Light a Birthday Candle for Lumos campaign

JK Rowling's children's charity, Lumos, is asking for your support on the 1 June, which is International Children's Day...

JK Rowling’s children’s charity, Lumos, is asking you to light a virtual birthday candle to support its campaign to deinstitutionalise children in eastern European countries such as Moldova and the Czech Republic.

Thousands of children living in these institutions do not know when their birthday is and so choose to celebrate it on 1 June, International Children’s Day.

This year Lumos is inviting women to raise vital funds by hosting a ‘birthday’ party, baking and selling cakes at home for friends, baking and bringing cakes to work to sell to colleagues, or by downloading a virtual candle and making a donation via mobile phones. 
The funds raised will go towards Lumos’ work, helping move children out of institutions and into family-based care, so that next year many more children will be able to celebrate their birthday properly.

There are currently 1 million children living in large residential institutions across Europe.  Contrary to popular opinion, the majority of these children are not orphans, but are disabled, from ethnic minorities or poor backgrounds.

Dr Richard Alderslade, Chief Executive of Lumos, said:  ‘Our aim is that no child should have to suffer the desolation of being shut away in an institution, separated from their family for no better reason than poverty, disability, or the colour of their skin.’

Top chefs and food writers from Jane Asher and Celia Brooks Brown to Peter Gordon, Phil Vickery and Ainsley Harriott, have donated cake and tea party recipes for the cause. Sophie Dahl and broadcaster Kirsty Young are amongst those lending their support to the campaign.

For more information, and to receive a fundraising pack, visit


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