IKEA customers helped raise €10.1 million for children in Africa, Asia, Europe over holiday season

15.01.2015 16:47


IKEA Bulgaria customers helped raise € 21,926 in support of educational projects around the world and another 43 852 leva for children in Bulgaria.

Millions of IKEA customers took part in the Soft Toys for Education campaign over the holiday season, raising €10.1 million for educational projects by buying IKEA soft toys and children’s books.

For every soft toy or children’s book sold in IKEA stores during November and December, the IKEA Foundation donates €1 to educational projects run by Save the Children and UNICEF.

The projects train teachers, improve child-protection systems, provide educational materials, and increase school attendance in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Thanks to this year’s donation, UNICEF will fund the Schools for Africa initiative in eight countries and the Schools for Asia initiative in China. Save the Children’s share will support education for children with disabilities and those from ethnic minority groups in Asia and Europe.Donation from the IKEA Foundation will enable UNICEF and Save the Children to improve education in 18 countries.

In Bulgaria

This was the second year IKEA Bulgaria, in addition to the global campaign, held in parallel a local initiative "How better to donate two". In 2014, the company's customers bought 21,926 toys - 57% more than the previous year.

For each toy IKEA Bulgaria donated 2 leva in the form of furniture, toys and creative materials to support UNICEF education projects in the country. Funds raised by the campaign in 2013, supported the first Centre for Early Childhood Development in the town of Kotel, District Sliven, which was opened on October 31, 2014

The centre 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 centre will work with parents for their active participation and support of early childhood development.

The Soft Toys for Education campaign has helped improve education for more than 11 million children in 46 countries since 2003.

Josephine Bourne, UNICEF Global Chief of Education, added “Giving the most vulnerable and excluded children the opportunity to go to school and learn is essential to building their future. No child should be denied this opportunity because of poverty, disability, gender, conflict or disaster, such as the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. UNICEF is grateful for the continued and invaluable support from the IKEA Foundation, IKEA customers and co-workers worldwide to fulfil children’s right to quality education.”

“Helping children with disabilities and children of minority groups gain access to a quality education is empowering children, families and communities in creating a better and brighter future. Through the IKEA Foundation’s commitment to helping marginalized children, change is made. We are very grateful for our partnership with the IKEA Foundation and thankful for all hard working IKEA employees as well as IKEA’s customers,” said Elisabeth Dahlin, Secretary General of Save the Children Sweden and Chairperson Global Lead Agency for the Save the Children and IKEA Foundation collaboration.

The funding can be used for a wide range of educational activities, even helping children continue to learn when disasters strike. For example, €880,000 of last year’s donation is supporting UNICEF’s efforts to help children in Sierra Leone learn remotely via radio programmes while their schools are closed because of the deadly Ebola outbreak; the money is also helping children and families get the lifesaving information and support they need to survive.

About IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in some of the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change. The IKEA Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and sustainable family income. Currently-funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children. Learn more at www.IKEAfoundation.org and www.facebook.com/IKEAfoundation

About IKEA Group
Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people and we offer well designed, functional and affordable, high quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. The IKEA Group has 315 stores in 27 countries. In addition there are more than 40 stores run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group. The IKEA Group had 716 million visitors during FY14 and 1.5 billion people visited IKEA.com.  www.ikea.com

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 

About Save the Children
Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children. We are 30 national organisations working together to deliver programmes in more than 120 countries around the world. Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Our mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.

For more information:
Jacklin Tzocheva, Communication Officer, UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel.: +359 2 / 96 96 208
E-mail: jtzocheva@unicef.org



UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.