Centre for Early Childhood Development was opened in Kotel with the support of UNICEF and IKEA
The campaign of the Swedish producer and distributor of furniture in support of children’s education in Bulgaria becomes year-round
October 31, 2014 – In the Bulgarian town of Kotel, the first Center for early childhood development in the district of Sliven was opened. It is built by UNICEF Bulgaria, with the assistance of the municipality of Kotel and the support of IKEA Bulgaria. The latter provided the funds for the renovation and equipment of the building. The center aims to broaden the access of 3-4 year old children to educational activities, which would then successfully prepare them for the compulsory preschool trainings. Apart from that, the center will work with parents for their active participation and support of early childhood development.
The newly-established center conducts various sorts of group activities which would help children be more prepared for their preschool education. The work with children is organized in a way that would ensure active participation of the parents as well. Adults can be provided with training for parental skills, better care of the children and support for their educational needs. Healthy food for the period in which the children are engaged with activities in the center will also be provided.
„We already have undoubted scientific evidence that children’s brain develops most quickly in the first years of their life. Therefore, UNICEF tries to reach all children, even the ones who are most difficult to reach. We are grateful that in this initiative IKEA is a global partner of ours who also supports the programs for early childhood development in Bulgaria”, said Mrs. Tanja Radocaj, UNICEF representative for Bulgaria.
„We, in IKEA, have the long-term commitment to help many people im prove their lives. Thus, whenever we have the opportunity to create something for the most important people in the world – our children – this makes us extremely proud. We want to thank UNICEF and the local authorities for the opportunity for us to join this project. We will continue supporting UNICEF’s initiatives in Bulgaria”, said Teo Muratidis, manager of the IKEA store in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.
Within the initiative “Soft toys for Education” in 2013, the clients of IKEA Bulgaria bought nearly 14 000 toys – for each of those toys 2 BGN were donated in support of the project. This way, for the needs of the Center for early childhood development – furniture, equipment, educational tool-kits and toys were provided – worth some 28 000 BGN.
As of October 2014, the joint initiative for early childhood development by IKEA and UNICEF became year-round. On the cashiers of the Swedish furniture company, customers can support the campaign for more children to have the opportunity to obtain better development at an earlier stage of their life. Against the donation of 2 BGN, with no VAT added, every contributor receives a specially-made card – a beautiful and easy way to send a personal message dedicated to the importance of education for every child.
For more information:
Jacklin Tzocheva, Communication Officer, UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel.: +359 2 / 96 96 208
Joana Tzoneva, Marketing Manager, IKEA Bulgaria
Tel: +359 2/4394540
UNICEF works in more than 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.
IKEA is the world’s largest chain of stores for furniture of the home. The company was established in southern Sweden in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad. Nowadays, IKEA has 345 stores in 42 countries.
IKEA opened its store in Bulgaria in 2011. It is located in the capital Sofia. The furniture producer stepped on the Bulgarian marker with the help of a franchise contract with House Market S.A. – a company which runs 5 IKEA stores in Greece and one in Cyprus. As part of the Bulgarian society, House market S.A. develops a steady policy of corporate social responsibility by supporting mainly childhood development projects. In September 2013, in Sofia municipality, the first room for early childhood development, equipped by IKEA, was opened.