Educating our children is certainly a top priority. It is integral to our future, our children’s future and the future of our world. Yet everyday, millions of children around the world don’t even have access to a quality education.
IKEA believes children are the most important people in the world. And during holiday shopping time, IKEA reaches out to its many customers to give back through the soft toy sales campaign, running from early November through the end of December. During this time, for every soft toy sold, 1 euro (approximately $1.25 US dollar)* goes to IKEA global partners UNICEF and Save the Children to extend and start new children’s educational programs. The funds raised through the soft toy campaign contribute to better school facilities, access to water and toilets, work toward strengthening the right to education for minority children, provide educational supplies and go to training teachers in child-friendly teaching techniques.
To date, the soft toy program has raised $61.75 million in donations, helping eight million children in close to 40 countries have a quality education. Since the start in 2003, the IKEA soft toy program has helped fund children’s educational projects in 40 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. These projects aim to improve the education of the most disadvantaged children recognizing that education is one of the best investments. A one dollar donation can buy books and school supplies for five children.
“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 (13 million dollars) 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.
“We are thrilled to partner with IKEA once again for its soft toy campaign,” said U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and CEO Caryl Stern. “This program helps us to provide educational materials for children in the developing world, which is essential in our mission of bringing down the number of daily deaths under age five from 22,000 to zero.”
“Every holiday season, the IKEA soft toy campaign shines a light on the work that is being done to give all children in the developing world the opportunity to learn,” said Charlie MacCormack, Save the Children President and CEO. “But there are still millions of children who do not have access to schools and will not be able to fulfill their potential without additional support. IKEA’s partnership will help us to reach many more of those children in the coming year, giving each one a brighter future.”
The IKEA soft toy campaign is driven by the IKEA Foundation.
*€1 equals approximately $1.25 US