‘Like winning the lottery’: Child raises over two million kronor selling charity pins

Twelve-year-old Murhaf Hamid from Glimåkra, southern Sweden, has raised a whopping 2.4 million Swedish kronor selling 'majblommor' flower pins for charity after a viral social media post.

'Like winning the lottery': Child raises over two million kronor selling charity pins
Murhaf Hamid poses with his sales satchel. Photo: private

“It’s like winning the lottery,” Hamid told local news channel SVT Skåne. “You help children and can earn some money yourself.”

Children selling the flower pins are allowed to keep ten percent of the money they earn as commission, as well as any extra tips.

Sales didn’t start out well, family friend Leila Orahman told Sydsvenskan, who were first to report the story, with adults treating Hamid rudely and trying to get him to move on from public areas.

She saw that this was upsetting him and wrote about his fundraising efforts on social media. The post went viral, was picked up by the media and sales exploded.

Hamid was originally hoping he would earn enough to go out for pizza with his friends, but as of Wednesday morning, the 2.4 million kronor for charity plus over 100,000 kronor in personal tips meant he would be able to keep well over a quarter of a million kronor.

Orahman told AFP she was “still very shocked”.

“I’ve shared a lot of posts before but nothing’s ever gone this viral,” she said, adding that the attention the story was getting was about “so much more than just his sales”.

“It’s also raising awareness for the whole situation with a boy who was born in Sweden almost 12 years ago and his family’s (asylum) application still being processed,” she said.

‘I want to buy a residence permit’

Despite being born in Sweden, 12-year-old Hamid has asylum seeker status, meaning that he does not have a residence permit or citizenship in Sweden.

“I wanted to buy a residence permit, but it’s not possible,” he told SVT. “So I’m going to buy clothes, shoes, and maybe a new phone.”

He is also considering investing some of the money, as well as buying gifts for his family, he told Sydsvenskan.

The general secretary of the Majblomman charity, Åse Henell, described Hamid’s sales as “completely unbelievable” in a comment to TT newswire.

“We’re shocked and overwhelmed,” he said. “We’ve never seen anything like it. Children usually raise around a thousand kronor.”

Racist comments

Hamid’s story has also been the subject of racist comments, including one by a self-described Sweden Democrat from Lund referring to Hamid using racist slurs, and writing that a “white, Swedish child” should be getting the attention instead.

The comments, however, brought Hamid’s fundraising efforts to the attention of even more people, who bought flowers from him to show their support.

According to SVT, the Sweden Democrats have distanced themselves from her comments and reported her to their membership committee.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who has bought a pin from Hamid, called his fundraising “a heroic effort” in a Facebook post, where he also addressed the negative comments the child’s story had received.

“To those who write hateful comments to a child on social media – you should be ashamed,” he wrote.

Social Democrat leader and former prime minister Magdalena Andersson also wrote about Hamid’s story, simultaneously criticising Kristersson for cooperating with the Sweden Democrats.

“Attacking a 12-year-old selling majblommor with despicable racist comments is a view which does not belong in Sweden,” Andersson wrote.

“The boundaries for what can be said are moving rapidly in Sweden now – by the Sweden Democrats with Kristersson’s consent. Where do you draw the line, Ulf Kristersson?”

Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch, whose party also collaborates with the Sweden Democrats, also tweeted in support of Hamid.

“Murhaf and everyone else selling majblommor. Thank you for your efforts for our youngest,” she wrote.

“No one should be met with hate. Children should be met with respect and love. All children.”

Member comments

  1. Oh! I saw a person on the Tunnelbana wearing the pin, and i was like “ok, so here´s a SD guy in the wild, that´s interesting!”. Maybe they should do the pins a bit different from the nazi-inspired party logo?

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Sweden’s central bank raises key interest rate to 4 percent

Sweden's central bank hiked the key interest rate on Thursday by 0.25 percentage points from 3.75 to 4 percent, while flagging that further rate hikes are likely.

Sweden's central bank raises key interest rate to 4 percent

This is the eighth interest rate hike in a row, and was broadly expected by Swedish banks and financial experts. Sweden’s key interest rate has not been this high since October 2008.

The bank also warned in a statement that Thursday’s interest rate hike may not be enough to curb inflation, and that more hikes are likely.

According to its prognosis for the coming years, the bank expects the average key interest rate to hit 4.03 percent in the last quarter of 2023 and 4.10 percent by the third quarter of 2024, before dropping slightly to 4.04 percent by the third quarter of 2025.

It expects the average key interest rate to dip under the 4 percent mark in 2026, with an average rate of 3.69 percent in the third quarter of that year.

The bank also believes that the krona is undervalued.

“At the moment, the krona is undervalued,” it wrote in a separate statement. “Economic developments in Sweden relative to other countries suggest it will begin to gain value in the future, although it is difficult to predict how much and when.”

It believes that the krona’s weakening may be due in part to speculators, adding that this means that the krona’s value “could strengthen relatively quickly once this situation turns around.”

Having said that, it believes that the primary factor behind the weakening of the krona is differences in interest rates between the USA and other central banks.