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Mark Cook OBE joins Purposely Podcast to talk about ending institutional care for children

Hope and Homes for Children was founded by Mark Cook OBE, a retired colonel, and his wife Caroline. The charity works alongside governments and civil society organisations in over 30 countries to dismantle orphanage-based care systems.

The first project was an orphanage in Croatia, where he was posted as part of the United Nations Protection Force. Initially, he and other soldiers repaired war-damaged orphanages before realising what children really needed was a family. Hope and Homes for children then began to pioneer the deinstitutionalisation of orphanages and children's homes. By August 2018, the charity had closed 105 institutions in nine countries, prevented around 20,000 children entering or re-entering institutions and had helped to change childcare systems.

Listen to the full story and hear about, the early mistakes they made on their charitable journey, his friendship with BBC war correspondant Martin Bell and the promise he made to children to rebuild their bombed orphanage during the Bosnian War.