It is undeniable that J.K. Rowling has an immensely powerful, global voice. With about 450 million Harry Potter books sold in 67 different languages, Rowling has established herself not only as a brilliant author, but also as someone who truly understands the human condition and yearns to do as much as she can to ensure that those in need are able to have the best lives possible.
‘Suddenly you think, “I can give and I can do something for [charities],”‘ she declared. She is, in fact, taking this advocacy and desire to effect change to the next level: In a telling interview with Geordie Greig of Event Magazine, J.K. Rowling announced plans to re-launch her charity Lumos in Britain.
Lumos is a charity that works “to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalization of children.” Rowling started the charity seven years ago, naming if after the light-producing spell in her Harry Potter books. In a few weeks time, she will take the stage at Warner Bros. in Hertfordshire to kick off newly energized rallying.
Harry Potter’s own personal struggle of being orphaned and placed into the neglectful and bullying Dursley family serves as a direct inspiration for Lumos. Rowling recounted, ‘Harry has been left in a very hostile environment, so there are clear parallels [with Lumos]. He is a boy removed from his family by bereavement.’ The mission of what Rowling’s charity strives to achieve also mirrors Harry’s welcoming of Teddy Lupin into his family after Teddy, too, was orphaned. It is strongly believed by many Potterfans that Teddy’s fate reflected a reprieve for the childhood of which Harry was deprived, and who better to show Teddy that he was, in fact, loved and cherished, than Harry himself!
Thus far, Rowling has donated millions of pounds to establish Lumos to liberate children from deplorable conditions, horrific caged beds, and prison-like “orphanages” so they may return to their families, and she hopes that, like the Harry Potter series, this mission will have the same impact in terms of global reach.
Since its beginning, Lumos has effectively cut the number of children living in care institutions in Moldova by 63 percent, as well as helped to close approximately one third of all workhouse institutions. All in all, over 7,000 children have been helped by Lumos’ efforts, and the charity now turns to Britain to help kids in need.
A mere twenty years ago, Rowling struggled as a single mother, sometimes forgoing food to make sure that her daughter, Jessica, got enough to eat. It is still difficult for her to talk about this time in her life, and to revisit the small flat that she and Jessica once called “home.” Said Rowling, ‘I was as poor as it’s possible to be… Now I am able to give… My situation has given me a lot of fuel for my passion in this area.’
After reading about the interview on Daily Mail, Luna Lovegood’s portrayer Evanna Lynch tweeted, ‘It only takes a little dose of JKR to remind me of what life’s about and why we’re here. Best human on the planet.’
It is clear that J.K. Rowling will continue on this awesome journey to offer her own personal brand of magic to children and families in need in Europe, and we genuinely look forward to the re-launch of this wonderful charity, Lumos!
Images courtesy of DailyMail.co.uk