Media CenterCRS, Lumos and Maestral International Finalists In MacArthur 100&Change Competition

Photo by Michael Stulman for CRS

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Tom Price
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(410) 951-7450


BALTIMORE, MD, September 19, 2017 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and partners Lumos and Maestral International are one of four finalists in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. The proposal, Changing the Way We CareSM reunites children in orphanages with their families, while providing critical family support so families can stay together. Research shows that 80 to 90 percent of children in orphanages around the world have at least one living parent.

CRS president & CEO Sean Callahan says, “This is important recognition for what is a global problem – the need for family, not institutional care, for all children. We know that almost all children in orphanages – 80 to 90 percent – have living parents and MacArthur is helping us get that word out, dispelling the myths that persist about orphanages.”

MacArthur’s 100&Change competition awards $100 million to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time. The winner will be announced in December.

Changing the Way We CareSM recognizes that poverty or disability are the real reasons most children are in orphanages. Parents often believe their child will be given a better education and healthcare – and a better life – if they live in an orphanage. However, decades of research shows that even the best institutional care damages the development of children, leading to increased risk of abuse and social problems in later life.  We also know that children in orphanages are four times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse and six times more likely to be victims of violence than those in family care.

Changing the Way We CareSM will return these children to family care by providing the critical support families need, while preventing more children from needlessly entering orphanages. Under the proposal, existing orphanages will become family support centers that will provide critical services that help families stay together. The team will initially work in Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon and Moldova.

“The love and care of family is what every child needs to thrive. We thank MacArthur for the opportunity to proceed and offer our congratulations to the other finalists,” said Callahan.

Changing the Way We CareSM brings together Catholic Relief Services, Lumos and Maestral International. Lumos was founded by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, and has extensive experience in a number of countries, especially in Eastern Europe. Maestral International is a global leader in supporting the development and strengthening of child protection and social welfare systems for children in adversity. 

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Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit or and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief@CRSnewsYouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

CRS & partners have been named finalists in MacArthur's 100&Change competition.More