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not orphanages

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My regret at volunteering in an orphanage


"It was 2010, I was just finishing my A levels and had two months before starting university. I knew I wanted to go away and ...

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Why do Dickensian orphanages still exist?


How far has the world really moved on since Dickens wrote Oliver Twist’s tale? And do Dickensian orphanages still exist elsewhere?

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Learning Lessons from the past to tackle modern day orphanage myth


In 2001, together with representatives from the European Commission, I made an unannounced visit to an orphanage in Romania. It was situated in a town ...

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Why are we surprised by children starving in a Belarusian orphanage?


“Almost 100 children and young people have been found on the brink of starvation in orphanages in Belarus, prompting widespread public revulsion and a criminal ...

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What does Freedom Day mean in Haiti?


On the 5th of February, the Haitian police broke up a trafficking ring at Kaliko Beach – a stunning Caribbean resort that is a hotspot ...

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I have seen many institutions, just like Virgen de la Asunción, where tragedy is inevitable


On International Women’s Day 2017, at least 29 girls died following a fire at a children’s home in Guatemala. That headline conjures an image of ...

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For 800 years, the problem of orphanages has been underestimated and misunderstood


Could a potential investment from the MacArthur Foundation finally help bring an end to this particular injustice against children? Over the past two decades, I ...

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After the hurricane: helping Haiti rebuild families and communities


As Hurricane Matthew hurtled towards Haiti last Tuesday, my team and I were hoping the storm would change trajectory or lose some of its force ...

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Father's Day


When children are vulnerable – following war or disasters – it is often because they are left behind with only one parent. In many cases ...

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The 1st of June: What it Means to a Child’s Identity and the Right to Family and Future


In many countries, the 1st of June is celebrated as international children’s day. Over my years working to end the institutionalization of children, I have ...

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What literacy can do for children in institutions


We may just about grasp the challenges faced by a very poor Romanian family with five children, including a daughter in a wheelchair, when they ...

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NGOs Ramp up Push for Better UN Data


Desperately poor and bereft at the death of his wife, Daniel’s father made the only choice he could for his six-year-old son. But Daniel, afraid ...

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‘Proud beyond words’: Lumos, 2015 overall winner of the Charity Awards


Lumos Foundation had never entered an awards competition before this year. So its staff were astounded to win the overall award at the Charity Awards, ...

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Successful international development needs families


A group of children in a residential special school crowd around us when we visit, pulling at our clothes and hair, craving our attention and ...

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Why money should follow the child


My first job, as a young Residential Social Worker in Sheffield, Northern England, involved supporting very young mothers and babies to stay together. It brought ...

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Giving disabled children a voice in decisions affecting their lives is important - and inspirational


FOR more than 20 years, in 23 countries, I have helped to move disadvantaged and disabled children out of institutions and so-called orphanages, where their ...

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Five years after the earthquake, Haiti’s children need families, not orphanages


Five years ago today, my family and I had just buried my father. Hundreds attended his funeral. We had the time we needed to mourn ...

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Three Christmases in Romania


In Northern Transylvania, Christmas is extraordinary. Picture-postcard mountains and pine forest, covered with a metre of snow. The air crisp and cold. Horse-drawn sleighs drive ...

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International Human Rights Day


“They hide us away… and treat us like animals. But we are not animals. We are human beings. And we have rights”. EACH year, on ...

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HIV/AIDS and children’s institutions – stories from Europe and Africa


When I first worked in Romania, in the early 1990s, there were hushed discussions and rumours about the problem of HIV infection in the institutions. ...

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Nothing prepares you for seeing a child in a cage


Nothing prepares you for seeing a child in a cage. There is something so viscerally wrong with caging children that the image confronting you makes ...

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Children behind the walls


On the 9th of November, 1989, the Berlin Wall was breached. We, the children of the cold war, watched in awe, as thousands from behind ...

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Ebola orphans need family care, not life in an orphanage


We can scarcely imagine the trauma in a young child’s life when their mother, or father, or both, die from a terrible disease. They can ...

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Orphan Day


Five years ago, my father died. I was a grown-up. I had spent my entire career working with children who were grief-stricken and bereaved in ...

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The misery of disabled children in institutions


Millions of institutionalised children live in shadows and darkened rooms, hidden from the outside world, with no power over their lives and little hope of ...

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Three little words that make a big difference


It's actually five little words, but I had to draw your attention to a hugely important clause which could - if left unamended - result ...

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First National Conference on Trafficking in Persons in Haiti


On Wednesday 21 June 2017, we launched the first National Conference on the Trafficking in Persons in Haiti. The National Committee aims to address a ...

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Lumos Self-Advocates Prove that Young People can be Catalysts for Change


Most of us take for granted just how many choices we make every day – deciding to snooze the alarm for ten precious minutes of ...

