Cameron Mofid is no stranger to adventure. Whether it’s flying over the Amazon rainforest in an air taxi or exploring nature and wildlife in Zimbabwe, Mofid has never let the unexplored deter him. He intends to travel to every country in the world, and he’s not too far away from reaching his goal having traveled to 119 of the world’s 195 countries.
Mofid graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami in the spring of 2022 and graduated as valedictorian from the Herbert Business School’s Accelerated MBA program in December 2022. The lessons and knowledge he has acquired from his travels have gained major recognition. In 2021, he gave a TEDx talk and in 2022, he was featured on the Today Show.
“Travel was my escape, and it enhanced my life with a very profound sense of purpose. Making deep connections with strangers from all over the world really opened my eyes to what it means to live a meaningful life,” Mofid said.
While on his mission to visit every country, Mofid stopped in Ghana and Nigeria in late January. In Nigeria, Mofid visited Makoko, an overpopulated slum built on stilts in a lagoon.
Many people in Makoko live in extreme poverty, with most living off less than a dollar a day. He spent a meaningful portion of time at a local primary school. In Ghana, Mofid visited an orphanage outside of Accra.
“During my time [in Ghana and Nigeria] I witnessed extreme poverty first hand. Clean drinking water is scarce, and children have little access to proper educational materials, clothing, and shoes,” said Mofid.
After his experiences in Nigeria and Ghana, Mofid was deeply struck by the perseverance of the communities despite living in extreme poverty. The UM grad decided to launch a fundraiser to help improve the quality of life for these communities. Within a week of promotion, Mofid was able to raise $10,000 surpassing his original goal of $1000.
“With the corruption around charity work, I wanted this fundraiser to be completely transparent and for the donors to see that their money was helping the kids in real time. Within a week we were able to ensure all 351 students at the school in Nigeria had backpacks and uniforms and secured enough funding to purchase the land to build a new orphanage in Ghana,” said Mofid.
Although that was a great start, nobody could have predicted what would happen next. On Sunday, Mofid received an email stating that Kyrie Irving, an American professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks, had donated $45,000 to his fundraiser.
“When I first saw the [donation], I thought it was a mistake. It took me a moment to realize that it was real, and once I did, I entered a state of shock. After doing some research, I learned that Kyrie frequently donates to GoFundMe campaigns that touch his heart. I’m just so grateful that this is one of those campaigns,” said Mofid.
In a post game conference conference, following the Dallas Mavericks defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers, Irving told reporters that he donated because of the close connections he has with the people and tribes in Ghana.
“It’s more of a family atmosphere that I’m investing in, our family and our tribe. But the messages really go a long way, because I know it’s making an impact… I’ve donated to a lot of fundraisers in the past and some have been run by some not great people. So I do my best… to do the research and continue to be a beacon of light for humanity outside the court,” Irving said.
Currently, the fundraiser has raised over $65,000. Mofid’s friends and family say they could have predicted that he would devote his travels to helping the underserved and are ecstatic about his success.
“I was not surprised at all when I saw the fundraiser. Throughout the years I have known Cam, It seems like he always has a new project or idea to occupy every ounce of his free time. I was happy to see my close friend connecting his passion for travel with such a worthy cause,” said Cameron Pomeroy, a senior majoring in global business and marketing at UM.
When Mofid called the school’s director from Nigeria and the orphanage director in Ghana to tell them the good news, they “were both brought to tears. [These donations] will improve the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of students with clean drinking water, educational supplies, and access to better living conditions,” said Mofid.
Mofid hopes that his fundraising efforts will inspire others to take on similar pursuits and believes that his experience is evidence that people will support endeavors that make the world a better place.
“It’s imperative to remember that so much of our current circumstances in life are a result of luck at birth. It could have very well been anyone born into poverty in Makoko. Young people need to realize that we have a responsibility to be the change that we want to see, as the world will soon be in our hands. It’s projects like this that can help spawn change and bridge the empathy gap,” said Mofid.
Supporters can continue to track the progress of the fundraiser on its GoFundMe landing page. Mofid will also be continuously posting updates on the impacts of this project to his personal Instagram account.