Salmond: set England free

With his party ahead in the polls, the leader of the SNP says independence would serve UK interests

The tower at the Glasgow Science Centre is Scotland's tallest structure: millennial modernism on a quayside where Clyde-built ships once traded from the second city of the British empire. It was meant to spin on its base, but has been plagued by design problems. As the Scottish Nationalists gathered for their conference next door, their hopes of being photo graphed symbolically atop the structure were thwarted. It had been closed due to bitter, blustery squalls.

So it goes with devolution. The 21st-century modernisation of the British constitution is not working as devised. It was hobbled by overambitious, over-budget architecture at its home in Holyrood. And Labour has to throw all the bluster and squalls that it can muster if it is to see off the Nationalist threat. Although the 129 MSPs elected four years ago represent eight parties, with a voting system designed to deny any of them a majority, this is a Labour-SNP tussle. The stakes could be highest for Gordon Brown, for whom the timing is awkward. On 3 May, the process of takeover from Tony Blair must surely begin, yet an SNP breakthrough would give the Chancellor a constitutional crisis in his backyard, leaving doubts that he could continue to sit in the Commons if his Fife constituency becomes part of a foreign country.

Alex Salmond has stressed in recent weeks that he wants to work with Brown. The SNP leader wants to reassure people that his party, if it took power, would be sensible and credible, working with Downing Street on national strategies for tackling poverty and renewable energy. But in his conference speech, Salmond also served notice of confrontation. He would, he said, fight against more nuclear-armed submarines on the Clyde; he wants a referendum on independence before the 2011 election; and in his first 100 days, he would open negotiations on taking control of North Sea oil and gas. The discussion could be brief between the Nationalists' unstoppable force and the Chancellor's immovable object.

But haven't we heard this before from the great chieftain o' the Pictish people? Yes, we have. Salmond has puffed himself up at four elections, and been deflated. Aged 52, the oil economist has been around for a long while. But this time, polls show that the threat to Labour looks serious. Salmond has set out to counter the negatives that lost previous elections. He has embraced corporate tax cuts, winning support and money from big names in the business world. As Blair arrived in Edinburgh on a brief campaigning trip, the SNP unveiled a gold-plated endorsement from the man who built the Royal Bank of Scotland into the world's fifth-biggest bank. The next day, the party received a £500,000 donation from Brian Souter, the boss at Stagecoach buses who helped fund the campaign against the repeal of Section 28.

Salmond, defining himself as a social democrat, highlights the "arc of prosperity" around Scotland: Ireland's low tax and Celtic tiger growth, Norway's vast trust fund built on oil wealth, and Iceland's control over fisheries (for constituency reasons, Salmond takes haddock very seriously). Whether in or out of Europe, small neighbours are proving nimble and adept in the globalising economy. The best response so far from Labour is to complain about the price of beer in Oslo and the cost of a consultation with a Galway GP.

Labour has struggled to find a response that works. Both Blair and Brown told Jack McConnell, Scotland's First Min ister, to talk up the cost and risk of breaking up Britain. It may yet work. It has before. But, for now, it looks tired and occasionally silly. Labour has implied that independent Scots would be cut off from visiting or phoning their relatives in England, business and academic networks would be ripped up, border guards would be stationed at Berwick, and an independent Scotland would be more vulnerable to attack by al-Qaeda. More effective could be Labour's economic claims. It argues that Scotland is so heavily subsidised by England that it couldn't possibly go it alone. An £11bn "black hole" translates to an extra tax bill of over £5,000 for the average household.

Salmond has to leave the weekly leaders' joust at Holyrood to his deputy and protégée, Nicola Sturgeon, because he leads his party from Westminster and from the BBC studio in Aberdeen, hoping to oust a Liberal Democrat from her seat just north of there in six weeks. It is a curious position for the man hoping for Scotland's independence to be in. As Salmond and I discuss the challenges ahead, he is just as keen to target hearts and minds in England as he makes the case for English independence. "A national parliament is rather a good idea. It's normal," he says. "I don't suppose many people in England doubted they were self-governing, in that the distinction between English and British gov ernment was not clear. But there have been a lot of issues making people in England wonder - top-up fees, foundation hospitals, the probation service recently - issues where interfering Scots want to poke their noses in English affairs, just as Margaret Thatcher used to poke her nose in Scottish domestic affairs." Deeply un popular in Scotland, Thatcher is credited with doing most to further the cause of devolution. Salmond says Blair's wars and nuclear missiles are doing the same for independence.

