NEW YORK, 30 January 2014 – The annual IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign ran from November through December 2013 in all IKEA stores around the world. For each soft toy or children’s book purchased, €1 will be donated to UNICEF and Save the Children by the IKEA Foundation.
Since the start of this annual campaign in 2003, the IKEA Foundation has donated €67 million, which has helped 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. UNICEF’s share will 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 marginalised 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.
Note to editors: 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.
Mozambique: 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).
South Africa: 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.
Ethiopia: In Ethiopia, the funding from the Soft Toys for Education campaign has helped increase the enrolment 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!
Romania: 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.
Indonesia: 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.
Bangladesh: 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.
About the IKEA Foundation The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change. The 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 programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children by 2015. Learn more at www.IKEAfoundation.org and www.Facebook.com/IKEAfoundation
About Save the Children Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children. 30 national organisations are working together to deliver programmes in more than 120 countries around the world Save the Children’s vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Save the Children’s mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. For more information, please visit www.savethechildren.net
About UNICEF UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.unicef.com and follow us on Facebook
For more information please contact: IKEA: firstname.lastname@example.org phone +46 709 936376
Save the Children: Caroline Freudenthal, Global PR & Communications Manager, the IKEA Foundation collaboration, Save the Children. E-mail: Caroline.Freudenthal@rb.se phone: +46 733 55 3436
UNICEF: Anna Kowsar, Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division; email@example.com; +41 22 909 5325