When Lumos met Viktor (11) and Veronika (14) from Ukraine in 2019, the siblings had been in a boarding school for several years. Their family was struggling financially and didn’t have access to the vital support services they needed to take care of them at home.
The children were miserable at the boarding school and wanted to return home to their parents. Lumos worked with the local authority to help the family and to bring Viktor and Veronika safely home. Their father now has a full-time job and can support the family.
Their mother is delighted that the family can now enjoy life together. “I’m very happy that my children are with me and I can see them every day,” she says.
Viktor now has access to a special needs teacher and the support he needs to thrive at his community school. Both children have friends and enjoy several hobbies. In the boarding school, Viktor could not speak in full sentences – now he talks joyfully about playing football and spending time with the family’s horse, Masha.
Veronika is already thinking about what profession she wants to have when she grows up. Together at home, the family can now look towards the future.
“I hardly saw my parents before,” Veronika says. “Now, I see them very often!”
Lumos is supporting Ukrainian authorities at national and regional levels to implement holistic care reform, guaranteeing the right of children to grow up in families. We’ve supported the development of policy and regulatory frameworks, as well as providing training to over 3,000 decision-makers and professionals.
Since we started to work in Ukraine in 2013, four institutions have been closed and six are in the process of transformation, reducing the number of institutionalised children in the demonstration region by 48%.