Harry Potter Alliance celebrate Helping Haiti Heal’s fifth anniversary
The Harry Potter Alliance is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its hugely successful Helping Haiti Heal campaign.
Five years ago, the Harry Potter Alliance joined forces with the likes of J.K. Rowling, Hank and John Green, Maureen Johnson, and more in an extremely successful effort to contribute to humanitarian relief in Haiti, in the wake of a devastating earthquake that killed at least 220,000 people, injured another 300,000 people, and left around 1.5 million people displaced and vulnerable.
With strong support from members, Helping Haiti Heal managed to raise $123,000 for Partners in Health, allowing the organization to send five cargo planes of essential medical supplies to the Caribbean country. The five planes were named Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and DFTBA, in honor of the heroes and concepts that inspired organizers and donors alike.
Nixon Boumba, a citizen of Haiti who works for American Jewish World Service as an in-country consultant, wrote the following in this Washington Post article:
Haitians are not benefiting as fully as they should from this global aid. Despite billions of dollars earmarked for Haiti, nearly 100,000 people still live under plastic tarps in displacement camps. Poverty has worsened all around the capital: more beggars on the streets, an increase in teen pregnancy, and more people turning to sex work. A cholera epidemic has wrought further devastation, killing thousands; the CDC and others have suggested the strong possibility that cholera was brought to Haiti by United Nations peacekeepers, the very force tasked with stabilizing the country. In truth, a great deal of the ‘redevelopment’ has gone to help the rich and powerful, not the impoverished and displaced people who need it the most.
The relief effort helped people on the ground deal with an immediate crisis, but it couldn’t fix or bypass problems that existed before the crisis occurred. Fixing political and economic inequality requires more than money. It requires a long-term investment of time and energy into research, advocacy, and sustained action. It requires the leadership of people who truly understand the complex cultural factors at play.
The Harry Potter Alliance has come a long way since 2010, and its list of accomplishments continues to grow. The fandom’s unwavering support makes all of these victories possible. Recently, it has compelled Warner Bros. to commit to ethical cocoa sourcing for all Harry Potter brand chocolate, raised over 200,000 books and built libraries for communities in need, worked with low-wage workers and their advocates to shift the cultural narrative surrounding the Hunger Games, and so much more.
You can read the full press release below.