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Supporting refugee children with the school supplies

Project time period


Over half of all refugees are children. When children are forced to flee, they often miss out on years of schooling, which is crucial to help children build better future for themselves and their families. This is why the H&M Foundation and UNHCR joined forces in a project supporting refugee children with the school supplies they need to attend school.

Today, there are 16.1 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, of which more than half are children. Yet, globally only 50% of refugee children have access to primary education and only 22% go to secondary school.

All refugee children have the right to go to school, but many can’t. There are many reasons why, for example a shortage of schools, language barriers or extreme poverty so families can’t afford even the most basic school supplies.

An entire generation at risk

Education is crucial to helping refugee children thrive and build brighter futures for themselves and their communities. Without the chance to study, an entire generation is at risk.

This is why the H&M Foundation has been supporting the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in their work to help refugee children attend schools in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children.

For every H&M gift card sold during November and December 2016 in some 4,000 H&M stores worldwide, the H&M Foundation made a donation in support of refugee children. This generated a total donation of 30 million Swedish krona. The donation has benefitted 787,000 refugee children across the world, who have received school supplies such as textbooks and stationery. These supplies are important to ensuring that refugee children can go to and stay in school.

Project Specifics

  • Financial Support: 30 million SEK
  • Period: 20172019
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Countries: Chad, Ethiopia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda and Yemen
  • Focus Areas: Equality
  • Partners: UNHCR

Children reached by 2019: 1 million