Wednesday March 25, 2020
Halima Aden often uses her platform and voice to advocate for children. File/AFP
DUBAI: Since the COVID-19 outbreak, now officially a pandemic, began in December, schools and educational institutions have closed worldwide, interrupting the lives and education of millions of children and youth across the globe. This is why Somali-American model Halima Aden has teamed up with UNICEF on a project that will help educate children via educational at-home videos.
In an essay penned for American Vogue, Aden shared that these videos “can be as simple as learning to play the ‘drums’ with a spoon as a drumstick or making origami.” She also encouraged her fellow fashion friends and the larger community to use their platforms by participating and create a video to keep children learning using the hashtag #UCanLearn.“It’s more important now than ever that those of us with large platforms use our voices to support organizations that are making a difference. It is crucial that while schools are closing to keep people safe, that we continue to make sure children are given the opportunity of uninterrupted learning,” the 22-year-old wrote.
Aden, who has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2018, often uses her public platform to advocate for children.
The former child refugee, who fled to the US with her family during the Somali Civil War in the early 1990s, credits the humanitarian aid institution as one of the organizations that helped her family when she was at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, where she was born.
She lived at the Kenyan refugee camp for seven years with her parents before moving to the US.
In August 2019, the hijab-wearing model traveled to Italy, where she met with refugee adolescents and families.
Earlier, she traveled with UNICEF Next Generation from Mexico City to Chiapas, the southern Mexico state bordering Guatemala, where she met with migrants living at local shelters and migrant women attending village schools.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” in 2018, Aden said that being an ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund is her proudest accomplishment to date.
“My mom can pick up a Vogue magazine and she doesn’t really understand, but when I told her about UNICEF, she started crying, you know. When I told her that news, it was like the first time in my modeling career that she was really, truly proud of me,” Aden shared.