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January 21, 2022

For a young mother in Ethiopia, new clothes bring dignity and relief

Wila is a mother with two young children, and like all mothers, she does everything she can to ensure her children are healthy, happy and have clean clothes for school each day. But Wila faces the daily challenges of raising a growing family in Ethiopia’s Kobe refugee camp -- where accessing something essential like clothing for growing children is a major hurdle. Beyond her strength and determination, a little help can go a long way. 

Recently, Kobe refugee camp received a delivery of new clothes from Gap Inc. as part of a multi-year partnership with USA for UNHCR to deliver six million pieces of clothing to refugees around the world.

“I’m thankful to receive the clothes because I will be able to buy food with the money that I was going to spend on clothes for my kids,” shares Wila. “My kids will have better nutrients this year,” she continues. 

Wila has lived in the Kobe refugee camp for more than 10 years after her family was forced to flee their home in Somalia. She still has vivid memories of the journey and recalls that there were increased protection risks for young girls and women. Thankfully, the family, along with others from their hometown, arrived at the camp safely. 

While it still remains unsafe for the family to return home, Wila is happy to be in the camp surrounded by her children and her mother. Life is not easy in Kobe but the new clothes will help ease her anxiety about sending her children to school. 


“It is just the simple things, the fact that the kids go to school with new and clean clothes helps integrate them better in the classroom and encourages them to go to school,” Wila shares. “I am happy my children now can attend school with dignified clothes, clean and looking smart.”

Like her children, Wila is also enrolled in adult education at the camp. She is grateful to have received light long-sleeved shirts as part of the allotment of clothing for her family since they are aligned with her Somali culture.

How you can help…

Your compassion represents a new beginning to those who have recently fled. And for people whose journey is prolonged, new clothing will give them confidence and hope for a brighter future. Most importantly, you can show refugees they are cared for and loved. That’s the wonderful gift you will provide by donating to our New Clothes, New Beginnings initiative.