JK Rowling Takes a Stand for the Children of Darfur!

BREAKING NEWS: the world’s leading children’s authors, including our favorite: JK Rowling!, have come together to publish an open letter demanding the world wake up to childhood under attack in Darfur.

JK Rowling’s words, characters, and stories have deeply touched each of our hearts reminding us of the power of bravery in the face of unbelievable odds, of imagination, of laughter, of tears, of friendship, community, and above all: love. We in the Harry Potter Alliance are honored to stand alongside our favorite author (as well as thirteen other beloved children’s authors) in the fight to make a safe world for the children of Darfur. For over two years we have been working, in Harry’s name to wake the world up to end the genocide in Darfur the way Dumbledore’s Army woke the world up to Voldemort’s return.

We thank each of you with all of our heart for your help and ask that you continue to work with us in the days, weeks, and months ahead. So please sign up for our newsletter on our homepage, please consider starting an HP Alliance chapter in your school or community, and please stay tuned in the next couple of days for our next step in joining Harry, Dumbledore, and our real world hero Jo Rowling in making this world a place where the spirit of every child, including the children of Darfur, can be safe to come out of the cupboard and experience the magic of life and love.

Please click below for more details as well as the full list of authors and the text of the letter.

More Info On The Letter
On the eve of the Global Day for Darfur – with events in dozens of countries around the world marking the fifth anniversary of the conflict – fourteen children’s authors from North America, Africa, Europe and the Arab World have come together to demand resolute action from the international community.

The passionately written letter says that, “Children barely old enough to walk, let alone run, have seen their homes burnt and razed to the ground, their mothers raped and their fathers killed. Most are now holed up in sprawling camps, traumatised and living in fear.”

The letter is signed by 14 children’s authors in all from various countries, including Judy Blume, R.L. Stine, Louis Sachar, Cornelia Funke and of course, JK Rowling!

What’s really amazing about this is that JK Rowling and these other thirteen authors write books that enrich and elevate the spirits of children throughout the world. Now they have come together to actively fight against forces that are attempting to break these children’s spirits.

The letter goes on to urge that, “It is time to change the narrative. It is time to tell a different story. This April many children in Darfur will be reaching their fifth birthdays without ever having known peace. The world needs to wake up. For too long it has let these children suffer. Our politicians need to act on Darfur.”

Specifically, the authors call for the international community to demand an immediate ceasefire, full deployment of the U.N. peacekeeping force, action against anyone blocking deployment and support for a just peace process.

Their appeal concludes, “The children of Darfur didn’t ask for this war, but are living their days caught in the crossfire of reverberating bullets. They must be allowed to be children again. Despite the daily terror they face, they still have hopes and dreams. The world needs to act now to give the children of Darfur a future.”

The Text of the Letter
In Darfur there is a story that is being told, re-told, and told again. It is a story of loss, fear, and trauma. Of children’s fates being dictated by armed men. It is a not a story that we want to tell you. But it is a story you must hear.

Today is the Day for Darfur, which marks the fifth anniversary of one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts. Over 200,000 people have been killed and over two million have been forced to flee from their homes and villages. Children barely old enough to walk, yet alone run, have seen their homes burnt and razed to the ground, their mothers raped and their fathers killed. Most are now holed up in sprawling camps, traumatised and living in fear. Children in Darfur draw pictures of bombs and guns. It is all they have ever known. Childhood is under attack in Darfur.
It is time to change the narrative. It is time to tell a different story. This April many children in Darfur will be reaching their fifth birthdays without ever having known peace. The world needs to wake up. For too long it has let these children suffer. Our politicians need to act on Darfur. It is time they demanded an immediate ceasefire, fully supported by the peacekeepers and punished anyone who tries to block their deployment. They must also do more to support a peace process based on justice and human rights, so there can be hope of an end to the suffering.
The children of Darfur didn’t ask for this war, but are living their days caught in the crossfire of reverberating bullets. They must be allowed to be children again. Despite the daily terror they face, they still have hopes and dreams. The world needs to act now to give the children of Darfur a future.

List of Children’s Authors who have signed the Letter
Mike Berenstain
Judy Blume
Gillian Cross
Anne Fine
Cornelia Funke
Julia Golding
Michael Morpugo
J.K. Rowling

Louis Sachar
Rawya Sadek
Amanda Sthers
R.L. Stine
Tracey West
Daniel Pennac

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21 Comments

  1. Isabel

    April 11, 2008 at 8:49 pm
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    That ought to catch their eye!

  2. robby

    April 11, 2008 at 9:14 pm
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    aww thats sad everybody sighn against it!

  3. Ahmad

    April 11, 2008 at 10:37 pm
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    yo, thats not even cool. I’d hate to live a life which all i see is bombs and weapons, thats not cool. somebodys gotta step up

  4. Cambria

    April 12, 2008 at 1:54 am
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    Children of Darfur – I pray in the name of Jesus that you will protected. God will be your protector. Please everyone that reads the letter, please sign against this evil act!

