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The IKEA Foundation is Save the Children’s largest global corporate partner. We have been partners since 1994 and, together, developed the IKEA Code of Conduct to prevent child labor in the IKEA supply chain. Through IKEA Foundation-funded programs, Save the Children has touched the lives of some 10 million children.
Save the Children’s child rights programs in India and Pakistan, funded by the IKEA Foundation, aim to improve the lives of children in cotton-growing districts by protecting them from hazardous forms of child labor, abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect. Together, we fight the root causes of child labor and strengthen the rights of children in cotton communities so we can keep them safe, out of factories and cotton fields, and in classrooms where they can learn, play and develop.
We also work together to help children whose communities are struck by disaster or conflict. At the onset of an emergency, the IKEA Foundation guarantees a decision 24 hours after receiving a funding application from Save the Children. This enables us to be fast, flexible and efficient when deploying humanitarian experts to the field to save lives, alleviate suffering and restore the dignity of affected children and their families.
Save the Children is dedicated to increasing the capacity of the humanitarian sector and does this through its Humanitarian Leadership Program. The IKEA Foundation is supporting us to expand our Humanitarian Operations program into French-speaking countries and to develop and initiate training programs in education and child protection in emergencies. Thanks to the Soft Toys for Education campaign, we directly reached 1 million children in 17 countries in Asia and Europe. The campaign, which ran from 2003 to 2015, aimed to improve the education of the most disadvantaged children, recognizing that education is one of the best investments for their future. The Save the Children programs focused on children from ethnic minority groups and children with disabilities – groups that are often among the most vulnerable.
IKEA U.S. is a committed partner in our U.S. Early Steps to School Success program, focused on laying the critical foundation of language and literacy skills for children from birth to age 5. Through financial and in-kind support, IKEA is helping us ensure that the nearly 90 million American children living in poverty enter school developmentally ready to learn and succeed.
Additionally, IKEA donates products after a disaster that are critical to refurnishing early childhood centers to assure children in the community can return to school in child-friendly, child-safe spaces as their community continues to rebuild.
Good Cause Campaign
The new IKEA Good Cause Campaign “Let’s Play for Change” focuses on a child’s right to play and develop. IKEA has almost 400 stores in some 45 countries, and just under a billion people visited a store last year. This provides a wonderful opportunity for the IKEA Foundation and Save the Children to build support and awareness for children’s right to play and develop. The IKEA Foundation’s goal is to engage IKEA customers and co-workers and to showcase the work Save the Children and their five other partners are doing around the world.
The IKEA Foundation is also funding the “I play, I learn and I’m safe” program. This Save the Children program is aimed at preventing the unsafe migration of children in Ethiopia and Bangladesh by promoting protection, education and play for children who are on the move within their own country. Learn more about the program here:
During the 2016 campaign, IKEA co-workers and customers engaged in the cause, and an amazing 12.6 million IKEA children’s products were sold. As a result of the collaboration on the Good Cause Campaign, the IKEA Foundation has donated €21.5 million (more than US$22.8 million) to six partners who will help thousands of vulnerable children enjoy their right to play.
Soft Toys for Education Campaign (2003 – 2015)
The Soft Toy for Education campaign was a vital part of the partnership between Save the Children and the IKEA Foundation. Thanks to funding from the campaign, from 2005 to 2015 Save the Children was able to implement 40 projects in 17 countries directly reaching over a million children in the eastern sections of Europe and in Asia.