IKEA kicks off global ‘Soft Toys for Education’ campaign

Press release
Published November 6th, 2013 - 11:55 GMT

IKEA UAE has announced the launch of its annual Soft Toys for Education  campaign designed to help improve the lives of children less fortunate across the world.

As a part of this campaign, for every soft toy sold in the Dubai Festival City and Yas Island stores between November 10, 2013 and January 4, 2014 IKEA Foundation will donate AED 5 to help support UNICEF’s education programmes around the world. The IKEA Foundation, based in the Netherlands works relentlessly to help improve opportunities for children and young adults in some of the world’s less privileged communities. It supports holistic, long-term programmes that create long-lasting substantial change. Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA, says, “We want to help people help themselves to a better everyday life today – and tomorrow, turning the cycle of poverty into a cycle of prosperity.”

John Kersten, Managing Director, IKEA UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman said: “IKEA believes children are the most important people in the world. Education is the most powerful and effective way to help children escape poverty. The change it can bring to a young life is immense. In collaboration with our global partner UNICEF, the Soft Toys for Education  campaign is our attempt at offering this change by urging customers to bring a smile to the faces of children worldwide. This year, we are pleased to partner with The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and we appeal to our customers to donate their IKEA Soft Toys for children in their immediate surroundings.”

For more than 10 years, the IKEA Foundation has been a key partner and supporter of UNICEF’s and Save the Children’s work to provide quality education to millions of children worldwide.

Dr. Ibrahim El-Ziq, Gulf Area Representative, UNICEF said: “IKEA and UNICEF have partnered successfully for over a decade and we are very happy to take this relationship forward in 2013. The Soft Toys for Education campaign has made a significant difference in the lives of millions of children in 37 UNICEF supported countries. We hope to continue building on this success in the future.”

Bringing it closer to home, IKEA UAE has partnered with The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood to create an added channel for charity. Customers at IKEA will be urged to drop the soft toys they buy into a special donation box located after the store checkout, to be distributed to under-privileged children within the UAE. The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood has worked extensively in the areas of combating violence against children, child trafficking and child sexual abuse including promulgation of the Law on the Rights of the Child.

Dr. Mohamed Ebrahim Al Mansoor, The Supreme Council of Motherhood and Childhood said: “We are happy to partner with IKEA to make their global campaign more locally relevant. There is a lot of work to be done within UAE and we hope customers at IKEA will be generous with offering their help to children in need. The Soft Toys campaign has been a global success in the past and we hope to continue this trend within the UAE as well.”

Launched in 2003, the Soft Toys for Education campaign has so far benefitted over 10 million children globally. It has supported over 90 projects in 46 countries worldwide. The campaign raised €57 million in total over the last 10 years and €9.3 million in 2012 alone.

Funds raised during IKEA’s Soft Toys for Education campaign will support global efforts including improving school infrastructure, access to water and sanitation facilities, training teachers, and providing school benches, desks and educational supplies like books, pencils and writing pads for children and teachers.

Background Information


There’s so much to know about IKEA beyond our low-price furniture. From our sustainable sourcing of cotton and wood, to our stance on human rights; what it’s like to work for IKEA, to our democratic design approach.

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