"The negative interpretation of the English view of Scottish independence is not borne out," says Salmond, who claims to get an even warmer reception in England than north of the Tweed. "It may sometimes be heard in a bar in the Home Counties, but it's not my general experience. I find most people in England find the idea of independence entirely reasonable. They're accepting and encouraging of people who stand up for themselves and articulate a powerful idea. That's part of the attraction of the English character." He also says: "The English . . . have respect for people who stand up for their own country and its own rights, and people who talk to them straight and honestly." He predicts amicable relations. "When Scotland becomes independent, England will lose a surly lodger and gain a good neighbour."

No end to EastEnders

Any arguments over the constitution arising from Scottish independence could be taken to an intergovernment body he wants to call the Council of the Isles, building on the institutions that sprang up with the Ulster peace process, and borrowing ideas from the Nordic Council. There would be co-operation on railways, renewables and energy grids. Nuclear weapons would be banished, but Scottish moors and moorings would still welcome English military training. "There would be a different configuration of the Scottish defence force, but would friendly powers be able to use Scottish territory for training and other things? Yes, just as the British army trains in many countries at the moment."

Plus, to reassure the voters: "They would still watch EastEnders. You'd want to make sure BBC Television is available in Scotland, as it is in Ireland at the moment. Obviously you'd want a Scottish broadcaster, and it might want to have shared relationships with the BBC in terms of programme-making. But broadcasting would be an area where there would be strong benefits from having a Scottish dimension."

First, a Salmond government would need to find enough Holyrood seats for a majority. The geographical distribution of votes left the SNP far behind Labour at the 2003 election, trailing 27 to 50, so there is a lot of catching up to do. Even if the SNP delivers on its current poll lead, it could still fall behind its main rival. Then there's coalition. Scottish Tories rule themselves out of "unprincipled" partnerships, but are cosying up to a potential Labour minority administration with a tough crime and drugs agenda. The Greens, pro-independence and with seven seats, eagerly want to be players.

Yet it is the Lib Dems who look the most likely coalition partner. Labour is irritated with them, and after eight years of sharing power, do they want to prop up Labour on its downward trajectory? Nicol Stephen, Lib Dem leader in Scotland, can agree with Salmond on more devolved powers, but rules out an independence referendum. Salmond is equally adamant that he won't do a deal without one. Past experience suggests they could, with some political contortions, agree to set up a commission, and punt their differences into the long grass.

As he surveys the constitutional tangle left by Blair, Brown will head north to park his tanks on the SNP lawn until 3 May. Does he have any new ideas? Not so far. But consider this: what if Brown called a referendum, with his choice of question and timing, splitting the Nationalists, and gambling on a No vote? For Labour in Scotland, these are worrying times, and they may call for extraordinary measures.

Douglas Fraser is Scottish political editor of the Herald

Scottish elections by numbers

129 number of MSPs

50 current number of Labour MSPs

25 current number of SNP MSPs

34% support in Scotland for the SNP in the latest ICM poll

29% support for Labour in the same poll

500,000 voters contacted by the SNP in telephone canvassing by early March

Research: Rebecca Bundhun

Scottish independence: key dates

1707 Act of Union dissolves the sovereign Scottish parliament

1967 SNP's Winnie Ewing wins watershed Hamilton by-election

1969 Crowther (later Kilbrandon) Commission set up to consider devolution 1974 The commission recommends devolution. SNP wins seven and 11 seats in two general elections

1978 Scotland Act provides for a Scottish Assembly, subject to a referendum

1 March 1979 Voters choose devolution, but the act cannot stand because they represent less than 40% of the electorate

11 September 1997 New Labour holds another devolution referendum. Result - a majority vote for a Scottish Parliament

19 November 1998 Scotland Act

6 May 1999 First election to the Scottish Parliament: Labour and Liberal Democrats form coalition government

1 July 1999 Power is formally transferred from Westminster

9 October 2004 Parliament building opens in Holyrood

Research: Sarah O'Connor

This article first appeared in the 26 March 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Scotland: Time to break free?

