IKEA Qatar today launched its annual Soft Toys for Education campaign designed to help improve lives of children less fortunate in Qatar and across the world. Beginning November 6 until January 3, 2015, for every soft toy sold in the Doha Festival City store, IKEA Foundation will donate QR 5 to help support UNICEF’s education programmes around the world. The IKEA Foundation, based in the Netherlands works tirelessly to help improve opportunities for children and young adults in some of the world’s less privileged communities.
John Kersten, Managing Director, IKEA Qatar, UAE, Egypt and Oman said: “IKEA believes that education is one of the most effective ways to help children escape poverty and shape a better future for themselves. It has a direct impact on wellbeing, from better health to increased opportunities. The Soft Toys for Education campaign is therefore an extremely important initiative for IKEA. IKEA continues to join hands with global partner UNICEF to help underprivileged children across the world. And, this year’s campaign marks the second year of collaboration between IKEA Qatar and Qatar Charity to make this campaign locally relevant. I would like to urge our customers to help make this campaign a success.”
For more than 12 years, the IKEA Foundation has been a key partner and supporter of UNICEF’s work to provide quality education to millions of children worldwide. Dr. Ibrahim El-Ziq, Gulf Area Representative, UNICEF said: “UNICEF is very proud to continue to be a partner for IKEA’s Soft Toys for Education campaign. In the past, the campaign has helped improve the lives of millions of children in 46 UNICEF supported countries and I am confident that in 2014, we will reach new heights.”
To make a difference within the community in Qatar, IKEA has partnered with Qatar Charity to create an added channel for contributions. Customers at IKEA will be urged to drop the soft toys they buy into a special donation box located after the store checkout. These toys will then be distributed to under-privileged children within Qatar. Registered in 1992, Qatar Charity works in the fields of sustainable development, poverty reduction, emergency response, renewable energy and disaster relief. In the year 2012, Qatar Charity collected QR 582 million through member subscriptions, donations and government and private grants directed towards various social causes.
Mr. Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al Mohannadi, Executive Director for Local Development, Qatar Charity said, “We are happy to enter a second year of partnership with IKEA for the Soft Toys campaign. This is a remarkable campaign that has touched the lives of millions of underprivileged children around the world including our own. We urge the community to think of the many children who need their support and to give whole heartedly.”
Launched in 2003, the Soft Toys for Education campaign has so far benefitted over 11 million children globally. It has supported over 99 projects in 46 countries worldwide. The campaign raised €67 million in total over the last 10 years and €10.1 million in 2013 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.