SOURCE: IKEA USA

IKEA USA

November 03, 2014 07:00 ET

The IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign Returns; It's Already Improved the Lives of 11 Million Children

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA--(Marketwired - November 03, 2014) - The IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign, a good cause partnership between the IKEA Foundation, UNICEF and Save the Children, was first launched eleven years ago. The idea is simple; for every Soft Toy or children's book sold from November 9, 2014-January 3, 2015, the IKEA Foundation donates 1 euro (approximately $1.30)* to UNICEF and Save the Children for children's education projects.

The Soft Toys for Education campaign aims to provide quality education to vulnerable children living in poverty in developing countries. Since the campaign started, donations from the annual IKEA Soft Toy Campaign have totaled $90.4 million** (EUR67 million), helping more than 11 million children in 46 countries enjoy their right to a quality education. The donations help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, improve child protection systems, supply education materials, and increase school attendance rates.

A love for reading opens the door to education, which is why, every year, IKEA creates a children's book based on IKEA soft toy characters as part of the annual Soft Toys for Education Campaign. In this year's book, "The Frog Prince," young readers visit the fairy-tale forest and learn about the special bonds of friendship. The book is written by award-winning Swedish author Ulf Stark and illustrated by Silke Leffler.

This year's new soft toy friends from The Frog Prince fairy tale world are:

  • TOSIG: the silly frog
  • LILLGAMMAL: the red-hooded rebel
  • PIPHARE: the wise hare
  • KATTUGGLA: the sweet owl

Supporting Education -- Together

"Save the Children is privileged to be a part of the 11th annual IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign. By adding a children's book or soft toy to their holiday gift list, IKEA shoppers can help the kids in their own life -- and kids around the world -- read, play and learn," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "A quality education helps children climb the ladder of opportunity and changes the course of their future."

"We are so proud to team up with IKEA for the 11thyear on their Soft Toys for Education campaign. By donating $1.30* from the sale of each soft toy, IKEA has helped raise more than $90 million to support education programs around the world including UNICEF's Schools for Africa and Asia initiatives," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "The unwavering support from IKEA co-workers and customers has helped enable UNICEF to provide millions of vulnerable children, especially girls, with access to school and a quality education."

"Investing in children's education is the most powerful way to help them escape poverty. Through IKEA's Soft Toys for Education campaign, we have been able to improve the education of more than 11 million children through our partnership with Save the Children and UNICEF. Access to a quality education is key to help them create a better future for themselves and their families," commented Per Heggenes, CEO IKEA Foundation.

*based on $1.30 US dollar to one euro 10/2014

**based on $1.35 US dollar to one euro in 12/2013

About IKEA Group

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 303 IKEA Group stores in 26 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 40 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 14, IKEA Group had 716 million visitors to the stores and 1.5 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, please visit www.IKEA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA, http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/, www.youtube.com/IKEAUSAwww.theshare-space.com, www.theshare-space.com/en/Blog

About IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in some of the world's poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change. The IKEA Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child's life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and sustainable family income. Currently-funded programs benefit an estimated 100 million children. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org and www.facebook/IKEAfoundation

About Save the Children

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood -- every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About UNICEF
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. For more information, please visit www.unicefusa.org. Find us on Twitter: @unicefusa; join us on Facebook: UNICEF-USA.

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