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.

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

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I love you for posting this, TLC.

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I don’t have a credit card. Does anyone know where I can donate via paypal, through my checking or savings account?

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thank you for posting this leaky =D


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Leaving aside the question of whether political adverts are appropriate for the Leaky front page, donating money is not going to solve the situation in Darfur. This is not primarily a question of famine or poverty (although those are exacerbating the situation).

It is a conflict between people with guns (the Janjaweed) and people without guns (the refugees). People would have more of an influence by pressurising politicians to call for a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur. Having international soldiers protecting them will save the refugees of Darfur. Giving them money won’t.

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Perhaps badgering our politicians truly is the best solution, but I think the average person feels proactive by donating to worthy causes, and they don’t get much worthier than this.

Mr. Russell is correct—-but let’s do both, shall we? We are on-board Dec 5. Pass the word…

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The HP Alliance has always first and foremost advocated that people talk to their politicians. It is essential that our politicians treat the genocide in Darfur as a major priority. If any one in the US would like to contact their member of Congress and wants help with what to say, just call 1-800-GENOCIDE, put in your zip code, and a recording will gently guide you through the steps on what to say and then will direct you to your politician’s office.

The international community in which each of us is a citizen has a responsibility to end this genocide.

That said, the money being raised for this is going to save people from being further abused and therefore should also be treated as a top priority of the international community. Thank you for posting this Leaky and allowing the inspiration of Harry Potter to leak out into the world!

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HPfreak…are you HPfreak at CC?

If so, hey chick! :)

Leaky Staff,

Charity is a great way to use HP fan power. What are the credentials of the Genocide Intervention Network? Are they the ones distributing supplies on the ground? I like to make sure that 100% of my donated funds go to those in need. I didn’t find much on their site.


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Thank you for posting this.

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Great Work, HPA!

I work with youth in the area of Youth Empowerment, helping kids and young adults to act on their passions and to be agents of change in their communities and around the world. I AM SO PROUD of the HP fanbase, and thankful that the HP books are empowering youth to change their world.


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You’re right Leaky…we can make a difference. THANK YOU!

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I agree with what Russel said as money might help the situation a little bit for a short while but it wont protect the people.Perhaps TLC can start a online petition asking that the Government gets involved with helping the people of Darfur.Our voices can make a differance but only if we make ourselves heard.Could TLC please consider putting up a online petition for this cause?

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Hi all:

I saw this cool organization in an Oprah Magazine and again in Newsweek this summer. It’s The Darfur Stoves Project (www.DarfurStoves.org). They’ve build a super efficient stove for the Darfur Refugees. It si so efficient that mother don’t need to leave the camps as often so they’re not at as much risk from the janjaweed. $20 buys you a stove. If you want to help, I’d totally recommend this group!

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Considering how currupt the distribution of aid is from the US to Africa in general, I think it is most important to send materials instead of money. That way, governments have less incentive to steal and refrain from giving the money that was sent to support the refugees.

Thank you Leaky for raising awarenes for Darfur. We are focusing on genocide in geostudies in school at the moment and most of the kids have no clue what Dafur even is let alone knowing that a genocide is going on. So I commend you, and its great we can pull the Potter community together to help.

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I agree with David Russell and would echo his sentiments with regard to political adverts on the Leaky front page. If the HP Alliance is so dedicated to various causes, please create a web site and direct readers to it. I, too, support selected charities and causes, but do not care to go to a HP fan web site and find this classified as HP-related news.

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Yes but tinney and others, this is the way the HP fanbase works.

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...sorry forgot to finish it. This is the way we work. This is TLC and even mugglenet put it on theres. Thanks leaky for the article.

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