Moved by the plight of refugees, fashion designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Kimora Lee Simmons and her family have adopted a hands-on approach and dedicated their summer to migrant and refugee communities in Greece. They will work from the new resource centre (built using funds raised in 2017’s #GivingTuesday and a generous personal donation from Simmons) and along the migrant path, providing safe and consistent access to basic and important intimate health products as well as sexual health and reproductive education and care.
Simmons, who was named ambassador of The Unmentionables earlier this year, advocates for refugees at risk of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, issues that also affect young girls and adolescent boys. According to United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), there were more than 1,800 unaccompanied children without proper shelter and care in Greece last year. Children arriving separately from their families have reached unprecedented levels. More worryingly, over 75% of migrant and refugee children trying to reach Europe via the Central Mediterranean route also face appalling levels of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking.
“It’s incredibly important to me to expose this global crisis and bring attention to the level of deep, humanitarian need that exists to support persecuted people around the world. I am deeply grateful to support World Refugee Day and that I can expose my own children to opportunities to make a true, hands-on impact for the greater good. There are so many strife-torn families and separated children that need our collective protection as fellow humans to ensure their safety. How can we turn a blind eye? These kids look a lot like mine — they are young, hopeful and beautiful souls,” says Simmons.