WorldRemit, a leading cross-border payments company, celebrates International Migrants Day by announcing its list of the top 20 Migrant Moments of 2020. This list features developments which have had significant impacts on communities across the world. From the first COVID-19 vaccine to the US presidential election to SpaceX – each of these milestones have been influenced by migrants from around the world. 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of International Migrants Day and the 30th anniversary since the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families1.
WorldRemit has compiled this list to bring attention to all those who have managed to make a positive difference during this exceptionally challenging year. The company aims to support migrant communities as well as their family and friends every day, whilst celebrating their many successes throughout the year, and for many years to come.
The 2020 list includes:
- COVID-19 Vaccine: German couple of Turkish descent, husband and wife Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, have been credited with the discovery of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine that is being distributed across the globe.
- Senator Kamala Harris: Kamala Harris became vice-president elect following the 2020 US Presidential election. In 2017, she was sworn in as a United States Senator for California, becoming the second African-American woman and first South-Asian American senator in history. Though she was born in Oakland, California, Harris’ parents emigrated to the United States from India and Jamaica.
- Future Stars: WorldRemit and Arsenal Football Club welcomed the winners of the Future Stars competition to London in January. Chinasa Mandy Ukandu of Nigeria and Luis Alejandro Castañeda from Colombia, won an all expenses paid trip to London to take part in a personalized training program with Arsenal Football Club’s Development coaches.
- Zoom boom: Zoom, the videoconferencing platform which has allowed friends, families and colleagues to stay in touch during Covid-19, was founded by Eric Yuan, a Chinese migrant to the United States. At its peak, the firm counted more than 300 million daily participants in virtual meetings, while paying customers have more than tripled.
- Project 8000: WorldRemit was the main sponsor of the Project 8000 programme in Singapore. Project 8000 is a community outreach initiative to give thousands of handwritten ‘thank you’ cards to frontline Covid-19 healthcare workers at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) in Singapore, led by student Marion Lee.
- Deliveroo and DoorDash: DoorDash, America’s most popular meal delivery app, was started by a Chinese American migrant, Tony Xu. Meanwhile Deliveroo was co-founded by William Shu, a Taiwanese American entrepreneur. DoorDash has launched a number of initiatives during the pandemic. In October, it launched the Reopen for Delivery campaign, with the stated aim of bringing together brick and mortar restaurants that have closed due to the pandemic.
- Patoranking: WorldRemit signed Patoranking as the Global Brand Ambassador for its Africa-focused WorldRemit Entrepreneurs Program. The WorldRemit Entrepreneurs Program will run simultaneously in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, from November 2020 through to the end of January 2021. WorldRemit customers from around the world are encouraged to send a minimum of £50 (or its equivalent value in their local currency) to recipients in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, or Zimbabwe to win the opportunity to nominate a lucky entrepreneur.
- WorldRemit celebrated Philippine Independence Day by highlighting the many achievements of the Filipino diaspora which included one of the youngest ever recipients of the Royal Bank of Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award.
- Transfer Tracker app: WorldRemit launched The WorldRemit Transfer Tracker mobile app for recipients of money transfers, which allows them to track their remittances. The WorldRemit Transfer Tracker App is now available through the Google app store and is also free to download through the app store in 90 countries in iOS and Android.
- SpaceX Dragon 2: The spacecraft made its first crewed flight to the International Space Station on May 31, 2020 as part of the Commercial Crew Program, enabling American human orbital spaceflight capability for the first time since the Space Shuttle’s retirement in 2011.
- Television Commercial: WorldRemit released global television commercials across key markets to promote its transparent pricing strategy and the opportunities created by connecting people through international money transfers.
- NHS workers: Almost 1 in 17 (14%) of the NHS’s 1.28 million staff report a non-British nationality, amounting to approximately 170,000 key workers. India is responsible for the most NHS workers from outside the UK, followed by the Philippines.
- Earlier this year, WorldRemit gave away £400,000 worth of vouchers to NHS workers as a token of appreciation for their service and the sacrifices they are making throughout the pandemic.
- Edward Enninful and Misan Harriman: Edward Enninful is the Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue and an advocate for better representation in the fashion industry. He is the only black editor in history to lead Vogue magazine. Enninful commissioned black photographer Misan Harriman to shoot Vogue’s UK September issue – traditionally the magazine’s most important edition. As well as being one of the most widely-shared photographers of the Black Lives Matter movement, Harriman is the first black person to shoot a cover of British Vogue in the magazine’s 104-year history.
- Netflix launches Selena series: Netflix released its biographical drama that follows Selena Quintanilla Lopez’s rise to fame and the sacrifices she and her family make along the way charting her enduring legacy as a Mexican-American icon.
- David Olusoga: David Olusoga is a British-Nigerian historian and writer. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Olusoga’s Black and British: A Forgotten History was broadcast on the BBC. The documentary was awarded a BAFTA when originally produced in 2016. Olusoga was also named on the 2021 Powerlist.
- Parasite: Parasite, a film written by South Korean native Bong Joon-ho, became the first non-English language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture in the 92-year history of the awards.
- Adewale Adeyemo: Among Biden’s team of top cabinet picks and economic advisers is Nigerian-born Adewale Adeyemo, who served as a senior international economic adviser in the Barack Obama administration. Adeyemo will be the first African to occupy the seat of Deputy Treasury Secretary.
- As part of efforts to create opportunities for those in developing countries, WorldRemit gave away tablets to students in countries including India and Guatemala following the pandemic-related disruption to schooling.
- A 90-year old lady named Margaret Keenan from Coventry, became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer & BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which was administered by Filipina nurse May Parsons.