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Gloria, Ana, Juan and Pablo

Family Voices

Gloria, Ana, Juan and Pablo

Overworked and short of money, single mother Gloria was struggling to look after her three children, Ana (14), Juan (10) and Pablo (8).

Without a suitable home or a family support network in their hometown of Bogotá, Colombia, Gloria was frightened about her children’s future. Desperate, she turned to the state for help.

Ana, Juan and Pablo were sent to an institution, where Gloria was assured they would be well-fed and educated, and experience a better quality of life. But that was far from the truth. The experience was traumatising for the children, who lost all hope of living together as a family.

Lumos is working with residential institutions in Colombia to transform the care system there by developing community services, resources and expertise, and demonstrating the benefits of family and community based care. Lumos supported Ana, Juan and Pablo’s safe return home to Gloria, and provided the critical resources and support they needed. A team of psychologists and social workers guided the family through the reunification process and helped Gloria to enroll in an employment programme for women in her area, later supporting her transition back to work.


The family continues to benefit from Lumos’s support with home visits, with Gloria feeling more confident in her parenting skills, and the children receiving support with their education and for extra-curricular activities including football and skating. We’ve also helped them to access a health service closer to their home.

Gloria dreams of having her own sewing workshop, but is concentrating first on supporting her family:

“We’re close now, and I’m always there for them...I’m not focused on economics any more, I’m focused on our relationship.”

Together, the family can look towards the future, and are planning a trip to the sea. And now that he feels safe at home with his family, Pablo has his own dreams too. “I want to be doctor,” he says. “And a policeman.”

Gloria, Ana and Pablo