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Please welcome the star of the new
Warner Bros. film Fantastic Beasts
and Where To Find Them
Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
I am so excited that you are excited.
Welcome to Carnegie Hall and...
Thank you!
Welcome to a very what I hope is a very
special evening. More than 25 years ago,
an author put pen to paper and created
one of the most extraordinary stories
that the world has ever seen.
Her astounding imagination continues to
thrill us, it captivates us, it enthrals us,
it moves us, and it leaves us wanting more.
And tonight ladies and gentlemen,
there will be more!
But ten years ago, an unimaginable image
and an unthinkable story propelled her
down a very different path, where the
lives of millions of voices children
would need saving. The author is J.K. Rowling,
and the path is Lumos.
Tonight, we will cast a light on eight million
hidden children around the world
who desperately need our help.
[Narrated] A child's life is so much more than the
sum of its parts, and the love a family
brings hold everything together. From the
very beginning, a child thrives on
individual care and attention. The baby
quickly forges a bond with loving
parents, and because of this bond the
brain develops with remarkable speed and
complexity. Within a safe, secure and
stimulating environment, a child gets the
most out of life. In play, education and
friendship, their personalities develop
freely within safe bounds. But this
picture of childhood can be a fragile
one. Conflict and disaster can destroy
the foundations of family life. When
countries suffer the effects of extreme
poverty, the bonds which holds families
together can easily be broken apart. In
these circumstances, families can feel
they have no choice but to place their
child into a so-called orphanage -
especially if the child is disabled, and
needs care the family cannot afford.
Community support alternatives may not
exist. That orphanages do exist
locally may convince desperate parents
that there is no alternative. But once
the child enters an orphanage, a very
different picture of childhood can
emerge. The child must now compete for the
unique attention they crave. A lack of
individual care harms babies, and affects
their infant brains at a critical stage.
Any schooling they receive is no
compensation for the parental love they
are denied, and children can become cut
off from the world. Ill-prepared for life
outside, they have very poor life chances.
And they are much more likely to fall
victim to abuse and crime once they
leave an orphanage.
And we know there are at least eight
million of these children worldwide.But
there is hope, and it lies a very hard
Eighty percent of children in orphanages
are NOT in fact orphans, but have parents
or extended families who could care for
them, given some support. And by better
channeling existing donations, we can
support these vulnerable children at
home. By directing funds away from
so-called orphanages, we can transform
systems of care. We can establish
community based services, and prevent
these places from ever taking root.
Community-based services are a better
investment for donors, they are more
cost-efficient than residential care and they
reward children and communities in the
Placing children into orphanages is a
choice and not a necessity.
It is preventable and reversible. And by
giving communities options in how they
support families, we can change the lives
of millions of children and give them
strong beginnings and the futures they deserve.
so now to hear more about Lumos and it's
life-changing work please welcome to the
stage its founder ladies and gentlemen
the extraordinary J.K. Rowling
thank you thank you very much so here we
are here we are this is a big deal this is
we're playing Carnegie Hall, we are, yes
it's actually my second time it was it
really alright, so in a short while we get to
show these people our little movie
yeah which is exciting and a little bit terrifying
um and we will get onto talking about
that in a little bit
but first the reason we're all here so
we've just seen this film
this is clearly a massive humanitarian issue
and a gigantic undertaking
I wondered why why this issue why is it
so close to your heart
well I think Eddie said it really well in
his introduction
it is the truth is that i saw it and use
a newspaper story about a very small boy
he was seven years old and he was
effectively being kept in a cage and I
was pregnant at the time and I saw this
image in the newspaper and it was such a
shocking image of this child holding onto
wire and screaming that I went to turn
the page i went to turn the page because
it was painful to look at and I felt
very ashamed as i went to the page I
thought no no you have to read the story
and if it's as bad as it looks you gotta
do something about it so I read the
story and it was even worse than it
looked so to cut a very long story short
the next
I I pulled out the young new story which
was all about an institution in the
Czech Republic were very young children
were being kept in appalling conditions
i went home the next day, monday
I started to write letters to anyone I
could think of MPs and MEPs and the
I wrote to the president of the Czech Republic
I wrote to everyone I could think of
and that led me to connecting with
experts in this field and the creation
of Lumos and so there are 8 million
children living in orphanages worldwide
that we know that we know of
see I think what's staggering with what
was amazing to meet my first began
finding out about this if these issues
you think how could eight million
children be going through this and we
don't know but at a very small amount of
thought shows you they are as as you
just said so
voiceless they are literally hidden from
sight so in fact eight million maybe a
conservative estimate there may be more
children who have been taken from
families that we don't know about
because record-keeping tends to be poor
which is one of the problems
and they are institutions and the we're
saying are harmful to children I suppose
I imagine not everyone agrees
absolutely so it is completely
understandable that we and by we I mean
wealthy Westerners we may have an idea
that institutions are kind kind in that
otherwise perhaps the child will be on
the street or the child is alone that's
completely understand what we tend to
have that image in our minds from movies
like Annie the orphanages can be kind of fun!
