Lumos Ambassador, Sophie Ellis-Bextor was left heartbroken after meeting disabled children in Ukrainian orphanages, and shocked to meet others who had been separated from their family due to poverty and poor eyesight.
Sophie visited an orphanage in Ukraine for children with visual impairment and was surprised to meet children as young as six living in an institution because they wear glasses. These children are classed as having special educational needs and are unable to go to mainstream schools, so their parents are forced to send them to special institutions, far away from their families.
Sophie said, “As a mother I can’t imagine having to choose whether to keep my child at home or send them away for an education simply because they have to wear glasses.”
Watch her visit
Sophie Ellis Bextor visits an orphanage in Ukraine
Sophie: We have come to visit an orphanage here, we have seen two today, and this second one has been pretty challenging. There is one building I just went to see that house 20 boys. They all have quite severe disabilities, it's quite disturbing.
So there is no privacy, no independent play, no one on one with an adult. There is one little boy aged 8, he's in the same space as what I think were men in their 30s. No-one is playing with him and no-one is taking him outside, and he was desperate for me to take him out of his buggy. And I have had to leave him there and that's really tough.
Titles: There are more than 100,000 children in orphanages in Ukraine. Help Lumos change this.