11-year-old Murhaf raises $230K selling flower pins in Sweden.


Murhaf Hamid, an 11-year-old boy from Stockholm, Sweden, has become a viral sensation after breaking the fundraising record for Majblomman, Sweden’s oldest charity. The charity’s annual campaign aims to combat child poverty in the country, with children aged 9 to 12 selling “majblommor” flower pins and keeping 10% of the money they raise as well as any tips. Murhaf had hoped to earn enough money to buy a pizza with friends when he started selling the pins in southern Sweden. However, after a family friend wrote a social media post about him, more than 3.2 million kroner ($223,200) poured into his digital fundraising page, and he received 112,000 kroner ($10,830) in tips. The sales were described as “completely unbelievable” by Åsa Henell, general secretary of the charity, who said children usually raise around $100.

Although most comments about the viral post were supportive of Murhaf’s campaign, there were also racist remarks. One tweet from an apparent member of the far-right populist Sweden Democrats party used several racist slurs and suggested a “white Swedish child” should receive all the public support. Murhaf, who was born in Sweden, has asylum seeker status and does not have a residence permit. His family’s asylum application has been rejected three times, but they cannot be deported to his mother’s home country, Ethiopia, for a number of reasons. However, the hateful comments only brought further attention to the campaign as people rallied behind Murhaf, including Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who said those who wrote racist comments should be “ashamed”.

Murhaf has now been invited to the Swedish Parliament and the Town Hall in Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city. He told SVT, Sweden’s public broadcaster, that he “wanted to buy a residence permit” with the money but accepted “it’s not possible”. Instead, he plans to buy a mobile phone, shoes and clothes. He said the fact he has been able to sell so many flower pins has “boosted my confidence in myself, that I can cope with more things in life”. The Sweden Democrats described the racist comments as “unacceptable behaviour” and said they would handle the matter internally.