Sharing common goals, a mission to bring ‘Change for the Better’, Oris has announced Yusra Mardini, a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill ambassador, as a new sustainability partner of the Swiss luxury watchmaker. In addition, the Hölstein-based brand is also parnering with her foundation.
“This partnership with Yusra and her foundation brings us real joy,” said Rolf Studer, Oris Co-CEO. “It also makes sense. At Oris, we make watches for world citizens, people who believe we have a common responsibility to look after our world and each other. Yusra epitomises this philosophy and we’re excited to see how our collaboration and shared ambitions bring ‘Change for the Better’.”
“Yusra’s story is one of triumph in tragedy,” said Oris. In 2015, Mardini became a refugee of the Syrian civil war, fleeing to Greece by dinghy. When the latter’s engine failed, Yusra, her sister, Sara, and two others who could swim jumped into the water and pushed and pulled the boat to safety. After three hours in the water, they reached the island of Lesbos. Eventually, they were granted asylum in Germany and settled in Berlin.
A year later, Mardini competed at the Rio Olympics as a member of the very first Refugee Olympic Team in the 100-metre butterfly and 100-metre freestyle, after which she also qualified for the Tokyo Games. “Her extraordinary story of determination to realise her dreams in the face of great adversity earned international attention.”
In 2017, Mardini was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and, the following year, told her story in the critically acclaimed book ‘Butterfly’, which, in 2022, became the Netflix film The Swimmers. This year, she and her sister Sara were listed in Time 100 as two of the influential people in the world. In June, she launched the Yusra Mardini Foundation to support UNHCR projects. Hers is a remarkable story of achieving her dreams, in spite of trauma, hardship and loss.
“So much still has to change for refugees to increase their chances of beginning new and successful lives,” said Mardini. “Together with Oris, and through the Yusra Mardini Foundation, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to push for that change and to show the world: everyone must be treated equally.”