If you're a fan of Harry Potter, you recognized the title of this post immediately. In Harry Potter's world, lumos is a spell. But in the muggle world, lumos is much more powerful.
As I advocate for specific children to be adopted, I also want to devote time to organizations that keep kids from being institutionalized in the first place. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, founded one such organization. This organization is called Lumos.
The problem with keeping children out of orphanages, as I've pointed out before, is that it's not a matter of addressing one issue. It's a multifaceted problem. The death of a parent isn't the only thing that will turn a child into an "orphan". Sometimes poverty will put a child in an institution. Often, when a child is born with special needs, the doctors will encourage (read: pressure, almost force) the child's parents to give up the new baby. The parents are told that the child won't amount to anything in society and is better off hidden away. Discrimination against the Roma has led to a high amount of Roma children in orphanages. Where does one even begin to solve this problem?
Lumos is a really good place to start. It's focus is Eastern Europe, and it works to undo the oppressive systems that lock children up. From education about disabilities to fighting neglect and abuse, Lumos fights for a world in which these harmful institutions don't exist. Click here to visit the website and see some of the work that this organization does to protect children.