JK Rowling wants a happy ending for the orphans

A mission to the children of the poor orphanages, run could a little plot of a Harry Potter.

But that is the goal, a charity founded by JK Rowling.

Love, Lumos works with governments in countries such as Moldova and the Ukraine in the reform of its education and child protection systems.

But it is a story of steady bureaucratic reform rather than a daring adventure.

Lumos, which held the Potter author founded, after reading an article about children in caged beds in an orphanage, on a mission to the end of the placement of the children in the poor, the quality of institutions by 2050.

Potter fans will find that the charity is named after the spell by the witches and wizards, light to dark places.

And Lumos out some perceptions.The poor quality of care

It wants to that the people in Europe and the United States think twice about the sponsorship or the support of orphanages in other countries, unless they can be sure of what is delivered.

You want to make a difference between “high quality of in-patient treatment” and institutions, where children are “arbitrarily separated from their parents”, and where they are not isolated from other school children and the General public.


The aid organisation warns that in some of the orphanages many of the children orphans but separated from their families due to poverty and discrimination.

There are concerns about children exposed to the risk of abuse and human trafficking – and there are warnings that the children of poorer educational and life outcomes than if they visited, including schools in their communities.

“A lot of people don’t know, there are millions of children in these institutions, and most of these children have parents who do not wish this,” says Lumos chief executive Georgette Mulheir.

“Most people don’t think, they are orphans, the need to search, you know, the serious harm that institutionalization is not for the development of children.”Integrative Classes

At least eight million children live in orphanages and homes for the elderly, but more than 80% are not orphans really, says the charity.

A Lumos out of his first successes, the help for the children of the institutions in the Republic of Moldova by reforming the national education system was to make it more inclusive.


He is currently working in Ukraine, more than 100,000 children in institutions, to the development of an inclusive education and training system and the reform of the child protection system.

This includes the training of teachers, adapting the curriculum, as well as the amendment of existing rules, the children with learning difficulties can hold back some children – for example, the adjustment of the exams, so the progress in the next school year.

In another comparison to Potter, the representation of the interests of children is an important part of the campaign.Warning to donors

In front of the Moldovan government in a passionate speech, the country’s Minister of education agreed to the reform of its education system, a boy from a mainstream made school.

“It was great to see that this young man wagged his finger at the Ministers: ‘we mean it, we expect you to do this’,” says Ms Mulheir. “It certainly had a big influence on you.”

Ms Mulheir says the problem of children in inappropriate institutions, can be found only in less-developed countries – these places still exist in some of the richest countries in the world.

“People would be pretty shocked to learn about the situation in Belgium and to a lesser extent also France, where there are still facilities for babies, although all the evidence to show that these serious harms brain development,” she says.

In the past year, a report of Lumos warned that donors from the United States, which believed they can help orphans in Haiti could be locations financing, where children were in danger.

More than a third of the Haitian orphanages, financed by donations from abroad.

“One of the things that Lumos has me said taught is to be very, very careful how you give,” JK Rowling, after you start the report.

She said, “very, very well-meaning donors” are “accidentally propping up a system that we know, with almost 80 years of hard research that shows that a well-run institution, also an institution with the best possible intentions, will constitute irrevocable damage to the child”.

Lumos is now expanding his work in the new countries, including Colombia.

“We are very confident that by 2050, at the latest, since there are no more children in institutions everywhere in the world,” says Ms Mulheir.

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The editor of “Global education” is sean.coughlan@bbc.co.uk