Projects we fund
IKEA has worked with UNICEF for over a decade. UNICEF was instrumental in the development of IKEA’s policy against child labour, ‘The IKEA Way on Preventing Child Labour Code of Conduct', launched in 2000.
Building on this work, the IKEA Foundation has been funding UNICEF projects that help improve children’s education, keep children out of work and provide a healthy start in life since 2001.
Read stories of children we've helped on our 10 year anniversary page.
Basic healthcare and health education
The IKEA Foundation supports projects in India run by UNICEF, so children can have a healthy start in life.
We support projects that help women learn about breastfeeding practices to ensure their babies avoid malnutrition. We also support UNICEF in training local women in hygiene and health education, so others in their communities can thrive.
Anaemia affects a large percentage of adolescent girls in India, limiting their growth and their ability to learn – reducing their productivity and earnings later in life. The IKEA Foundation funds a UNICEF project to provide iron folic acid (IFA) supplements to help prevent anaemia. Since 2008 the project has reached 2.8 million girls.
We also fund a UNICEF project in Bihar that is helping prevent childhood deaths from diarrhoea and its complications. The project offers zinc tablets and oral rehydration salts (ORS) to children with diarrhoea in three districts of Bihar – a treatment that can be lifesaving. It is estimated at least 15,000 children had received the treatment by June 2012.
Preventing child labour
The IKEA Foundation’s current work grew out of IKEA’s efforts to prevent child labour in their supply chain. This has evolved into a broad commitment to fight for the rights of all children in the developing world.
We fund UNICEF’s programmes in India and Pakistan which support local communities to prevent children from working and ensure they have access to education. The projects do this by focusing on three key areas:
Access to education: Improving the quality of education to make sure children complete school and reduce the drop-out rate;
A sustainable family income: Enhancing family incomes through access to government social security and rural work schemes;
Changing attitudes: Raising awareness in cotton-growing communities of children’s rights and the dangers to children from working in cotton fields and factories.
The IKEA Foundation funds UNICEF’s work to tackle the root causes of child labour because we believe that every child has the right to go to school.
Soft Toys for Education
Since 2003, the Soft Toys for Education campaign has been run in IKEA stores worldwide. During the holiday period, for every soft toy brought, the IKEA Foundation donates €1 to Save the Children and UNICEF projects to help educate kids.
In 2012, the IKEA Foundation funded UNICEF education projects in Bukina Faso, Niger, Mali, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Ethiopia and China.
Read more about how the Soft Toys for Education is making a difference to the lives of millions of children.
Want to see how the money makes a difference? Check out our IWitness blog , where IKEA co-workers post their photos and stories when they visit Soft Toys projects.
Donations after disasters
We have sometimes donated IKEA products—such as buckets and blankets—to UNICEF after major disasters. (Find a complete list here.)
Starting in 2012, we have also started providing UNICEF with educational toys and stationery from IKEA for their early childhood development (ECD) kits, sent out in response to disasters. Depending on the need, over two years these kits could reach 1.2 million children, giving them a child-friendly learning environment to help them cope with life in a camp.