#BuyPens campaign raises $145,000 for Syrian Refugees in three days

By Kate Hassett

#BuyPens campaign raises $145,000 for Syrian Refugees in three days
An image of a destitute Syrian Refugee selling pens to support his family has gone viral and the world responded perfectly.

After just one tweet, Norwegian activist Gissue Simonarson has changed the lives of this destitute family.

After posting an emotional image of a man attempting to sell pens to support his family, while carrying his sleeping daughter, thousands of people responded wanting to assist in any way they could. Soon after, a campaign was born that would see over $145,000 raised, in just a few days.

Simonarson told CNN that he spent two days looking for the refugees after he was overwhelmed by the global response, calling for requests to help the unidentified man. 

The man, once found, was identified as Abdul Halim, a Syrian refugee who fled from Yarmouk. Halim is just one of the millions of victims of Syria’s continuing civil war which has seen over 20% of the population displaced in just four years.

Simonarson set up an Indiegogo Campaign to assist Halim’s family after being moved by such a positive response from concerned members of the public. As of August 30, the campaign had seen 5,500 people raise over $145,000, giving Halim and his family the opportunity to start again, free from the brutality of civil war, ensuring safety for himself and his family. 

In an emotional interview with NBC News, Halim said he was completely overwhelmed by the public’s response.

“I don’t want my daughter to stay on the streets, and I want to teach my son. That is all that matters to me, us. This campaign will change my life positively. I want to help my siblings and help the Syrians here in Lebanon. I want to help my parents, my siblings that live in Syria.”

If Halim and his family are able to improve the situation they are in, then he hopes to open his own shop and one day, time permitting, he hopes to move back to Syria.

“There needs to be a solution,” he said. “We want peace. We want to solve the problems.” he told NBC


Print Recipe


Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe. 

Member Login