We’re all back at work in our IKEA stores now

We have now returned to our safe, secure lives in Norway. Coming home was a strange experience, both mentally and emotionally. At the airport in Oslo, we heard happy Christmas songs on the loudspeakers, and we saw people in a shopping spree at the Tax-free shop and nice, almost luxurious lounge areas. The contrast between the refugees’ situation and our own couldn’t be greater.

Everywhere we went, the children in Zaatari refugee camp were very curious about us -by Chris Williams
Everywhere we went, the children in Zaatari refugee camp were very curious about us -by Chris Williams

A trip like this puts our own lives in perspective. We’ve learned to really appreciate the life we lead and all the privileges we have. What we previously thought were big problems in our lives turn out to be trifles in comparison. It is now our mission to help spread the word about the refugee situation and the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign. We’ve seen for ourselves what a profound difference lighting makes for refugees.

The dedicated UNHCR workers took very good care of us during the IWitness trip. This is from Azraq refugee camp - by Heidi Wullum
The dedicated UNHCR workers took very good care of us during the IWitness trip. This is from Azraq refugee camp – by Heidi Wullum

We’re all back at work in our IKEA stores now. Some of us have broken into tears when people have asked us about our experience. While it was hard to hear the refugees’ stories told directly to us, it somehow feels even harder to pass them on to other people. The refugees’ faces, their words, their stories and the simple environment they live in… It all touched us deeply and will stay with us forever.

The group of Norwegian co-workers has returned home. Here is the group gathered in Zaatari refugee camp. From left: Heidi Wullum, John Wormdal, Renate Hjelme, Sigbjørn Brun, Lindsay Blake, Gustav Svensson and Anette Platou. IKEA Foundation’s Communications Manager Chris Williams to the right.
The group of Norwegian co-workers has returned home. Here is the group gathered in Zaatari refugee camp. From left: Heidi Wullum, John Wormdal, Renate Hjelme, Sigbjørn Brun, Lindsay Blake, Gustav Svensson and Anette Platou. IKEA Foundation’s Communications Manager Chris Williams to the right.
English
    Heidi Wullum