Lumos today announced its expansion into Colombia, following the growth of its programmes in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. This progress, following the establishment of a Haiti base in 2015, marks a significant step in the organisation’s mission to end the institutionalisation of children globally by 2050.
According to the ICBF, there are over 10,000 children living in institutions in Colombia. CEO of Lumos, Georgette Mulheir, said:
"Our mission is to give every child the start in life they deserve and we are delighted to continue the expansion of our work in LAC, where we have already seen such positive change. Working alongside our partners in Colombia, our aim is to support the transformation of the care system to enable families to stay together and indeed, prevent children entering orphanages in the first place.”
After more than a decade working in Europe, the continuing expansion of Lumos’ LAC presence is part of a long-term strategy to develop models of family-based care in different regions of the world. An estimated 8 million children currently live in orphanages and other institutions, putting them at increased risk of abuse, trafficking and developmental delays.
Lumos has reached a tipping point in Europe – where the target is to end the institutionalisation of children by 2030. To achieve its mission, Lumos works alongside partners including governments, NGOs and funders, to change the way we care for vulnerable children. By transforming education, health and social care systems for children and their families, children can move from institutions to family-based care.
The launch was announced during a 'Symposium on the transformation of care services for children in Colombia', in Bogota. The Symposium brought together public sector and civil society professionals to discuss best practice in the field, and is one in a series of conferences presented by Lumos and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the University of Ireland, Galway, and Pennsylvania State University. It is hoped that the partnerships and commitments formed during the Symposium will build the momentum and network to start the transition towards community-based services.
 Alianza por la Niñez Colombiana: Informe al Senado sobre Ley 1098. Noviembre 2016.