Diana dreams of helping other children like her who have experienced life without a family or a home. In 2018, Diana (13) and her younger sister Alicia (3) were sent to an institution because their mother was deemed unable to care for them; they stayed there for a whole year.
Diana and Alicia aren’t alone. In Bogotá, many children are sent to institutions in similar circumstances. And although institutions in Colombia provide housing and meals, the children don’t receive the nurturing attention, love and affection a family provides. Poverty, violence, and vulnerability are some of the most common causes of children being placed under protective care. However, it doesn’t have to be like this. With love and the right support, many families can overcome these difficulties and stay together.
Thanks to the vital work of Lumos and our partner Michín in Colombia, sisters Diana and Alicia are now living happily with their grandparents. Lumos and Michín are dedicated to working with families to help reunite them, to ensure children thrive and grow in a loving family home. We have successfully reunited many families in Bogotá, but our goal is to continue to give many more children this chance.
Staff have supported Diana’s family through tailored social work and counselling, helping them manage their household finances and strengthen their skills and bond as a family.
“Lumos and Michin’s Team has helped us a lot because we talk in hard situations and we solve them, they have shared very much with us and supported us,” Diana explains.
From her grandparents’ house on the top of a mountain in Bogotá, Diana can see houses and tall buildings, but also some wetlands and green spaces. For her, the main difference between living in the institution and being with her grandparents is the joy she feels in the house and the love and care she experiences. She loves playing with her younger sister and talking with her grandmother.
“What I like the most about living with my grandparents is that I share a lot with them. We treat each other well and we spend time together”, says Diana with a broad smile. She proudly describes how she wrote and performed a song with her cousin for her grandparents. “I need their support to see how the song turned out; so I go and show them!”.
Thanks to the support and loving care Diana now receives from her grandparents, she can dream about her future:
“When I grow up, I want to study three things. Veterinary science to help animals, music to tell the world my story, and graphic design to help people painting their houses”.
Lumos believes that every child should have the chance for a brighter future, starting with the support of a loving family to thrive and grow.
Thanks to the support of Comic Relief USA, Lumos and Michín have continued this essential work with families.