actually that's not true
even the well-run ones are proven as we
saw in that short film to do
often irreparable harm you will know
because he has it you have a baby now
who is five months five months old yup
and you will know as I know as all of us
who have anything to do with small
children know that they are hard-wired
to demand love they just come out
looking for it because that's what they
need for brain development and as was
shown in this movie we know that
children who are raised in institutions
suffer developmental delays they tend to
be physically stunted they normally have
psychological trauma it is just not what
nature intended for children to be
herded together and not given individual
individual loving care
and this sort of studies and statistics
absolutely so I'm not just saying this
plucking this out of the air to tell you
we have 80 years of research now that
shows very very clearly all the research
agrees that this is very harmful and in
fact Lumos works with scientists in the
field who will who can show you brain
scans showing the difference between a
child that's come from an
institution and a child has been raising
a family as the movie shown with one
large recent study shows that children
who come out of institutions were six
times more likely to have been abused
10 times more likely to enter prostitution
40 times more likely to have a criminal record
and they were 500 times more
likely to kill themselves
so you see we do have this enormous bank
of research telling us that we are
allowing or even inadvertently causing
children to be harmed for me one of the
complicated things get my head round and
I suppose for people in developed
countries like the US or the UK in which
institutionalization is a thing of the past
one of the things we struggle with I
suppose there's this sort of disconnect
in terms of how we view orphanages
I can completely agree i think a
small amount of thought shows us if you
imagine what would happen god forbid
were a terrible natural disaster to hit
New York tonight your everyone i think
would immediatley think what the important
thing is i keep my loved ones close to
we stay together and we get the
support we need to rebuild our business
find ourselves at home when we put
ourselves and our families in that in
that mentally in that position we
understand however what's happening
across the developed world is disaster hits
and families are immediately pulled
apart we'll take those children from you
now imagine that in the wake of the
disaster that people come to you and say
what if you get
that child will get fed only if you give
me that child and that's what we keep
propping up the system and it's causing
a huge amount of damage and so so is
that why families are being torn apart
is there they're sort of why do parents
give them all right exactly
this is that I mean for many people
that's the key questions so when I tell
people eighty percent of these these
children have parents then a an
understandable reaction is what loving
parent could give up their child to one
of these places but we know that there
are three main drivers into institutions
the biggest one the
overwhelming one is poverty so parents
who make themselves literally be starving
are told if you want to feed
that child we will take it to the institution
the child will get food in
the institution so they literally are
believe that's how my child will be fed
and survive i'll have to give the child
the other one is disability
we find in the developed world and certainly
this was the case in Eastern Europe
where we're doing a lot of work
children with disabilities were not integrated
and so parents again were told if you
want medical assistance for disabled
child or if you want that child educated
they have to go into the institution and
then the third driver is natural disaster
where that and this is where a
very nasty aspect of
institutionalization comes in it is
often the case in the developed world
the orphanages so-called orphanages are
run as businesses and that effectively
children are trafficked for profit
because we Westerners are generous and
we can we give a lot of money to these
orphanages and unfortunately there are
very unscrupulous people who in the wake
of disasters use it as an opportunity to
get children and corral children as a magnet
for foreign money, rather than putting
the money into systems of care that
would keep families together so since
2010 there has been a seven hundred
percent increase in children and
institutions in haiti
so for me what is the solution account is
there what where does one go about it
obviously this is this is a massive
issue massive issue and as you would
imagine the solution is complex but I
bring hope
this is an entirely solvable issue
this is entirely solvable and we know
how to do it doesn't mean it's easy but
we know how to do it so it's a two-part problem
first of all we have these children
some of them living in truly appalling
conditions whom we need to rescue
the other part of the issue is we need to
stop children going into those
institutions in the first place
ever again
Lumos' ambition and we believe it's
