Dadaab Refugee Camp

Dadaab, located in north-eastern Kenya, is the world’s largest refugee camp and has been around for 20 years.  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) manages Dadaab and established the refugee camp between October 1991 and June 1992.  The refugees that filled the camp came from Somalia as a result of a civil war.

“The original intention was for the three Dadaab camps to host up to 90,000 people,” said UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic. “However today they host more than 463,000 refugees, including some 10,000 third-generation refugees born in Dadaab to refugee parents who were also born there.”

In 2011, Somalia experienced a famine causing a third of its population to relocate to Dadaab.  UNHCR was able to manage increased arrival numbers by creating rapid response assistance and reception centers.  Dadaab provides shelter, protection and humanitarian assistance, but also faces risk of floods, diseases and overcrowding.

“On the occasion of this anniversary UNHCR is renewing its appeal to the international community to ensure continued support to the approximately 1 million Somali refugees in the region, and to Kenya and the other countries that are hosting them,” Mahecic said.

UNHCR was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950 to safeguard the rights of well-being refugees.  It coordinates and leads international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems.


UNHCR Makes a Breakthrough in the Protection of Stateless People

Earlier this month, a conference was held in Geneva on the issue of statelessness.  Representatives from close to 150 states, more than 70 of which are at ministerial level, attended the conference.  Over 12 million people are affected by statelessness and there are 15.4 million refugees worldwide.  As the conference came to a close, eight countries ratified and deposited their instruments of accession to one of the two United Nations statelessness conventions this year.  Furthermore, at the ministerial meeting 20 countries made commitments to ratify the conventions.

“Statelessness is one of the most forgotten areas of the global human rights agenda. To be honest, statelessness has been kind of a stepchild of UNHCR’s mandate. The number of countries that have ratified the statelessness conventions is out of proportion to the number of countries that have ratified the 1951 [Refugee] Convention and its [1967] Protocol,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) was established in 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly to resolve refugee problems, lead international action to protect refugee, and help stateless people.  Hamed Wardak, CEO of Ludus, is partnered with UNHCR to educate people about the plight of refugees worldwide.

USA for UNHCR Supports the UN Refugee Agency

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) was created in 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly to help over one million European refugees after World War II.  It has continued to provide shelter, food, water, medical care and protection to refugees worldwide.  More than 36 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to war and persecution and UNHCR helps them return to their homes safely when possible or assists with resettlement.  Many of the people UNHCR helps are women and children, who come from over 117 countries.

The UN Refugee Agency’s work is supported by the United States Association for UNHCR (USA for UNHCR).  They work together to build awareness and support in the United States for these life-saving relief programs.

Ludus, with CEO Hamed Wardak, is currently partnered with USA for UNHCR. Through this relationship, they are educating the public about the plight of refugees around the world and raising money to improve refugees’ lives.  Hamed Wardak has thrown several charity events to raise money to provide humanitarian relief to the millions of people whose lives have been devastated by the 2010 Pakistan floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions.

Hamed Wardak Gives Back Through Ludus Athletics

Hamed Wardak has created a unique business model allowing the ability to do well financially as well as being able to give back to the community. “So many members of the Afghan Diaspora are refugees in one way or another. I am pleased that I can give back, particularly through Ludus Athletics, my new eco-friendly, socially conscious active wear line,” said Hamed Wardak, CEO of Ludus Athletics.

Hamed is an advocate for the future of Afghanistan. He has made major donations to cultural exhibits in the US and to nonprofits providing educational services in rural areas of Afghanistan, primarily to women and children. He has also funded and continues to fund aid programs supporting refugees, particularly Afghan refugees, displaced by the Pakistan floods.

Hamed Wardak also said, “The UN Refugee Agency’s aid to Afghan refugees who have been displaced by the Pakistan floods is a cause that is close to my heart. Al Qaeda and the Taliban operate in these areas. If we don’t get involved to win the hearts and minds of these people, Al Qaeda and the Taliban will.”

Ludus Athletics Launches Event in LA

Ludus Athletics recently joined forces with the US Association for UNHCR, adding their support in the efforts to help refugees all over the world in an event launched at the splendid Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, LA.

Hamed Wardak, CEO of Ludus Athletics and one of the initiators of the event explained, “We brought the United Nations Refugee Agency to Los Angeles for the first time to launch Ludus Athletics because LA is more socially concerned and athletic, and we wanted to raise awareness for the ongoing plight of Pakistan flood victims, particularly Afghans.”

Ludus Athletics presented various fashions throughout the event. The men’s and women’s graphic t-shirts displayed five different themes: Greco/Roman, Latin/Mayan, Asian/Buddhist, Arabesque and Angelique. The themes were chosen as a result of the symbolism of each culture, and each represented the evolution of mind, body and spirit. For this reason, the shirts were made from eco-friendly, organic cotton.

Creative Fundraising with Hike to Help Refugees

There are certainly many creative ways to raise funds for refugees from Afghanistan and other war-torn countries.  A number of years ago, one creative woman, Margaret Hahn, came up with the idea of having a hike to help refugees.  In conjunction with her Omaha, Nebraska Yoga School, they started a hike to support refugees and to contribute to the UN Refugee Agency.

Hike to Help Refugees, started in May of 2003, has used its funds to purchase all-season tents for Afghan and Darfur refugees, among other causes.  Since 2003, they have raised over $65,000 to support refugees, with more than 300 hikers participating in their programs.

This is one example of the many ways to help the UN Refugee Agency, where people such as Hamed Wardak focus their time and energy to help those in need.