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Soft Toys for Education – helping kids create their own future

“Twice the Joy – Share Your Toy” – campaign in Thailand. Soft Toys for Education – helping kids create their own future

Bangkok, 16 November 2012, This is the season for Soft Toys for Education – one of the easiest most effective and certainly cuddliest ways to help children, their families and their society for generations to come. This year, from 4 November 2012 until 12 January 2013, for every soft toy or hand puppet bought, the IKEA Foundation will donate 1EUR to help fund education projects supported by UNICEF and Save the Children. Read more in the appendix on how soft little toys can make a huge difference in children’s education around the world.

Local Launch Special with Global Charities in Thailand

In addition to the global campaign, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Thailand and Save the Children Thailand today launched a local campaign to benefit children in the Southern Thailand. In partnership with IKEA Thailand, the organizations are encouraging customers to participate in the “Twice the Joy-Share your Toy” soft toy campaign for the children of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani provinces. The campaign runs from now until 12 January 2013 at the IKEA Bangna store.

“We want to give Thai families who visit IKEA Bangna the opportunity not only to buy special soft toys for their own children, but also to donate another soft toy to share their joy with children in the southernmost provinces of the country,” said Ms. Edelweiss Silan, Director of Programs for Save the Children.

“Soft toys are good for hugging and cuddling, giving children a sense of warmth.” said Ms. Silan.  “They are helpful in providing children with a sense of security and comfort and can be used to stimulate play, spark creativity and introduce a variety of educational activities”.

Commenting on the initiative, Bijaya Rajbhandari, UNICEF Thailand’s Representative, said the needs of children in the South were particularly pressing.

“We know from our assessments that children living in the far South of the country are especially disadvantaged,” said Mr. Rajbhandari.  “The three provinces are among the country’s poorest and the situation of children in these provinces is among the least favourable.”

The soft toy campaign runs in parallel with a global partnership between UNICEF, Save the Children and IKEA that have been in place since 2003. Proceeds from soft toys sold in IKEA stores around the world go to the IKEA Foundation’s funding of children in care institutions and schools in communities across the globe.

“This global campaign has contributed to real change where it matters and also continues to build for the future in a self-sustainable manner,” said Lars Svensson, Regional Sustainability Manager Ikano (Thailand) Limited. “Since we operate in Thailand and we also have our global partners working locally, we think it is just natural to extend that global collaboration in a local Thai context.”

Svensson said that “for every soft toy customers buy and place in the drop box for Thai children in the South, IKEA Thailand will give one soft toy too. And we are all doing it together: UNICEF, Save the Children, IKEA and the customers in Thailand.”

“It is great to see how global initiatives and collaboration can go local. Our friends and colleagues at UNICEF and Save the Children are making sure that the donated toys will go directly to their child development centers in the south and children there can play with soft toys to stimulate their imagination and promote their intellectual development,” Svensson said.

UNICEF has been working to help children in Thailand since 1948. We work in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information about UNICEF and its work in Thailand visit:
Facebook: unicefthailand
Twitter: unicef_thailand

About Save the Children
Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children, delivering programmes and improving children’s lives in more than 120 countries worldwide. Working toward 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 about Save the Children and its work in Thailand visit:
Facebook: Save the Children Programme in Thailand
Twitter: @scinthailandpg

About IKEA Thailand
Home is the most important place in the world. A personal space and comforting spot where family and friends gather, where children learn and grow. It is a place where everyone is welcome to just hang out every day. IKEA helps to create a better everyday life at home for many people.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered a wide range of well-designed home furnishings and functional living solutions at prices so low that the many people can afford them. To date, there are more than 334 IKEA stores in over 40 countries.

About the IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in developing countries by funding holistic, long-term programs 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 programs benefit an estimated 100 million children.
Two of the IKEA Foundation’s main partners are UNICEF and Save the Children. IKEA, through the IKEA Foundation, is the largest global corporate donor to both organizations.
“We want to help people help themselves to a better everyday life today — and tomorrow, turning the cycle of poverty into a circle of prosperity,” says IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad.

Learn more by visiting:

For media query please contact:
UNICEF Thailand
Nattha Keenapan, Tel: +662- 356-9478
Email: Fax: +662-281-6032

Save the Children
Thammachat Krairit, Tel  : +662-684-1286-88  Fax: +662- 684-1289

IKEA Thailand
Tissana Wateesatogkij, Tel: +662-708-7999 ext. 7301
Email:  Fax: +662-108-1900

Grayling Thailand

Kornbongkoj Katchamas, Tel: +662-635-7152

Email:    Fax: +662-635-7155



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