achievable is that by 2050 we will
ended institutionalization globally
now that's going to be a huge amount of
work clearly but a lot of us are really
up for that
so first thing is we need to put into
into place different systems of care
and some very good news is institutions are
very very expensive to run and if we
just redirected the funds that are being
pumped into institutions we could
that alone would enable better systems of
care to be set up but you also need a
lot of expertise and what we do with
Lumos is, we work with people in country
who are already trying to change these
systems so that's the point I always
really like to get across, we are not
moving into countries and saying
let us show you how it's done
we are walking into countries because in
all of these countries there are experts
who know the system's wrong but they
don't have the money and they don't have
the clout and maybe they are connected
with the kind of people who can help them
change systems we can go in and help
will do that so that's what we do we go
in and we we try and affect the change
we also do things like provide I mean
we've provided urgent medical assistance
often two children we found in very very
bad situations and so on so it's it's
multi-layered and then the other thing
we do is advocacy so we work with place
like the UN and the EU to change policy
to stop this being the default position
when disasters happen
but i think i read that every year particularly in this
country millions of dollars are being
given to orphanages
that's right well Ihave these notes because i want to get
the figures right and because normally I
just make out of my head like people
say how many house elves are in the
Hogwarts kitchen and I just
but this is really important
I'm not saying house elves aren't important
they clearly have been massive
in my life
they mean a lot to a lot of people but I
want to get this right because this is this
is important so is this is an incredible figure
this is how much Americans give
to charity annually
how awesome are Americans it the answer
is 375 billion dollars
so I mean that is phenomenal
that's phenomenal and just warms ones heart
to think about generosity, now that money
was given with the absolute best
possible intentions
there's not one person here tonight i
know of any age that does not want to
help a child in trouble
it's a human it's a human instinct that
we all have, we know that that money
drove a lot of children into orphanages
who probably didn't need to be
well you you know what no child needs to be in an
orphanage but we know that it created a
drive-in and so what I would like
even if you never give us another penny
I'm so grateful for what you have given us tonight
we will always be able to
use money very effectively because they
say these children have very complex
needs but even if you never give us
another penny if you just walk out of
here tonight and explain to people that
donating to orphanages or volunteering
and orphanages is sometimes propping up
some very corrupt people making a lot of
money and if you give your money to
community-based services you can
actually help ten times as many children
just checking my notes ten times as many
you mentioned haiti that somewhere that is
obviously in our minds of the moment I wondered what
it is hugely in our minds
in my mind a lot at the moment because
we know and I have more figures here
these are new figures to me because
obviously there's recently been an
absolute catastrophe there, so we now
know that there are 30,000 children
institutionalized, and the same statistic
I keep quoting still applies
the overwhelming majority of those children
have at least one parent and
these are families whose livelihoods have been
swept away
these are families who were so desperate
that they thought that was the only way
they were going to keep that child alive
which which is an absolutely
heartbreaking thing to me and I i know
it will be to you also, there is a lot of
corruption in Haiti and we know that
there are people who are called child finders
not childminders
these child finders are out there persuading parents
to give up their children to orphanages
and making lots of promises to
them about what they can do that child
in terms of protection and care and
those children are not receiving
protection and care rather the reverse
we know that a lot of child trafficking
is going on and we also know that for
each child in an orphanage in Haiti
currently each child is attracting six
thousand dollars worth of foreign aid
and that's why it is becoming a business
so people with the best possible
intentions are giving money and I think
might be horrified to see what's going on
so what I'm saying to you is
God's sake don't stop giving money but
give it give it right give it to NGOs
that are working to replate you know to
give people back lively hoods and to
support communities not to institutions
and Hurricane matthew has exacerbated that
Hurricane Matthew was as we all know
an absolute nightmare
half a million people lost their livelihoods we have
900 dead and it will allow
unless we intervene in the correct way
