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Children belong in families,
not orphanages

Lumos in the USA

Lumos Foundation USA was launched in 2015 to raise awareness and build support for Lumos’ worldwide mission to end child institutions by 2050. Lumos USA works to build understanding about the root causes of child institutionalization and attainable alternatives that ensure every child the right to grow up in a family.

Lumos Foundation USA collaborates with leaders in the fields of international human assistance and child protection to improve programs and policies related to issues affecting the world’s most vulnerable children and their families.

Lumos Foundation USA works with US government and UN agencies, NGOs, as well as faith-based organizations, foundations, donors, and the media. Working closely with Lumos Foundation headquarters in London and offices around the world, Lumos USA also contributes integral research on the harm institutionalization causes to the healthy development of children and on the proven, cost-effective solutions that are well within reach.

Key accomplishments

  • The Senate and House Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations report included language proposed by Lumos USA, promoting implementation of the US Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity, with a primary focus on family care.
  • In the report, 'Dollars and Sense – Supporting Children Outside of Family Care: Opportunities for US Government International Assistance,' Lumos USA identified streams of US funding supporting orphanages across all of government. The report made recommendations and continues to be a reference guide for partners in and out of government.
  • Working closely with the faith-based community, Lumos USA has partnered with the Faith to Action Initiative, providing funding for transforming care from institutions to family-based care, and for producing a toolkit for organizations. The toolkit was launched at the 2016 Christian Alliance for Orphans, attended by more than 3,000 groups and individuals.
  • Through advocacy, communications, research and technical assistance, the US team continues to support the development and growth of Lumos’ Haiti program, the first in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.
  • In 2016, the US team supported the launch of a report on orphanages in Haiti before the US Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and in 2017 published the research report, Funding Haitian Orphanages at the Cost of Children’s Rights, which have led to increased media coverage and public understanding of orphanages as a form of human trafficking and orphanage voluntourism as part of the problem. 

What next

Lumos USA will continue to focus on issues that adversely affect the world’s most vulnerable children – including trafficking and orphan voluntourism – through advocacy, donor education, technical assistance, and communications, with an eye toward building the political and public will necessary to improve policies and practices.

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