Despite rapid developments in China, children with disabilities still face social exclusion and discrimination, especially in rural, poorer areas. The inclusive education programme of Save the Children is focusing on these children in order to provide them with a quality education. This programme is one of the beneficiaries of our Soft Toys for Education campaign, which is running now in all IKEA stores.
We are seven co-workers from the Netherlands and we were selected for an IWitness trip to China. As we speak, we are on our way to China to experience the impact of this programme in the Yunnan province.
Wendy Flik from Save the Children Nederland will join us on the trip. She says: “My hope is that the group of IKEA co-workers get a clear understanding of the current situation and really can witness the impact that our work directly has on the lives of the children in China.”
How do we feel and what are our expectations?
Sandra Schouten – IKEA Zwolle
I feel privileged that I am able to join this trip. I am sure that I will be moved by realising what we can offer these children. Especially when I think about my own children back home.
Maud Wante – IKEA Heerlen
I will be amazed by this whole experience. I expect that the children will be extremely grateful for some things, which are normal for us. I am also curious what impact this trip will have on myself, and what I will take home.
Pim Doosje – IKEA Amsterdam
We will see some things that we take for granted. Things that people might not have even thought about here.
Jurriaan Zuiderhoek – IKEA Amersfoort
We are pretty spoiled in the Netherlands. Therefore, I am super curious about what this experience does to me. I expect that this cultural interaction will amaze me from both sides.
Niels Verschuren – IKEA Delft
This trip will be an eye opener. From an economical perspective, China is developing so strongly, but from a social aspect there is still a lot to achieve. I expect to experience what this uneven balance does to people in the country.
Angela Bartorillo – IKEA Utrecht
I am thrilled to represent IKEA Utrecht on the IWitness trip to China. I look forward to meeting the children, teachers and parents who benefit from the education projects that IKEA Foundation supports. It is almost difficult to form an expectation, but this will be a life-changing trip. I know I will come back with a new appreciation for our Good Cause campaigns and the positive contributions IKEA makes around the world.
Jolanda van Ginkel – IKEA Nederland
I am extremely excited that we get the opportunity to go on this trip. I expect to get a good understanding on the impact of the inclusive education programme of Save the Children. China’s economy is developing so fast, which increases inequality sometimes even more. We must not forget vulnerable children that can use our help.
Keep an eye on this blog to follow our experiences. In the meantime, go to your nearest IKEA store and buy as many soft toys as you can to support the campaign!