NEW YORK, NY – Refugees of all ages continue their march out of North Africa and the Middle East.
They face a dangerous and sometimes deadly journey, only to be met with political obstacles if they make it to Europe.
And now, Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO of Chobani, the Greek yogurt company, says that has to change, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is: half of his wealth and millions of his company’s money, in fact.
And he wants other corporations to step up.
Ulukaya is a Kurd from Turkey. Even though he has never been a refugee, he understands their situation because of his ethnic background.
Tens of thousands of Kurds have fled into turkey from Syria to escape ISIS. Although Turkey opened its border for the Kurds, the country hasn’t necessarily been the Welcome Wagon model for the Middle East.
About 600 refugees work at Chobani’s plant in upstate New York. Many of them tell the usual stories of oppression, persecution, and fear. Through them, Ulukaya learned the system for processing and resettling refugees is not working.
He’s convinced that corporate America will have to step up to get things changed.
Last year, he pledged $2 million from his company to help the refugee crisis along the Turkish border.
Earlier this year, he pledged $700 million of his own money, joining some of the world’s richest entrepreneurs who pledged to donate at least half of their wealth to help refugees.
Money is always good to help the immediate needs of refugees, but money alone will not stop the circumstances that created the crisis in the first place.