NEW YORK, 4 November 2010 - Between 1 November and 24 December 2010, IKEA Social Initiative will donate 1 euro for every soft toy and children’s book sold in IKEA stores worldwide to UNICEF and Save the Children projects to help realise every child’s right to a quality education. Since 2003, the annual Soft Toy campaign has raised a total of 23.8 million euro, helping eight million children in need. The goal this year is to raise another 10 million euro.
The 2010 campaign in the run-up to the holiday season will help UNICEF and Save the Children to extend and start new projects in 22 countries. Since the start in 2003, the campaign has helped fund projects in around 40 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
IKEA Social Initiative believes all children should have access to quality education. Yet 72 million children are being denied that right. The UNICEF and Save the Children projects aim to improve the education of the most disadvantaged children, recognising that this is one of the best investments to create opportunities that impact generations to come. The funds raised through the Soft Toy campaign contribute to better school facilities and access to water and toilets, strengthen the right to education for minority children, provide educational supplies, and to training teachers in child-friendly teaching techniques.
This year UNICEF and IKEA Social Initiative will also use the Soft Toy campaign to raise public awareness of every child's right to education. IKEA has changed the strap-line and all in-store and external communication to put the child‘s right to education message at the forefront with the message 'Join the movement for a child‘s right to education’ visible in 300 stores worldwide.
To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has transformed the way children are viewed and treated throughout the world, this year’s campaign will also include all Children’s IKEA products plus a special Soft Toy Kids’ Meal during one week. During the final week of the campaign, IKEA Social Initiative will donate 1 euro for every sold product from the entire IKEA Children’s range as well as for every sold Soft Toy Kids’ Meal.
“With over 300 IKEA stores and many millions of customers joining the movement for children’s education, we can make a substantial and long-lasting impact on children’s lives. This year, we hope to raise a record 10 million euro from the sale of soft toys, Children’s IKEA products and the special kids’ meal while also raising awareness of the importance of education. This will help millions of children learn and thrive,” says Marianne Barner, head of IKEA Social Initiative.
IKEA Social Initiative’s strategic partnerships with UNICEF and Save the Children contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Equal access to education for all girls and boys and quality education in a child-friendly environment is the foundation. By ensuring all children access to education, it becomes possible to build the knowledge necessary to combat disease and eradicate poverty and hunger.
“Over the past ten years the IKEA Social Initiative has been a first class partner committed to furthering the work of UNICEF to ensure children have a healthy and secure childhood, access to quality education and are protected from exploitation” said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Director for Private Fundraising and Partnerships. “IKEA Social Initiative not only raises key funds for UNICEF programmes but is a true advocate for children, sharing our vision to realise their rights and speaking out on their behalf. The Soft Toy campaign is a wonderful example of this. Thanks to IKEA customers the campaign has enabled millions of children to receive a quality education and will now also raise awareness of the right of children to education among IKEA’s customers worldwide.”
“Achieving sustainable and large scale changes in society can only be done through collaboration between sectors. The collaboration between Save the Children and IKEA Social Initiative spans over a decade and we are proud and honoured to work together with such a dedicated partner as IKEA Social Initiative, in the fight for the actualization of children’s rights to a healthy, secure childhood and quality education,” says Elisabeth Dahlin, Chairman, IKEA Social Initiative Collaboration Steering Committee and Secretary General, Save the Children Sweden.
For further information about the IKEA Soft Toy campaign, please contact:
Lara Schlotterbeck, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Geneva
Tel + 0041 7969 73348,