A Call to Dumbledore’s Army of the Real World to Help in Darfur

Nov 16, 2007

Posted by: SueTLC


As readers of the Harry Potter novels know, many characters in the beloved series work together to confront social issues. So too have Harry Potter fans who are long noted for their concern and response toward pressing real life issues. One such issue is the crisis in Darfur, and today, the Harry Potter Alliance, along with we at Leaky, MuggleNet, and the Wizarding Rock Community are asking for your help. Andrew Slack of the Harry Potter Alliance has issued a call to action regarding a truly horrific situation involving the mothers of Darfur, and has sent along an important message regarding this matter. Please take a moment to consider the following information, and we hope you will join with us in helping solve this issue. Andrew writes:

More than any thing else, Harry Potter is a treatise on the power of love, in particular, the love of a mother for her child. Darfur is in the Western region of Sudan where the government is currently engaging in a form of genocide by hiring their Janjaweed militia to systematically kill the people of Darfur and there are now as many as 2.5 million refugees.

As the situation in Darfur worsens and more people are forced into refugee camps, firewood near the camps grows increasingly scarce. Every day, women and girls are forced to wander further into the desert in search of firewood for cooking, exposing them to rape and attack from waiting militias. In Harry Potter series, we understand and value the bravery of mothers who are willing to risk their own lives for their children. Just as Lily Potter’s love and bravery was stronger than any thing Voldemort ever possessed so too are these women’s love and bravery, but something must be done to help.

In response, STAND (a nationwide, student-led division of the Genocide Intervention Network, mobilizes high school and college-age young adults through more than 800 campus chapters to actively organize to prevent and stop genocide wherever and whenever it may occur) and the Genocide Intervention Network have a unique civilian protection program on the ground in Darfur . This program offers safer cooking options by providing alternative-fuel stoves, guarded firewood patrols, and incoming-generating projects for women so that they can afford to buy firewood instead of having to gather it.

On December 5th, students around the world will ask their peers, families, and communities to join them in DarfurFast—an event that asks participants to fast from one item for the day and donate the money that they would have spent on those items to protecting civilians in Darfur. If your friends save three dollars each just by giving up on a pack of gum and a cup of coffee…it can go to make a world of difference.”

“As a Dumbledore’s Army for the real world, we ask that you give what you can and tap into the magic of your creativity to figure out ways you can encourage others to give as well. In honor of the character Lily Potter and all that she has taught us, in honor of the mothers of Darfur , and in honor of all of those who love, your contribution will make a world of difference.Thank you!”

100% of your donation to the DarfurFast campaign will go towards the Civilian Protection Program. Donations are entirely tax deductible.To hear an earlier episode of PotterCast which focused on the crisis as a whole, please click here.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.