|Immunisation for adolescent girls at a residential school in Pattikonda, India|
Social investments in India
In 2000, UNICEF, IKEA and the Government of India created a partnership to address the root causes of child labour in the carpet belt of India such as debt, poverty, the lack of access to education, disability and ill health. Implemented in 500 villages in the Eastern Uttar Pradesh region of India, this program made it possible for 80,000 out-of-school children to get an education as well as 140,000 children and 150,000 women to be immunized. In addition, the program empowered more than 22,000 women to create sustainable economic opportunities through self-help groups.
Since 2007, IKEA Social Initiative investments in India have expanded beyond programmes addressing child labour and now include child health, nutrition, education and protection. In the area of child survival, funding from the IKEA Social Initiative supports national and state-led strategic interventions to address the causes of high mortality among children and mothers, and to improve the nutritional status of children, with a special focus on disadvantaged populations.
The support from IKEA boosts UNICEF’s work to help improve the nutrition situation of India’s children and women at a time when increasing food prices and nutrition insecurity make families more vulnerable. The partnership with IKEA is expected to reach nearly 78 million children, four million adolescents and 10 million women by 2012.
|Anthonyamma, a former cottonseed child worker, is now mainstreamed into school at grade six|
IKEA and UNICEF aim to expand coverage
In the area of child protection and education, IKEA and UNICEF aim to expand coverage of this project started in 2000, by reaching more villages in the carpet and metalware regions of Uttar Pradesh and help prevent and reduce exploitation of children working in the cotton and cottonseed regions of Andhra Pradesh, all while improving service delivery for children.
“Today children in India, as in many other developing countries, are hardest hit by the global economic crisis. Communities are struggling,” said Marianne Barner, Head of IKEA Social Initiative. “We hope to take a holistic and long-term approach to improve the health and nutrition of women and children, to access quality education and empower them to create a better future for themselves and their communities.”
“The partnership with IKEA will help us to build a protective environment for these children by providing the services that will help them recover and re-integrate into their communities,” said UNICEF Country Representative Karin Hulshof. “This funding will allow us to dramatically scale up efforts to reach more girls and boys and help them to survive and thrive from early childhood to adolescence.”
About IKEA Social Initiative
IKEA Social Initiative manages social involvements on a global level. The mission of IKEA Social Initiative is to improve the rights and life opportunities of the many children - fighting for children's rights to a healthy and secure childhood with access to quality education. UNICEF and Save the Children are the main partners, with a range of projects take a holistic approach for creating a substantial and lasting change: improving the health of mothers and children, enabling access to a quality education for children, and empowering women to create a better future for themselves and their communities.