Welcome to Indonesia!

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be bringing you blog posts by a group of IKEA co-workers visiting Save the Children projects in Indonesia. The co-workers will see how Save the Children is changing children’s lives and how funding from our Soft Toys for Education campaign will help even more children in Indonesia.

Ricardo Caivano
Ricardo Caivano

Ricardo Caivano is Country Director for Save the Children in Indonesia. Ricardo previously worked in Indonesia after the tsunami and, upon his return earlier this year, was pleased to note many improvements. He’s glad to be back in this marvelous country, and enjoys its many islands by scuba diving from time to time.

Here’s Richard’s message to the co-workers visiting Save the Children projects in Indonesia this week, and to the co-workers and customers following their journey on this blog:

Selamat dating! Welcome to Indonesia, IKEA Foundation. Indonesia is vibrant and diverse – the fourth most populous nation in the world, with 300 different ethnic groups living on islands that stretch across 2,800 kilometers. Indonesia’s economy is growing, but half of its large and extended population still survives on $2 or less per day. For more than 35 years, Save the Children has helped Indonesian children, families and communities through child protection, education, health and nutrition, and emergency response programs.

Indonesia: Early Childhood Development
©Save the Children Indonesia

As you will see during your visit, children and their families, especially, face difficult challenges. Despite being in a relatively fertile environment, more than one-third of all Indonesian children are chronically malnourished. Sadly, the country has the largest number of children in orphanages/institutions in the world as parents simply are not able to care for their children themselves and will often turn their children over to government care in the hopes of securing a better future for them, and children with disabilities simply do not receive the care they need to lead fulfilling lives. All this having been said, you will be welcomed with smiles and enthusiasm by the children and communities which you visit. For despite all the challenges presented them, there is an amazing will and positive energy that you will see and feel during your visit: it is the drive of parents and community leaders, and children too, to make sustainable changes in their lives.

Indonesia: Early Childhood development
©Save the Children Indonesia

We are excited to be hosting your visit, and look forward to showing you how Save the Children is improving the lives of thousands of children with disabilities in the province of West Java. You will leave here knowing that the support of the IKEA Foundation will be benefitting these children for many years to come. And that should bring a smile to your face!

Terima kasih! Thank you, IKEA, and welcome to Indonesia.

Meet the co-workers going on the trip

This group of co-workers is from the United States, Belgium and Sweden. Most of them have never met each other before, but the Soft Toys for Education campaign is bringing them together in Indonesia.

Åsa-Maria Petersson
Åsa-MariaI work for IKEA Industry Group as Communication Specialist as well as being the Editor-in-Chief for Swedwood Magazine. I am passionate about travelling and learning about different cultures and love spending time with my family and five-year old son Adam.

Doug Johnson
Doug JohnsonI have worked for IKEA West Chester (Ohio) for over two years as a Graphic Communication Specialist. I am excited to go to Indonesia and interact with the young people who benefit from Save the Children initiatives that the IKEA Foundation supports, as well as the adults who lead these endeavors. I am curious to learn more about the educational programs and bring back the experiences to IKEA West Chester!

Eva Stenström
Eva StenströmI work for IKEA Industry Group as HR Project Leader with a focus on change processes. I have spent most of my working life working with CSR/Sustainability issues. I get a lot of energy from working with people, especially in areas connected to sustainability.

Mike Martinez
Mike MartinezI stared at IKEA Draper (Utah) in 2008 as a Safety & Security Agent. I have recently started in Frontline as a Cash Team Lead. I work with all of the customers who are leaving the store or returning products. My team is the lasting impression our customers see. I am looking forward to going to Indonesia and meeting these wonderful children who have benefitted from the Soft Toy campaign, bringing back their stories and showing the huge impact we have made across the world.

Tiny Smets
Tiny SmetsI’ve worked for IKEA for 25 years, starting in retail in one of our stores in Belgium and now in IT Demand. I’m Belgian, married, and have two lovely sons – 7 and 8 years old – who bring a lot of activity to my daily life. Even rainy days – and we have many in Belgium – are never boring!

    Juli Riegler