Stuart Ramson for Lumos
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“It’s probably the thing of which I am most proud”: J K Rowling in conversation with Eddie Redmayne

The Harry Potter creator talks to the star of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them about her work with the Lumos charity and the urgent need to end the institutionalisation of children.

EDDIE REDMAYNE: Good evening, 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 voiceless 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. 

FILM – NARRATED BY J K ROWLING: A child’s life is so much more than the sum of its parts ‐ and the love a family brings holds everything together. From the very beginning, a child thrives on individual care and attention. A 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 bond 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 even exist. That orphanages do exist locally may convince desperate parents that there is no alternative. But once a child enters an orphanage, a very different picture of childhood can emerge. A 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 8 million of these children worldwide. But there is hope ‐ and it lies at the very heart of the problem. 80 per cent 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 channelling of 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 reward children and communities in the long run. 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.

ER: So now to hear more about Lumos and its life-changing work, please welcome to the stage its founder. Ladies and gentlemen, the extraordinary J K Rowling.

JKR: Thank you, thank you very much.

ER: So here we are!

JKR: Here we are!

ER: This is a big deal. We’re playing Carnegie Hall!

JKR: We are, yes. It’s actually my second time!

ER: Really? Alright, so in a short while we get to show these people our little movie.

JKR: Yeah, which is exciting and a little bit terrifying.

ER: 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 this issue? Why is it so close to your heart?

JKR: Well, I think Eddie said it really well in his introduction – truth is that I saw 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, I pulled out the news story – which was all about an institution in the Czech Republic where very young children were being kept in appalling conditions. I went home the next day, Monday, [and] I started to write letters to anyone I could think of – MPs, and MEPs, and 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.

ER: And so there are eight million children living in orphanages worldwide –

JKR: That we know that we know of! See, I think what’s staggering with. . . what was amazing to me when I first began finding out about this these issues, you think how could eight million children be going through this and we don’t know? But a very small amount of thought shows you they are – as you just said – so voiceless. They are literally hidden from sight. So in fact eight million may be 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.

ER: And they are institutions that we are saying are harmful to children – I suppose, I imagine, not everyone agrees?

JKR: 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 understandable. We tend to have that image in our minds from movies, like Annie, that 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 – you have a baby now, who is five months old?

ER: Yup.

JKR: 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 love and care.

ER: And are there sort of studies and statistics which support [this]?

JKR: 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 can show you brain scans, showing the difference between a child that’s come from an institution and a child has been raised in a family.

As the movie showed, 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.

ER: 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 institutionalisation is a thing of the past – one of the things we struggle with is there’s this sort of disconnect in terms of how we view orphanages.

JKR: I 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, everyone I think would immediately think “Well, the important thing is I keep my loved ones close to me, we stay together and we get the support we need to rebuild our business, find ourselves a 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, people come to you and say: “that child will get fed only if you give me that child.” And we keep propping up the system, and it’s causing a huge amount of damage.

ER: And so is that why families are being torn apart? Why do parents give them up?

JKR: Right, exactly – for many people, that’s the key question. So when I tell people [that] 80 per cent of these children have parents, then 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 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 a disabled child, or if you want that child educated they have to go into the institution.”

And then the third driver is natural disaster, and this is where a very nasty aspect of institutionalisation comes in. It is often the case in the developed world, the 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 700 per cent increase in children in institutions in Haiti. 

ER: So, for me. . . what’s the solution? How does one go about it?

