Save the Children and UNICEF Thank IKEA Customers for $15 Million Donation to Global Education Programs

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Funds Raised by IKEA’s Annual Soft Toy Campaign

The $15 million IKEA donation will benefit schoolchildren like Farzana, age 6, in Bangladesh and other countries. Photo Credit: Jeff Holt

The $15 million IKEA donation will benefit schoolchildren like Farzana, age 6, in Bangladesh and other countries. Photo Credit: Jeff Holt

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Eileen Burke 203.221.4233 (W); 203.216.0718 (M)

WESTPORT, Conn. (Jan. 24, 2011) — Thanks to great global IKEA customer support and purchases, the IKEA Foundation has raised and donated over $15 million dollars to UNICEF and Save the Children projects to extend and start new children’s educational programs in developing countries.

The IKEA Foundation, the charitable function of IKEA, is donating 1 euro (approximately $1.34 US) for each of the record 8.6 million soft toys and children’s books sold in over 300 IKEA stores worldwide from November 1, 2010 to December 24, 2010, as well as 1 euro ($1.34) for every Children’s IKEA product and a special Soft Toy Kids’ Meal sold during the final week of the 2010 campaign. Since 2003, the annual Soft Toy campaign has enabled donations of 35.2 million euro, helping 8 million children in close to 40 countries.

The IKEA Foundation believes all children should have access to a quality education. Thanks to this donation, UNICEF and Save the Children can extend current education projects and start new ones in 22 countries including Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. The projects contribute to better water and toilet facilities in schools, improve access to education for minority children, provide educational supplies and train teachers in child-friendly teaching techniques.

“We would like to thank all the IKEA customers who joined the campaign. Thanks to them and the efforts of IKEA co-workers all over the world, many children will be able to go to school and get an education. We are deeply grateful to them for joining us and the IKEA Foundation in the fight for the actualization of children’s rights to a healthy, secure childhood and a quality education,” says Elisabeth Dahlin, Chairman of the Save the Children — the IKEA Foundation Collaboration Steering Committee and Secretary General, Save the Children Sweden.

“We are very grateful for the support that IKEA customers continue to give to raise funds that will help children worldwide realize their fundamental right to an education,” said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships.

In addition to these UNICEF and Save the Children projects, several local charitable causes were supported. Over 10 IKEA retail countries, which included the US, organized local “give twice” activities, where customers gave away nearly 40,000 purchased soft toys to local children hospitals, children crisis centres and institutions.

About the IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation aims to improve the opportunities for children and youth by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change, and enable them to take charge of their own future. We work with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life. Currently funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children.

About IKEA
IKEA is a home furnishings company with Swedish origins founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad. The IKEA vision is to ‘create a better everyday life for the many people.’ The business idea is to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishings at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. IKEA has a total of 320 stores in 38 countries/territories, of which 37 stores are owned and run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group. The IKEA Group stores welcomed a total of 626 million visitors last year. For more information, please visit IKEA.

UNICEF, the United Nation’s Children Fund, is on the ground in over 150 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, please visit UNICEF.

About Save the Children
Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need in the United States and more than 120 countries around the world. For more than 75 years, Save the Children has been helping children survive and thrive by improving their health, education and economic opportunities and, in times of acute crisis, mobilizing rapid life-saving assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. For more information, please visit Save the Children. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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