Years after penning the seven treasured novels about an orphaned wizard boy, J.K. Rowling has once again written about children less fortunate than most, though this time it's far from a work of fiction.
Rowling has put together a column for The Guardian that makes for a powerful read, detailing her journey to put an end to children living in orphanages and institutions worldwide, and help the current 8 million children already in these places "regain their right to a family" with the help of her organization, Lumos.
Lumos was named after the spell J.K. Rowling created in Harry Potter "to bring light to some dark and frightening places." She states that, "part of our work in Lumos is to shed light on the lives of those millions of children separated from their families for reasons of poverty, disability and discrimination."
The 49-year-old author was inspired to start the organization after seeing a particularly shocking image of a child in a caged bed in an institution, and feeling an overwhelming need to help those who had no voice against a cruel system they were forced into.
Today, the organization has seen very real developments happen in a short space of time. There has been a 70% reduction in the number of children in institutions in Moldova, a 54% drop in Bulgaria, and a 75% fall in admissions in Lumos' demonstration area in the Czech Republic. Lumos estimates that the institutionalization of children can be eradicated globally by 2050.
The organization is so important because it is not just getting children out of institutions, but also educating communities, insuring that this is a long term solution, and not a bandaid. This includes helping families who previously may have felt no choice but to give their children over the the state by investing in education and health. This type of support catches vulnerable people before they fall into a lifetime cycle of poverty, unemployment and ill health.
J.K. Rowling has already helped millions of children worldwide escape their every day lives by retreating into the magical world of Harry Potter, and it seems that although the books and films have stopped, her giving spirit continues.
To learn more about Lumos check them out over here.
Source: The Guardian