Children's High Level Group Changes Name to "Lumos" and Shifts FocusJ.K. Rowling
The charity co-founded by J.K. Rowling has today revealed a new name and a new focus. Lumos, chaired by J.K. Rowling and previously known as The Children's High Level Group, will continue to work to help institutionalised children across Central and Eastern Europe but will move its focus from Romania to the Czech Republic and the Republic of Moldova. The relaunched website additionally mentions a planned expansion into other countries. The charity's work in Romania will be continued by the Asociatia Children's High Level Group, chaired by Baroness Emma Nicholson.
The Chief Executive of Lumos, Dr. Richard Alderslade, stresses the need to be realistic in the charity's approach to the challenge of the over 1 million disadvantaged children and young people still living in institutions:
Working with governments at a strategic level - to create country-wide reforms, not just one-off closures of particular institutions - takes time. It is not only a question of closing down the institutions, but also implementing new systems and creating alternative care settings as well as the not so insignificant task of changing mindsets.Furthermore, Lumos have been working with the European Commission in Brussels to reform the Bulgarian child protection system. The article on the relaunched Lumos website quotes J.K. Rowling:
Twenty years ago, as Communist regimes across Europe toppled, harrowing images of Europe's hidden children began to emerge. Thousands upon thousands of children were living in vast, depressing institutions – malnourished and often maltreated, with little access to the outside world. Slowly governments have begun to transform care systems. Real and lasting change takes time, but today we are putting down a marker and calling for significantly more progress in the next twenty years to ensure that eventually no children are living in, or at risk of entering, such institutions.You can find the full article about the charity's relaunch by following this link.