Posted on March 05, 2014

IKEA Qatar has announced the conclusion of its annual Soft Toys for Education campaign which began in November 2013 in association with UNICEF and Qatar Charity.

Designed to improve lives of children less fortunate, this campaign was activated in the IKEA store at Doha Festival City. Between November 10, 2013 and January 4, 2014, for every soft toy sold at IKEA, IKEA Foundation donated QR 5 to UNICEF. This donation was utilized within UNICEF’s many education programmes globally. As a ‘give twice’ initiative, customers were also encouraged to donate IKEA soft toys within designated collection boxes located in the store. The campaign successfully collected 900 soft toys which were handed out by Qatar Charity to children in need across Qatar.

In the past, funds raised for UNICEF by this campaign have supported 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.

John Kersten, Managing Director, IKEA Qatar, UAE, Egypt and Oman said: “IKEA believes that children are the most important people in the world. While this is the first time we are running this campaign in Qatar, the IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign has been active globally since 2003. This year we extended our long standing partnership with UNICEF as well as welcomed Qatar Charity into this initiative. We are proud to have reached many children around the world, together with children in need specifically within Qatar.”

For more than 10 years, the IKEA Foundation has been a key partner and supporter in spreading education alongside UNICEF and Save the Children.

Qatar Airways Baku

Dr. Ibrahim El-Ziq, Gulf Area Representative, UNICEF said: “The commitment and hard work of the partnership between IKEA and UNICEF is a testimony to the fact that we believe this to be a long standing relationship. Our work towards improving the conditions for education of children worldwide cannot be done in a year or through a single program. Our partnership, which has now been over 10 years, is our collective effort towards continuing to improve lives with new vigour every year. We look forward to making this campaign an even bigger success in 2014.”

2013 is the first time that IKEA has brought the Soft Toys for Education campaign to Qatar. To add the special expertise of identifying children’s issues relevant specifically to the local market, IKEA partnered with Doha-based Qatar Charity.

Mr. Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al Mohannadi, Executive Director for Local Development, Qatar Charity said: “Children are a fundamental starting point for helping the greater society. We are very glad to have partnered with IKEA to bring happiness into the lives of children within Qatar. The Soft Toys for Education campaign is a beautiful thought that goes beyond just global problems to also include the immediate local environment and its needs. This is a very strong commitment towards Qatar on the part of both partners and we hope to continue this partnership for a very long time.”

The Soft Toys for Education campaign was launched in 2003, benefiting over 10 million children globally. Supporting over 90 projects in 46 countries worldwide, this campaign raised €67 million in total over the last 10 years and €10 million in 2013 alone.