CONSHOHOCKEN, PA--(Marketwired - January 30, 2014) - IKEA customers and co-workers have partnered with the IKEA Foundation on a $13.6 million (EUR10.1
for UNICEF and Save the Children projects to help realize every child's right to a quality education.
The IKEA Soft Toys for Education annual campaign ran from November 10, 2013 to January 4, 2014. For every soft toy and children's book sold, IKEA donated one dollar ($1.35)* to UNICEF and Save the Children to give children in developing countries access to a quality education. Since the campaign launch in 2003, The IKEA Foundation has donated $90.4 million (EUR67 million) to help improve the educational opportunities of more than 11 million children in 46 countries. The donations help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, improve child protection systems, supply educational materials, and increase school attendance rates.
Thanks to this year's donation, the IKEA Foundation will support 19 UNICEF and Save the Children projects in 18 countries. The IKEA support of UNICEF will help fund the Schools for Africa initiative in eight countries and the Schools for Asia initiative in China. Save the Children's share will support education for children of the most marginalized groups in Asia and Eastern Europe.
"Education is the key to unlocking a brighter future for every child, especially the most vulnerable and excluded. UNICEF is grateful for its strong partnership with the IKEA Foundation, as well as IKEA's customers and employees, as we work together to help all children receive the quality education they deserve," said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director.
"This year marks the 20th anniversary of our long-term strategic collaboration with the IKEA Foundation. It's also the 8th consecutive year that Save the Children is part of the IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign. Through the IKEA Foundation's commitment to helping vulnerable children gain access to a quality education, children of minority groups and children with disabilities -- as well as their families and communities -- all benefit from the proceeds of the campaign for a better and brighter future," said Elisabeth Dahlin, Secretary General of Save the Children Sweden and Chairperson Global Lead Agency for the Save the Children and IKEA Foundation collaboration.
Thanks to this year's donation, the IKEA Foundation will support 19 UNICEF and Save the Children projects in 18 countries. UNICEF's share will help fund the Schools for Africa initiative projects in eight countries (Angola, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Africa) and one project as part of the Schools for Asia initiative in China. Save the Children's share will support education for children of the most marginalised groups (minorities and children with disabilities) in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam) and Europe (Lithuania, Romania and Kosovo).
The donations will help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, improve child protection systems, supply educational materials in the schools, help rebuild schools, provide better water and toilet facilities, and increase school attendance rates.
In Mozambique, thanks to the IKEA Foundation's contribution of Soft Toys for Education campaign funds, 55,000 children in 88 schools were reached with the five components of the Child-Friendly Schools approach: education; protection; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and social mobilization. Children in these schools also received physical education and were trained in important life skills (HIV awareness, awareness on gender issues, and preventing violence and sexual abuse).
In South Africa, with the support from the IKEA Foundation, UNICEF supported the implementation of the Safe and Caring Child-Friendly Schools (SCCFS) programme for 198 schools not reached by development programmes outside government. This benefitted 151,000 girls and boys and 3,400 educators. Furthermore, IKEA Foundation's support has helped over 2,500 schools register a school sports league to facilitate a participatory programme for all girls and boys, including children with disabilities.
In Ethiopia, the funding from the Soft Toys for Education campaign has helped increase the enrollment rate of children into grade 1 of primary education, which has now reached 92%. The gross enrolment rate for pre-primary schools achieved a significant increase of 15.9 percentage points. Over one year, it went from one in 20 children to one in 5 children getting enrolled in pre-primary school. A very encouraging trend!
With the IKEA Foundation's support, Save the Children runs a project in Romania which aims to reduce discrimination against the two of the most vulnerable groups of children: Roma children and children with mental health problems. Multiple stakeholders are targeted, and educational and health services will be developed for the benefit of vulnerable children and their families. Some 18,000 school children will be educated in eliminating discrimination and stigma.
In Indonesia, many children with disabilities find that their basic rights are disregarded. Thanks to support from the IKEA Foundation, Save the Children will mobilize communities, government stakeholders, and others to assist these children in attaining their right to enjoy a full and decent life. Save the Children will accomplish this by increasing the capacity of families to care for their children with disabilities and improving their access to high-quality education.
In Bangladesh, there are approximately 7 million children with disabilities who are extremely vulnerable to violence and exploitation. Thanks to support from the IKEA Foundation, Save the Children is able to give 4,400 boys and girls with disabilities in three districts of Bangladesh improved mental and physical wellbeing through better protection. The project works with their caregivers, communities, school authorities, and children with disabilities themselves.
* One euro (approximately $1.35) is split and donated to UNICEF and Save the Children from the sale of each soft toy and children's book.
About the IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation aims to improve the opportunities for children and youth by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change, and enable them to take charge of their own future. We work with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child's life. Currently funded programs benefit an estimated 100 million children. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org
The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 305 IKEA Group stores in 26 countries. There are 38 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 13, the IKEA Group had 135,000 co-workers, 684 million visitors to the stores and 1.3 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.
For more information, see IKEA-USA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @DesignByIKEA, and http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/.
About Save the Children
Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. For more information, visit www.savethechildren.org. Follow us on Twitter, at twitter.com/savethechildren, and on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/savethechildren.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children's lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. Visit www.unicefusa.org