J.K. Rowling was interviewed by Emmy, Oscar and Tony-award winning actress Whoopi Goldberg during Lumos’ annual fundraising gala in New York, on September 22nd and 23rd of 2018.

During the conversation, J.K. Rowling described the trauma faced by the millions of children around the world who are separated from their families and the importance of raising awareness of the 8 million children trapped in orphanages. She also talked about Lumos’ work to reunite families and help some of the most disadvantaged children around the world, highlighting the organisation’s progress in ending the harmful institutionalisation of children.

“By the time I created Lumos [in 2005] I realised that there is a vast, global, humanitarian crisis that affects children overwhelmingly that most of us are totally ignorant about and that is the 8 million children that we know are institutionalised globally,” J.K. Rowling said. “I think that the most heartbreaking thing to see is the children who are very young and then something just breaks psychically when they’re taken from their families. You saw that, even though they’ve been physically cared for, when they return to their families something has gone wrong.” added the writer.

Rowling and Whoopi Goldberg were later joined on stage by Lumos CEO Georgette Mulheir, who praised the generosity of Americans but called on them not to donate to or volunteer at orphanages, and to redirect funds instead to support networks in the local community to help families stay together. Wrapping up the night, there was a preview of an upcoming HBO documentary on the issue, due to premiere in late 2019, and a special musical performance by Jamie Parker, star of the Tony Award winning play on Broadway, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

You can watch the full interview below:

Lumos is an international non-governmental charity (NGO) founded by J. K. Rowling, which promotes an end to the institutionalisation of children worldwide. To get to know their work and find out how to help them, visit their official website.