Andre is an inquisitive boy who dreams of exploring the world. He is hard working and loves to do lots of different activities. Andre also has some special educational needs.
When he was seven, Andre was sent to live in an institution – sometimes called an orphanage. He was too little to understand what an orphanage, but he soon learnt: he had come to a place where he had no identity. He was confused as to why he had to live far away from his home, in a place where nobody looked out for him, or cared for him.
For most children in the orphanage, their only dream was to go back home and live with their parents - this was Andre’s dream too. He tried his hardest to adapt to the institutional environment, but found it impossible. It was a hard place to be a child - nothing interesting ever happened to him, and he was given no encouragement to develop or to learn. He spent his days trying desperately to escape the boredom, but he had nothing to do.
Finally, at the age of eleven, Andre was able to leave the orphanage and return to his family. He rediscovered the joy of having his parents beside him, of their love and care for him. Lumos helped prepare Andre and his family for the move. Lumos also made sure that the community services he would need were in place, and provided psychological support during the transition to his local mainstream school. There were huge gaps in his knowledge from the years spent in an institution, and he was illiterate. Fortunately, his new teachers were trained by Lumos in how to approach his special educational needs and adapt the curriculum for him.
Learning was a new experience for Andre, but he was determined. He benefited from the help of his support teacher and classmate. After the initial transition period, Lumos continued to monitor Andre’s situation and his progress - he is now able to write short sentences and read quite well.
He is very proud to have made a lot of new friends at school. He loves sports, and usually plays football with friends after class. He has also participated in a conference on inclusive education, where he enjoyed sharing his opinions and experiences and meeting new people. Now that he has left the orphanage, his new dream is to become a teacher when he grows up.
Help support other vulnerable families and children to reunite – use your voice to make sure we #leavenoonebehind
Safeguarding Children by Monitoring and Improving Standards of Social Care
Giving children in institutions a voice
Drivers of Institutionalisation
Turning Words into Action
Supporting Vulnerable Families
Lumos in Greece in 2017
Rediscovering the love of a family: Andre*’s story