JKR: Obviously this is this is a massive issue, a massive issue. And, as you would imagine, the solution is complex but – I bring you 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 have ended institutionalisation 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 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, 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 they aren’t connected with the kind of people who can help them change systems. We can go in and help them do, that so that’s what we do. We go in and we try and affect the change.

We also do things like – I mean, we’ve provided urgent medical assistance to children we’ve found in very, very bad situations and so on. So it’s multi-layered, and then the other thing we do is advocacy, so we work with places like the UN and the EU to change policy, to stop this being the default position when disasters happen.

ER: I think I read that every year, particularly in this country [the US], millions of dollars are being given to orphanages.

JKR: That’s right. I have these notes because I want to get the figures right – because normally I just make it up out of my head, like people say “how many house elves are in the Hogwarts kitchen?” and I just [gestures]. 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 important. So, this is an incredible figure: this is how much Americans give to charity annually – how awesome are Americans? – The answer is $375bn. So I mean that is phenomenal, that’s phenomenal and just warms ones heart to think about the 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 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, 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 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 children.

ER: You mentioned Haiti – that is somewhere that is obviously in our minds of the moment.

JKR: 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 institutionalised, 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 is an absolutely heart-breaking thing to me and 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 for 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 they might be horrified to see what’s going on. So what I’m saying to you is, for God’s sake don’t stop giving money, but give it right. Give it to NGOs that are working to give people back livelihoods and to support communities, not to institutions.

ER: And Hurricane Matthew has exacerbated that…

JKR: Hurricane Matthew was, as we all know, an absolute nightmare: half a million people lost their livelihoods, we have 900 dead, and it will – unless we intervene in the correct way – continue to prop up this very damaging system. And I will say this because I would like you all to know, that 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 – because I’m not saying it for that reason. I’m saying that 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 out for those children in those institutions.

ER: And recently Bonnie Wright and Evanna Lynch – so Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood from the Potter films – who we love! 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:

FILM – NARRATED BY BONNIE WRIGHT AND EVANNA LYNCH: “Hi, my name is Bonnie Wright and I’m an actress and director. You may know may know me as Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter films. But today I am here in Haiti with Evanna Lynch, who you may know as Luna Lovegood. We decided to come to Haiti because we’re concerned about the 30 thousand children living here in orphanages instead of at home with their families. 80 percent of these children have families who would care for them but cannot. I was incredibly shocked and upset to find the conditions at the first orphanage we visited. I’ve heard so much about the work that Lumos was doing and from some of the workers here about what these institutions were like, but I think out of this first visit just highlighted how incredibly important Lumos’ work is here in Haiti. The most important thing that I took away from today is that children really need to grow up in families.”

“Without 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.”

ER: Those are pretty profoundly powerful images.

JKR: They are, they are but you know… we’re obviously doing a lot of work in Latin America now, it’s an area that does have a problem with institutionalisation. 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 are very hopeful that by 2035 – if we can get the funds – we will be able to stop institutionalisation in Latin America. We believe that.

ER: So it’s solvable?

JKR: 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 are 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 while 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.

ER: What can we do? Tell us what we can do!

JKR: I think its 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. You’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, if everyone who is here tonight walked out of here and said: “I get the issue! I know that institutionalisation is wrong, and in future when I donate, when I hear a friend donating, and saying they want to give some money away at Christmas, I will say “not the orphanages.”” But look, if 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.

ER: We will spread the word, we will spread the word. That is our job, to spread the word. And I’ve got to say, having known so little about it before, it’s an extraordinary thing and it’s a complicated thing, but as you say solvable. And you must be incredibly proud of the work that Lumos are doing.

JKR: I am – it’s probably the thing of which I am most proud.

This conversation took place on 12 November 2016 at Carnegie Hall, New York City.

This December, the New Statesman is joining with Lumos to raise money to help institutionalised children in Haiti return to family life. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, funds are needed to help those who have become separated from their families. Please consider pledging your support at bit.ly/lumosns

Thanks to Lumos’s 100 per cent pledge, every penny of your donation goes straight to the programme. For more information, see: wearelumos.org