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New H&M Foundation Campaign Supports Education for Refugee Children

The H&M Foundation is helping refugee children this holiday season.

For every H&M gift card purchased Nov. 3-Dec. 31, H&M Foundation will make a donation to help the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) bring school supplies to refugee children worldwide. The campaign will run in 47 markets worldwide, with the active involvement of 4,000 stores.

“We are thrilled to see H&M Foundation engaging people worldwide in support of refugees, as part of its continued commitment to the refugee cause,” UNHCR head of partnerships Lionello Boscardi said. “At a time when record numbers of people have been forced to flee, campaigns such as this one are invaluable—they enable UNHCR to assist refugees and at the same time provide a way for the public to take action.”

Currently, more than half of the 16.1 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate are children. When they are forced to leave their countries, some children miss out on the opportunity to receive a formal education. On a global scale, only 50 percent of refugee children are enrolled in primary education and a mere 22 percent attend secondary school. Along with UNHCR, the H&M Foundation is ensuring that refugee children have a right to fair education, despite the ongoing global refugee conflict.

“With this latest donation H&M Foundation will have committed a total of $7.5 million to different partners and programs related to refugees during the last two years,” H&M Foundation global manager Diana Amini said. “Children who have been forced to flee their homes are often the most marginalized and hardest to reach and we want to support UNHCR in their work to ensure an education for children in crisis settings.”

Supermodel Alek Wek, a former refugee from South Sudan, is a supporter of H&M Foundation’s campaign. She also serves as an ambassador for the H&M Foundation and as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

“My father used to tell me education is key,” Wek said. “You can lose almost everything but you can never lose your knowledge.”