continue to prop up this very damaging
system and I I i do i will say I will
say this because i would like you all to
know that I would I put my money where
my mouth is I gave a million pounds last
week to Haiti to support community-based
services and i'm not saying it for that reason
i kind of cringe slightly
as I even say that
okay because I'm i'm not saying it for that reason
I'm saying that I, I'm not asking
anyone to give where I'm not already
giving but Haiti is a particular
catastrophe and I wanted to give extra
funds to haiti right now through Lumos
because Lumos is on the ground right
now affecting this kind of change
and really looking at those children and
those institutions
and recently Bonnie Wright and Evanna Lynch so Ginny Weasley
and Luna Lovegood from the potter films
who we love and I think Bonnie and
I think Bonnie is here this evening but they are
two incredibly dedicated Lumos
ambassadors who visited Haiti and they
not only saw the horrific conditions but
also they saw the solution that you've
been talking about Jo and we actually
have some footage from the trip here
Hi my name is Bonnie Wright and I'm an
actress and director he may know me as
Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter films
today I'm in Haiti with the
Evanna Lynch, who you may know as Luna Lovegood
we decided to come to Haiti
because we're concerned about the 30,000
children living here in orphanages
instead of at home with their families
eighty percent of these children have
parents who want to care for them, but cannot
i was incredibly shocked and
upset to find the conditions of the
first orphanage we visited, I heard so much
about the work that Lumos were doing
and from some of the workers here at Lumos
and what exactly these
institutions were like, but I think
coming out of this first experience
just highlighted how incredibly important
Lumos' work here is in Haiti
the most important thing that I took away
from today is understanding that
children really need to grow up in
families, witout a family and without love
children can't be children
the most important thing as a child is to be with
your family and you have to do everything
you can to keep that family unit in place
They are, they are but you know, we think that
obviously be doing a lot of work in
Latin America now it's an area that does
have a problem with institutionalization
but we are very hopeful at Lumos that
we could reach a tipping point in five
years or so, where we can we can change
policy we think that by
we are very hopeful that by 2035 if we can get the
funds we will be able to stop
institutionalization in Latin America
we believe that yeah
so it's solvable? It is solvable
it sounds overwhelming when
you think of that number of children and the complexity
i'm not denying
the solutions are complex but Lumos is
working with absolute experts in this
field they know what they're doing they
know how to make it work and what they
need the funds and the support
and the last thing I would say particularly to
young people in the audience today I
would reiterate we need to change minds
we need to change minds because while
people are putting money into these
orphanages and what people are
volunteering in orphanages a lot of
corruption flourishes around those
institutions, there is a sense that we
are as ever with the best intentions
propping up something that's very
damaging those children should be with their families
and if they can't be with families
foster care or adoption or
supported living in small family style units
are all proven to be the best
possible alternatives
what can we do? Tell us what we can do!
I think it's two part as I say so number one
I am going to firstly say I could
not be more grateful all of you being
here tonight we've already done the most
enormous amount for us to raise money
for us and thank you thank you
so fifty percent of what you can do if
you want to fundraise for us, I will be
forever in your debt
the other half though as I say is
the other thing you can do is if everyone who is
here tonight walked out of here and said
I get the issue i know the
institutionalization is wrong and in
future when i donate when I hear a
friend donating and saying they want to give
some money where Christmas i will say
not the orphanages so but look if you
want you want to give it to a child in
the developing world look at
community-based services
we're not the only NGO working in the
field we are one of several so do a
little bit of research and make sure
that you are supporting families to stay together
we will spread the word, we will spread the word
that is our job spread the word
and I've got to say having known so little about
it before it's it's an extraordinary
thing and it's a complicated thing but
as you say solvable and um you must be
incredibly proud of the work that Lumos are doing
I am, it's the thing it's
probably the thing of which i'm most proud
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J.K. Rowling in conversation with Eddie Redmayne at Carnegie Hall (full 27 minutes)

1422 Folder Collection
Revoldy published on December 8, 2016
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