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Lumos’ Principles of Child and Youth Participation


In celebration of Youth Participation Month 2017, we asked Nancy, Child & Youth Participation Coordinator at Lumos, to provide her ten key principles for youth ...

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Child care reform in India, one sixth of world population, has regional and global significance


India commits to counting children outside homes and families as it shifts away from institutions. Over the last decade, Ian Anand Forber-Pratt has been at ...

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My Marathon Journey takes me to the Czech Republic


There are only a few days to go before the London Marathon and from this point on it is ‘recovery’ before the race: short training ...

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My Marathon Journey Takes Me To… The Finish Line!


It’s done. It’s over, I survived and two days later my legs are feeling like they might return to their former state. It was very ...

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“Working as a self-advocate is an opportunity to change something”


An interview with Verča, a Lumos-supported self-advocate from the Czech Republic

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4 Weeks To Go


Well I have to say that this has come around far quicker than I expected it to! I’ve been training for the London Marathon for ...

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Incomplete data fails millions of the world’s most vulnerable children


The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promise to ‘leave no-one behind’ but gaps in global data mean some of the most vulnerable of the world’s ...

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Why I’m running my first (and possibly only) Marathon for Lumos


I’ve worked for the Lumos Communications Team in London for nearly three years. During this time, I’ve worked on numerous campaigns, but when a London ...

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A Message Of Thanks From J.K. Rowling


As we plan to celebrate this festive season with our families, please spare a thought for the estimated 8 million children who are in institutions ...

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Only together can adults and children make sure children’s lives are fulfilled and supported


At #AlternativeCare2016, Lumos self-advocate Mihaela Ivanova gave her concluding remarks to assembled delegates on the final day of the conference. These are her words.

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J.K. Rowling's Speech at the Special Lumos Gala Performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


"Hello and welcome to this very special gala performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! I’m not going to detain you long and there ...

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Remembering a great champion of the rights of disabled people in the UK, Lord Rix


I was saddened to hear recently of the death of my old friend – Brian, Lord Rix, a great champion of the rights of disabled ...

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Learning the truth about Haitian Orphanages


I first travelled to Haiti in 2003, age 22, as a volunteer and found myself living in an orphanage and taking care of more than ...

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The right to stand up for your life and childhood: how one 15 year old became a role mode


Veliko’s story did not begin in 2012, but this was the year that a new door opened for him – then a child of 12 ...

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Future objectives for child protection in Greece


It is beyond doubt that child protection services in Greece are suffering on multiple fronts. They are deficient in several areas; they lack human and ...

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Ensuring the Right to a Family for Every Child


In May 2016, self-advocates from both Lumos and Partnerships for Every Child child-participation groups devised and delivered an address to an international conference, celebrating 10 ...

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A child’s right to be heard


The basic principle in making judgements in the cases of child protection should always be what is in the best interests of a child. According ...

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If institutions are harmful to Europe’s children, then they are harmful to children everywhere


Across the globe, an estimated eight million children live in institutions and so-called orphanages. At least 80% are NOT orphans but are separated from families ...

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Building personalities through education


Education is essential to child development, not only filling young minds with knowledge of the world and the opportunities it offers but also helping to ...

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Fighting Sexual Violence against Children in the Czech Republic


n the summer of 2015 the Czech Republic signed The Lanzarote Convention – the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual ...

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Orphan Sunday: a time to remember orphans around the world


On Orphan Sunday, November 8th, churches and congregations across the United States and the world will join in prayer and support for the world’s orphans, ...

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Short-term foster care. Now we can prove it is successful


Short-term foster care came into existence in the Czech Republic in 2013. With a new law, the government created professional foster-carers to achieve a key ...

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Children Should Not Have to Sacrifice Their Right to a Family to Receive an Education


"I lived for five years in an institution. The time I spent there seemed like an eternity. I felt like I was in a dark ...

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Why we need to see an end to orphanages in our lifetime


My visit to the foreign orphanage was not supposed to be upsetting, or not as far as the staff was concerned.

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Première Conférence Nationale sur la Traite des Personnes en Haïti»


Dr. Ely THELOT, Président du Comité National de Lutte contre la Traite des Personnes en Haïti Ce mercredi 21 Juin 2017, nous avons procédé au ...

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They Won't Be Invisible Any More - Inclusive Education


Galina Bulat, Former Deputy Minister of Education in Moldova and now Lumos’ Moldovan Inclusive Education Project Manager, talks about her work.

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Taking Responsibility For Institutionalising Children


Last week, Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, made what appeared to be a genuine apology for the Irish State’s role in the ...

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Transforming Care for the Most Vulnerable in Jordan


Over the past three years, Lumos has been providing advice and training to Jordan, specifically to the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with ...

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