In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the UN Refugee Agency is acting fast - increasing soap distributions, strengthening sanitation systems, improving education around prevention and much more.
To support these efforts, USA for UNHCR is proud to partner with Epimonia, a Minnesota-based apparel brand, on their campaign Humanity-19.
Founder Mohamed Malim is a resettled refugee from Somalia, whose experiences inspired him to find a way to give back.
“My parents took us from Somalia to Kenya to escape from civil war. I was born in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya,” shares Mohamed. “Basic necessities such as clean running water, food and medications were scarce. My mother would sometimes go out in the middle of the night to find food for our family, sacrificing her safety, so that we would have enough to see another day.”
After years in the camp, Mohamed and his family were fortunate enough to be resettled in the U.S.
The family spent their first year in Houston, Texas, before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has the second largest concentration of Somalians outside of Somalia.
“Life in America is great, but it came with new challenges,” recalls Mohamed. “My parents overcame them and learned a new language, found new jobs and a house where they could raise us.”
Mohamed’s family’s obstacles taught him to always believe in his dreams and to never give up. Now at 23 years old, he is a social entrepreneur, activist and humanitarian.
In December, 2017, Mohamed launched his company, Epimonia, to help refugees in need. The company recycles life jackets used by refugees in dangerous sea crossings into fashion items – such as bracelets, beanies and t-shirts. Direct portions of the profits support refugee programs in the United States. The goal is to help change the refugee narrative, combat xenophobia and support refugees.
“I want to show refugees that people do care about them and that we all can make a difference,” says Mohamed.
Epimonia launched the Humanity-19 campaign in response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The campaign aims to raise solidarity, awareness and much-needed funds for the refugee community - a population particularly vulnerable to contracting the disease.
Throughout the campaign, Epimonia will sell special bracelets and donate 100 percent of profits to its charity partners, including USA for UNHCR.
“I would like people to wear these bracelets - which are made from recycled life vests refugees wore when they fled for their lives - as a sign of solidarity.”
“My family was fortunate enough to receive support from the UN Refugee Agency when we were struggling for our lives,” shares Mohamed. “Now I want to continue helping refugees through the same organization that helped us. USA for UNHCR does a great work with refugees around the world and I will continue to support them.”
At USA for UNHCR, we are inspired by stories like Mohamed’s and thrilled when companies with purpose support our mission.
When you buy the blue “Dream Bracelet” here, 100 percent of the net proceeds will go to support the UN Refugee Agency’s coronavirus prevention and response efforts.