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Save the Children and IKEA began collaborating in 1994 launching a signature advocacy partnership aimed at bringing transparency to the issues of child labor and safety throughout Southeast Asia. Together they developed the IKEA Code of Conduct outlining rules within their supply chain aimed at more aggressively preventing child labor abuses. In continued cooperation, the IKEA Foundation and Save the Children have worked together to address the root causes of child labor in India and Pakistan and helping to assure children’s needs are met during natural disasters or emergencies.
The IKEA Foundation’s mission to address the fundamental needs of children in some of the world’s poorest communities has been an ideal Save the Children partner for child rights advocacy and program delivery. IKEA Foundation has dedicated resources to more than 60 of our programs worldwide and jointly we aim to adopt a holistic child rights approach. Working to provide access to education within farming communities, to change attitudes towards child labor and help families find other ways to support themselves and set a more secure path for their children’s future. Through this long-term visionary approach, IKEA Foundation estimates that their current program commitments, with partners including Save the Children, have helped 178 million children so far.
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 has been supportive in assuring critical emergency response programs to protect children are funded. During our 2013 response to Hurricane Sandy, donated IKEA products were critical in furnishing emergency shelters in New York and New Jersey as well as more than 40 child care centers damaged during the storm. Teams of volunteer employees from Save the Children and IKEA joined together to enter the storm laden communities and worked side by side rebuilding early childhood centers to assure that children in the community were back to school in child friendly, child safe spaces while the rest of their community continued to rebuild.
The annual Soft Toys for Education campaign takes place in IKEA stores around the globe. Its mission is to raise money supporting quality education opportunities for the most vulnerable children in developing countries. IKEA donates $1.30 to Save the Children and UNICEF for every soft toy or children's book purchased during the campaign. Since the Soft Toys Campaign inception 12 years ago, IKEA Foundation donations have totaled approximately $102 million. Over the years they have reached more than 11 million children in 46 countries helping them realize their right to a quality education and opening doors to opportunities that will lift them out of poverty.