Save the Children takes IKEA co-workers to China

This week, we have a group of co-workers from IKEA Hong Kong and Taiwan visiting Save the Children projects in Yunnan, China. These are projects that the IKEA Foundation has helped fund through our annual Soft Toys for Education campaign.

We’ll be sharing their stories and photos over the next couple of weeks but, in this first post, Monique Kuo from Save the Children Hong Kong explains why the trip nearly didn’t happen at all!

From Monique Kuo, Save the Children Hong Kong:

An earthquake struck Zhaotong Prefecture, Yunnan, four days before IKEA’s representatives from Taiwan and Hong Kong were due to visit the project sites in Mojiang County, Yunnan, which are supported by the Soft Toy Campaign. When I learned the news, the first instinct and thought I had was “How can we help the children and families affected there?”

Then, my second thought was, “Oh, no, what about the IKEA trip? Did the earthquake strike near the project sites which the IKEA visitors are going to? Will the trip be cancelled?”

Children in Yunnan, China
©Save the Children

After phone calls and e-mails to our Yunnan colleagues, they explained that the sites we are going to visit are about 700km away from where the earthquake struck and that it would be fine to still make the trip. I immediately communicated this message to IKEA HK who also talked to Taiwan about the situation.

Even so, all of us kept a close watch on the development of the earthquake over the weekend. On  Monday, with more assurance from our local colleagues, I phoned IKEA HK and Taiwan again and heard the good news: “This trip is all about good deeds with great people’s effort; we don’t want to cancel the trip because the earthquake happened. We believe the trip will go well and there is great interest in visiting the soft toy projects to see how children are benefitting from IKEA’s support. We are looking forward to sharing our experience with colleagues who can’t make to the trip.”

Thank you to all of our colleagues’ great work, including Sweden, China and Hong Kong for help in arranging this trip and for the fantastic program work. And thanks to all of the colleagues at IKEA Taiwan and Hong Kong for your dedicated efforts in selling the soft toys and the energy and effort spent in making this trip happen!

Mother and child in Yunnan, China
©Save the Children
    Juli Riegler