Welcome to Malawi!

This week a lucky group of co-workers from IKEA UK is travelling in Malawi with UNICEF. They’re visiting projects funded by our Soft Toys for Education campaign.

Jo Strong, Corporate Relations Manager for UNICEF UK, tells us more about Malawi and the work UNICEF is doing there.

We are delighted to be taking a group of IKEA co-workers to visit UNICEF projects in Malawi. This is the first year that Malawi will receive funding from the Soft Toys for Education campaign, which has already raised €47.5 million and helped improve the lives of more than 8 million children living in nearly 40 countries.

Students in Malawi
© UNICEF/MLWB2010-695/Eldson Chagara

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and is also one of Africa’s most densely populated. 13 million people occupy 118,000 square kilometers, an area less than half the size of the UK. Very few children complete the full eight years of primary education due to poor quality teaching, poor water and sanitation facilities, cultural attitudes and poverty. Children in rural areas have an even lower enrolment rate than their urban counterparts.

Students dancing in Malawi
© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-1909/Giacomo Pirozzi

However, with UNICEF’s support Malawi is undergoing a transformation, making education one of its national priorities. Key aims are increasing access to education and the quality of basic education in Malawi. IKEA and the IKEA Foundation are key partners in this drive and we are delighted to be able to take a group of IKEA co-workers to see firsthand the huge impact that funding from the Soft Toys for Education campaign will make.

    Juli Riegler