The Magic Of J.K. Rowling’s Lumos!

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“You say, ‘Child pornography,’ and everyone knows it is awful. But you say, ‘Orphanages’ and people still think they’re a good thing, or at least tolerable. They’re not… Children need homes, not orphanages.”

Picture eight million things. It can be anything really, just think of eight million of them.

It’s a big number. Eight million of anything is a lot. Now, let’s think of it not as a thing, but eight million people. More specifically: eight million children.

That’s how many children around the world are living in orphanages and institutions – separated from families because of poverty, discrimination or disability. And without the love of a family, their life chances are poor, and they are much more likely to suffer from behavioural and mental health problems, alcohol or drug misuse and violence. It’s way more than you may have ever thought about.

Aren’t quite convinced about the severity of the situation, though? Well, let me put it this way:

One study by the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, looking at children in orphanages around the world, found that young adults raised in institutions are 10 times more likely to be involved in prostitution than their peers, 40 times more likely to have a criminal record and 500 times more likely to take their own lives

8-millionI’m not going to lie, before I was asked to get involved with Lumos, I didn’t really think about orphanages a lot, besides the briefest glimpse of children in Dickensian musicals. But here’s the thing, orphanages are harmful, children need families, and this is exactly what Lumos is working on providing.

And now that I know, I can’t ignore it.

THE MORNING GALA

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Lumos USA President Billy DiMichele, Evanna Lynch, Lumos CEO Georgette Mulheir, Warwick Davis and Jason Isaacs supporting the Lumos launch of its 'Be the Light' T-shirt to raise funds for its work to help end the institutionalization of children around the world at The Hospital Club on September 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Lumos) *** Local Caption *** Billy DiMichele;Evanna Lynch;Georgette Mulheir;Warwick Davis;Jason Isaacs

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Lumos USA President Billy DiMichele, Evanna Lynch, Lumos CEO Georgette Mulheir, Warwick Davis and Jason Isaacs supporting the Lumos launch of its ‘Be the Light’ T-shirt to raise funds for its work to help end the institutionalization of children around the world at The Hospital Club on September 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Lumos)

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, is working on fixing this issue with her charity. Lumos is the light spell in Harry Potter and that’s what they’re trying to do: shine a light on this issue. They believe that child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. And it’s something everyone can get involved with.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Martin Wickens, Alex Shebar, Katy English, Evanna Lynch, Katie Brennan, Ashlegh O'Connell and Charlie Elliott supporting the Lumos launch of its 'Be the Light' T-shirt to raise funds for its work to help end the institutionalization of children around the world at The Hospital Club on September 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Lumos) *** Local Caption *** Martin Wickens;Alex Shebar;Katy English;Evanna Lynch;Katie Brennan;Ashlegh O'Connell;Charlie Elliott

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Martin Wickens, Alex Shebar, Katy English, Evanna Lynch, Katie Brennan, Ashlegh O’Connell and Charlie Elliott supporting the Lumos launch of its ‘Be the Light’ T-shirt to raise funds for its work to help end the institutionalization of children around the world at The Hospital Club on September 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Lumos)

Yesterday, I was invited down to a gala where we watched her new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with an opening speech by Ms. Rowling herself (more to come on that later this week). But before then, we had a chance to meet some of the charities ambassadors including the great Warick Davis, Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood in the films) and Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in the films).

And they also talked about the horrors they’d seen in orphanages around the world in places like Haiti and Moldova and why it’s so important for children to be in homes and loved.

Finally, they also launched the #WeAreLumos campaign, which is all about spreading the information I shared yesterday and raising money through the sales of a beautiful limited-edition t-shirt. Seriously, don’t we look good in it? And you can look good in it too!

SO WHAT CAN I DO?

Excellent question. We asked that exact same thing and there are two things they told us that you can do to help:

1. Purchase The T-shirt

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It’s a beautiful shirt, well designed, it supports an amazing cause and it gets the conversation going. How often have you worn even a half-interesting shirt and someone asks you about it? No difference. And you can, if you’d like, purchase one here. Spread the word, be the light!

But I totally get that money can’t be tight and you possibly can’t afford one. No worries at all, because the other way to help is even more important:

2. More Important: Spread The Word!

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Alex Shebar and Shamaine Watson supporting the Lumos launch of its 'Be the Light' T-shirt to raise funds for its work to help end the institutionalization of children around the world at The Hospital Club on September 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Lumos) *** Local Caption *** Alex Shebar;Shamaine Watson

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Alex Shebar and Shamaine Watson supporting the Lumos launch of its ‘Be the Light’ T-shirt to raise funds for its work to help end the institutionalization of children around the world at The Hospital Club on September 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Lumos)

Let people know. This issue is sadly going unrepresented, unheard of and untalked about. As I said earlier, most people don’t even realise it is an issue, much less that there are things that can be done to fight it. Help get the word out: share this post, hell, share any post about it, read the #WeAreLumos posts and retweet those too or write your own. This is an issue and one that needs to be talked about, and it starts with you.

Yep, you. You damn hero, you. 😀

With the work Lumos and others are doing, they really do believe they can stop this problem by 2050. And today, you can help them do that.

#WeAreLumos / #BeTheLight 💡

The Limited Edition Lumos ‘Be The Light’ T-Shirt is available from now until October 3. You can purchase one here and learn more about Lumos here.  

 

2 Comments

  • The Magic Of J.K. Rowling’s Lumos! | London | …
    September 19, 2016 - 3:47 pm
  • 36 Spoiler-Free Questions About “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” | Eat Play Pixels
    September 28, 2016 - 7:04 am

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