here.

With our help, Lumos and Jo can continue to make a tremendous difference in the lives of children like Dumitriţa, who deserve love and support rather than a toxic and harmful upbringing in institutional conditions. As always, Jo is using her influence to make real magic happen in the world.