IKEA Soft Toys For Education Campaign raises $16.2 million for UNICEF and Save the Children

The Soft Toys for Education campaign will donate $16.2 million to UNICEF and Save the Children to help realize every child’s right to a quality education.

Conshohocken, PA (January 26, 2012) — The 2011 IKEA Soft Toy for Education Campaign results are in and thanks to outstanding IKEA customer, coworker and IKEA Foundation support, UNICEF and Save the Children will receive a donation of $16.2 million* (€ 12.4 million) to help realize every child’s right to a quality education. This notable donation will result in the implementation of 18 educational projects in 16 countries. UNICEF’s share will go to the Schools for Africa projects in seven countries and two projects in Russia and China. Save the Children’s equal share will support education for children in some of the most marginalized groups (minorities and children with disabilities) in Asia (Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines) and Eastern Europe (Lithuania and Romania).

The IKEA Soft Toy for Education Campaign is an annual campaign that runs from November 1—December 24. During this time, every IKEA soft toy,children’s book and kids meal sold in any of the 320 global IKEA stores results in one euro ($1.30) being donated between UNICEF and Save the Children. This year 12.4 million soft toys were sold. Since 2003, the campaign has generated $61.75 million (€47.5 million) in donations to help over eight million children have a quality education in almost 40 countries.

The funding from the Soft Toy for Education campaign, managed by the IKEA Foundation, will help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, supply educational materials like pencils, books, bags, rebuild schools and provide better water and toilet facilities, and also increase school attendance.
“Our appreciation and gratitude go to IKEA co-workers and customers worldwide for making the 2011 Soft Toys for Education campaign such a success. Thanks to you, 5.5 million children in Africa will receive a better education.  For more than ten years the IKEA Foundation has promoted children’s rights by supporting UNICEF’s work and the results achieved for children make us very proud of this partnership," said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships.

“The innovative IKEA Soft Toy campaign continues to show astounding results year by year, making it the most strategic global cause-marketing campaign for children in the world today. The beauty of the campaign is that it not only benefits children all over the world by giving them the opportunity to go to school, it also raises awareness amongst children and grown-ups about some of the challenging situations children are faced with today. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to IKEA customers and co-workers at IKEA stores around the world, who have contributed to the phenomenal success of the 2011 Soft Toy campaign,” said Elisabeth Dahlin, Chairman, Lead Agency for the IKEA Foundation Collaboration and Secretary General, Save the Children Sweden.

About IKEA:

IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 320 IKEA stores in 38 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, go to IKEA-USA.com.

About IKEA Foundation:

The IKEA Foundation aims to improve the opportunities for children and youth by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change, and enable them to take charge of their own future. 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: home, health, education and family income. Currently funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org.

*€1 equals approximately $1.30 US


Mona Astra Liss, IKEA US Corporate PR Director:  Mona.Liss@IKEA.com    
Jonathan Spampinato, Head of Communications, IKEA Foundation: Jonathan.Spampinato@ikeafoundation.org