New Lumos Charity Ambassador Visits Ukrainian Orphanage
It’s no secret that the Dursleys could have easily put Harry in an orphanage to get away from his magic, but what if they had been made to do so because Harry needed glasses? Sophie Ellis-Bextor, singer and new ambassador for J.K. Rowling’s Lumos, witnessed just that in Ukraine.
In Ukraine, children as young as six may be made to live in an institution because they have poor eyesight. They’re classed as unable to attend mainstream schools, and their parents have no alternative to help them get an education. Ellis-Bextor laments that the kids she saw “had no toys, they had no personality to their living quarters, no time that was their own” and no one-on-one time with adults to get the love and care they need. According to Lumos, more than 100,000 children in Ukraine live in orphanages and institutions like this.
Lumos was founded in 2005 and aims to rid the world of children’s orphanages and institutions by the year 2050. Lumos’s chief executive, Georgette Mulheir, says, “We are absolutely thrilled to have Sophie Ellis-Bextor join Lumos as our newest ambassador.” Ellis-Bextor has been a passionate advocate for children for years and Mulheir goes on to say that Lumos is “extremely fortunate to have Sophie’s support as we strive to end the institutionalisation of all children.”
Lumos is aptly named since it’s bringing light to the world. According to the charity, the number of children living in institutions in Moldova, where Ellis-Bextor visited a school that provides inclusive education for students with disabilities, has fallen by 86% since 2007. Lumos has been working in Moldova since 2006.