Across the globe, an estimated eight million children live in institutions and orphanages. At
least 80% are not orphans but have been separated from their families. They are deprived of
the close, loving adult engagement a family provides; their physical, intellectual and emotional
development is harmed; and they are exposed to significant risk of abuse and neglect. These
are some of the world’s most disadvantaged children.
At Lumos, an international NGO founded by J.K. Rowling, and the UK 2015 Charity of the
Year, we believe this is a solvable problem. We have developed a model of
‘deinstitutionalisation’ (DI) to support countries to reform child care and protection systems
based on institutions and replace them with health, education and social care services which
keep families together in the community. We promote deinstitutionalisation at international
level, working with the UN, the EU, the US Government and the World Bank, focusing
particularly on international aid as a driver for reform. We work closely with the EU to ensure
that aid amounting to hundreds of millions of Euros is used to support the transition from
institutional systems to services for children and families in the community, not to build or
renovate institutions. We support governments with expertise and skills, ranging from
interventions to save the lives of children facing premature death to the complex financial
mechanisms needed to ensure their limited resources are used to achieve reform.
Lumos has teams in Moldova, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Haiti. We also work with
authorities in Ukraine and Greece and have offices in Brussels and Washington D.C. Finally,
and most importantly, we work with children and their families, protecting children from serious
harm and undertaking the complex and sensitive work needed for the preparation of children
to move institutions; to achieve family reunification; or to prevent the separation of children
from families and their admissions to institutions. We also ensure that children and young
people participate in opportunities to promote effective DI and support our advocacy.
Supporting unaccompanied refugee and migrant children: To achieve our mission of
ending institutionalisation by 2050, Lumos envisages developing a range of demonstration
programmes that respond to particular drivers of institutionalisation.
Political unrest, conflict, discrimination and poverty are some of the many reasons that force
millions of people to leave their homes and try to reach Europe. They face many challenges
during their journey, arrival and stay in the region: detention, discrimination and often poor or
no access to services, among many other issues.
Evidence highlights that unaccompanied refugee and migrant children are likely to have
suffered from abuse and trauma on their journey to, and stay within, Europe and that their
needs are not adequately met.
Many countries are relying on an institutional system of care for unaccompanied refugee and
migrant children, even those who have recently moved away from this model for their own,
The increasing numbers of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children being placed in
institutions is therefore a component part of Lumos’ mission to end the institutionalisation of
children worldwide by 2050.
Job title: Project Manager, Unaccompanied migrant and refugee children
Dept/Project/Team: Unaccompanied Migrant and Refugee Children
Reports to: Bisser Spirov, Bulgaria Country Manager
Usual office base: Sofia, Bulgaria, with travel if needed
Duration: 2 year fixed-term contract, with possibility of extension
The Project Manager will be responsible for managing the delivery of a range of activities to
establish a new demonstration project in Bulgaria. The project aims to support the needs of
unaccompanied migrant and refugee children by assisting with family reunification and
providing family-based alternatives to institutional care. The Project Manager will be
responsible for coordinating frontline services for unaccompanied children in the
demonstration project in the country, as well as developing and maintaining relationships with
relevant partners in support of the project.
The Project Manager will work closely with a small team of practitioners in Bulgaria, as well
as a London-based Programme Manager, who will oversee the development of the
programme.The Project Manager will report to the Bulgaria country director, and will be based in Lumos’
Bulgaria country office in Sofia. The position will be contracted through Lumos Foundation.
For more information on Lumos, visit: www.wearelumos.org.
The unaccompanied refugee and migrant children project is a new initiative that will be
established by Lumos in 2017. Its main objectives include:
- To identify and highlight the institutional response to unaccompanied children in
Europe and link to Lumos’ existing evidence base on the harm of institutionalisation
- To establish response teams which will provide assistance to unaccompanied children
in line with Lumos’ aims of preventing institutionalisation of children and enabling family
- To support the provision of training to migration authorities in Bulgaria on child
protection and alternative care frameworks for children with complex needs
- To support family reunification processes and provide family-based care that meets
the needs of children during the process, or where reunification is not an option
- To engage in advocacy and campaigning with national and European authorities to
establish frameworks supporting family reunification and alternative care for migrant children
Domestic travel, and some international travel, may be required. This includes participation in
project activities, when appropriate.
Key tasks/Job objectives:
- Conduct scoping visits, in coordination with the Programme Manager and Country
Manager, to project sites in Bulgaria and work with key stakeholders to establish the project.
- Lead on the recruitment of a project team.
- Organise and facilitate training sessions for local authorities and other relevant actors,
including preparation of materials and presentations
- Develop, facilitate, and maintain relationships with partners, including NGOs, experts,
government bodies and legal organisations in Bulgaria.
- Regularly review and monitor the progress of activities and assist the Programme
Manager with preparation of narrative and financial reports for the project.
- Lead on representation of the project as needed in meetings and events.
- A strong commitment to children’s rights, welfare and protection
- Extensive knowledge and experience on issues relating to unaccompanied migrant
and refugee children in Europe
- Understanding of Bulgarian and EU laws regarding refugee children
- Fluency in English and Bulgarian
- Understanding of factors that influence the institutionalisation of children
- Excellent planning and organisational skills and thorough attention to detail
- Effective communication skills, written, oral and presentational
- The ability to work effectively both individually and as part of an international team
- Well-developed interpersonal skills, to work collaboratively at every level across the
partner organisations and with other stakeholders in multiple country contexts
- Ability to work with a diverse range of peoples and cultures.
- Knowledge of family-reunification processes and alternative family-based care
- Ability to work in a fluid and dynamic working environment
- Arabic or other relevant language skills (Pashto, Farsi, Urdu)
- Proven experience in project management including budget management
- Extensive experience working on projects relating to migrant populations
- Team management and other resource management experience
- Experience of working in partnership with other organisations including governments,
NGOs and other service providers.
- Experience of working with children and young people’s issues
- Experience of international service delivery and development
- Experience of working in social affairs, human rights, international development or EU
- Knowledge of the policy and political environment in countries across Europe
- Desk based research experience. A valid DBS check will be required as this role will include some direct work with children.
Please submit a cover letter, your CV and 2 references, to Adriana Gotsova
Deadline for submitting the application is 22 February 2017 by the end of the working day