IKEA Canada

IKEA Canada

November 18, 2005 15:40 ET

IKEA Canada Joins Global Campaign To Help Raise $2-Million for UNICEF & Save the Children

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 18, 2005) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews

How can a stuffed animal purchased in Coquitlam, British Columbia, help immunize a child in India? Starting tomorrow, this can become a reality. For the first time ever, IKEA has launched an initiative where the purchase of any soft toy will help prevent child trafficking in Albania and work towards better hygiene and sanitation facilities in schools in Cameroon. IKEA stores around the world are teaming up with UNICEF and Save the Children, to launch the "$1 is a fortune...A child's smile is worth so much"(a) campaign on November 19, 2005. Running until December 24, 2005, one dollar(a) from every soft toy sold will benefit programs developed to assist children in countries like Niger, Chad, Vietnam and Romania. In Canada alone, IKEA expects to sell 75,000 soft toys. UNICEF and Save the Children are dedicated to the promotion of education, health, protection and overall well being of children living in developing nations. Through this initiative, IKEA hopes to raise just over $2 million CDN (1.5 million euros) globally for UNICEF and Save the Children.

(a)IKEA will donate one euro from each toy sold around the world - approximately $1.39 CDN

IKEA's involvement in the soft toy campaign follows a long commitment to organizations such as UNICEF. For more than 10 years and through various charitable donations, globally IKEA has helped UNICEF raise more than $18 million (US). This includes $2 million (US) for immunization and child protection programs in India and $2 million (US) in support of tsunami relief programs.

"One dollar goes a long way to helping children in so many countries of the world today," says Laurence Martocq, National Communications and Public Relations Manager for IKEA Canada. "Not only is IKEA Canada offering customers a great range of soft toys, perfect for holiday gift giving, but also an opportunity to support the valuable work of UNICEF and Save the Children."

Funds raised from the "$1 is a fortune...A child's smile is worth so much" campaign will be donated to UNICEF's child protection, health and education programs in Asia, Africa, and Central and Eastern European countries. Money raised by this campaign will assist a number of UNICEF initiatives including helping to provide refugee children living in eastern Chad with clothes to wear to school.

"IKEA Canada has been a long-time partner in connecting Canadians to the world's children," says Nigel Fisher, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada. "Both here in Canada and worldwide, IKEA continues to make global children's issues a priority. This holiday campaign will help to bring critical health initiatives, access to education and protection from harm to many children, giving them healthier and happier childhoods today and brighter futures tomorrow."

Save the Children's child protection, education and disability education programs in Africa and Europe will also benefit from the soft toy campaign. Save the Children has been successful in their youth-centred HIV/AIDS education programs, serving over 60,000 children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Burkina Faso. The organization is also implementing education programs in Burkina Faso for children who have been removed from exploitative working conditions or who are at risk of trafficking, and is providing emergency services to over 300,000 families and children in displacement camps in Sudan.

"We are thrilled to be able to extend our ongoing global partnership with IKEA to this holiday campaign with IKEA Canada," says Rita Karakas, CEO of Save the Children Canada. "The IKEA campaign is extremely valuable to Save the Children Canada, not just in monetary terms but also in its ability to raise awareness of child protection issues which affect so many children around the world. When working in partnership with companies such as IKEA, Save the Children Canada undertakes due diligence on child protection issues and encourages companies to work actively in the best interest of all children."

IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 193 stores in 23 countries
worldwide, which are visited by 365 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 11 stores which are visited by 25 million people every year. Founded in 1943, IKEA's business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them. For more information on IKEA, please visit: www.ikea.ca

UNICEF is the world's leader for children, working in 157 countries and territories to save, protect and enhance the lives of girls and boys. UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, promotes quality basic education, protects children from violence, exploitation and AIDS, and is the world's largest provider of vaccines for developing nations. A global leader in emergencies with six decades of on-the-ground experience, UNICEF saves and rebuilds children's lives in natural disasters and conflict.

Save the Children is the world's largest independent movement for children, working with children in over 100 countries. Save the Children delivers immediate and lasting improvements to children's lives worldwide. It provides both emergency relief in crisis situations, and long-term programmes in health, poverty, child protection, education, food and nutrition.

Contact Information

  • IKEA Canada
    Laurence Martocq
    Media Information Contact
    (905) 637-9440 ext. 551
    OverCat Communications
    Audrey Hyams Romoff
    (416) 966-9970 ext. 222
    OverCat Communications
    Kristin Mills
    (416) 966-9970 ext. 225