  5. Kiwi

    April 12, 2008 at 4:46 am
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    Well, at least somebody’s trying something. I mean, seriously DO-ing something to make the world know. Otherwise, nothing’s gonna happen.

  6. April 12, 2008 at 9:56 am
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    That’s so AMAZING!

  7. Casy

    April 12, 2008 at 12:34 pm
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    Way to go Jo and all the other authors. Thanks should also go to the HP alliance for being one of the first to connect children’s literature and activism; hopefully with all the support from this field something will finally be done.

  8. Miki

    April 12, 2008 at 3:27 pm
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    It’s great to see these people that everyone knows and looks up to stand up against evil and pain, and they certainly managed to wake me up – I hadn’t even heard of Darfur before I read the link to this page on Mugglenet.com! Also the HP alliance are doing the right thing by campaigning with these authors. Keep going!

  9. Colleen

    April 12, 2008 at 4:34 pm
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    Alright everybody it is time to stand up and start shouting out against this situation.

  10. Emily

    April 12, 2008 at 5:32 pm
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    I hope this will catch peoples attention and the world will do something about the horrible happenings in Darfur.

  11. Amira

    April 12, 2008 at 7:31 pm
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    It’s great that JK Rowling is donating her money and spreading the word about movements she supports. People who have as much money as she does should do that.

  12. John

    April 12, 2008 at 8:14 pm
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    The only way we can try to fight the crisis in Darfur is to stand together, instead of squabbling about oil and the economy we should try to fight this peacefully. At least we know people are doing something to stop it, even President Bush, a man I can never support, has called for an end to it.

  13. Laura

    April 12, 2008 at 8:46 pm
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    how could something like this happen?

  14. Celeste

    April 12, 2008 at 9:06 pm
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    I’m glad to see this conflict getting some attention again– it seems to often be ignored…when was the last time you saw a news article about these atrocities? No-one should have to live through those kinds of experiences, let alone children!

    I’m also happy to see people who kids looks up to doing something (Symbolic though it may be) about the Darfur region and its pointless war….

  15. Sarah

    April 12, 2008 at 10:08 pm
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    I am so proud of all these authors. It’s good to see they’re using their fame for a good cause.

  16. Cynical

    April 12, 2008 at 10:45 pm
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    I don’t understand how you can sit here and say that this is good. Sure it’s to be commended that these authors are trying to speak out against terrible acts, but that’s all they’re doing. They’re telling us it’s wrong, something we already know. Something people have been moaning on about for months. If you guys, or anyone really cared about mothers being raped and fathers being killed and children suffering do more than pray, hope, sit on your computers and say that you care. If anyone cared why has this been going on since 2005? Why, three years from now, are people still dying of hunger and disease when our lazy rich selves are content to symbolize our feelings for them. Sorry it just doesn’t cut it for me.

  17. April 13, 2008 at 12:17 am
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    As shocked as i am that such cruetly can exist in humanity, i am equally proud that such compassion and good still exists in our race. I commend these authors for taking a stand and setting a good example to their readers. i love you Jo! “the weapon we have is love!”

  18. Hannah

    April 13, 2008 at 9:23 am
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    Instead of just leaving comments or telling us that this stuff is going on and it’s bad they/ we should take action against it, we just sit here and watch hoping it won’t happen to us well I got news for you HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF so this could happen to you just like history is trying to do a repeat of WW2 right now with Muslims and Jews so don’t just sit there DO SOMETHING about it take a stand for what IS right.

  19. ExorcisingEmily

    April 13, 2008 at 9:33 am
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    Cynical–

    You realize that the sheer statement “People have been moaning about it for months” illustrates exactly the problem.

    Months.

    Out of the YEARS this calculated genocide has been ongoing. Out of all that time of murder, destruction, rape, and the systematic purging of a people.

    You say it’s something “We already know” and unfortunately, you’re wrong. It’s not publicised any more. It’s not covered. It’s glossed over in favor of political back and forth, over celebrity news and over the daily petty Infotainment calling itself our news programs.

    What they are doing is a calculated move to put it back into the spotlight by MAKING it something the news will cover again. We’re far more interested in our celebrity talents than we seem to be in these atrocities.

    That they understand that isn’t them condoning it–it’s them using their fame to bring attention back to where it should be–the horrors going on over there. If this inspires anyone to ACT then they have done a good thing.

    And meanwhile, considering their signatory status on the letter, I would expect that they WILL be using their wealth to help as they can.

    I understand cynicism. I do. The inaction over all on part of our governments ensures it. None of us individually can do enough–but I wouldn’t recommend condemning those who try for their actions.

  20. GracieGrint

    April 14, 2008 at 8:01 pm
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    This is amazing, but awareness only goes so far. I’m glad Jo Rowling is using her fame and publicity to create awareness and make a difference, but many other people can too, not just famous authors. EVERYONE should contribute to ending the horrific genocide in Darfur.

  21. June 27, 2008 at 2:07 am
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    ouch, we must really do somwethin’ worth for our african brothers…

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