For what it’s worth

It’s been one week since Team Canada returned from our IWitness trip to Malawi. One week ago I spent a day in airplanes, hopping across 3 continents to get home. Two weeks ago I’d never travelled south of the equator, never been to Africa. I started this trip thinking, “What a great opportunity to tell co-workers where the Soft Toy money went.” I left Malawi wondering, “How can we increase the donation with the next round of Soft Toys for Education?” From latrines to shoes, from water pumps to desks, there were many moments when I learned what development truly means. Travelling with UNICEF Malawi showed me that “no child is too far”.

Nzotheka means “It’s Possible” because “we believe no child is too far”, by Viola Mah
Nzotheka means “It’s Possible” because “we believe no child is too far”, by Viola Mah

But I’m home now and there are emails to be answered, laundry to wash, projects, meetings, reports. How do I weave my time in Africa into my daily life here in Canada? Well we have another saying at IKEA: a better every day life for the many people. It’s our vision, in fact. So amidst the emails and meetings, I remind myself that everything I do should always contribute to a better every day life, for my co-workers, for my customers, for my family – for the many!

Caregivers at Chinansungwe playing London Bridge for early childhood development, by Viola Mah
Caregivers at Chinansungwe playing London Bridge for early childhood development, by Viola Mah

For most people IKEA represents well-designed, well-priced furniture and smart storage solutions. A better every day life for the many might mean a new mattress or better storage solutions. I have witnessed that it also means a better future for people who have never heard of IKEA. A soft toy costs a few dollars at our store. For every soft toy sold, the IKEA Foundation donates one euro. A soft toy can bring education and new opportunities for children all around the world.

Warm greetings from Malawi, the warm heart of Africa, by Viola Mah
Warm greetings from Malawi, the warm heart of Africa, by Viola Mah

 

English
    Viola May Mah