All for a good cause
Each year the IKEA Foundation provides valuable funding to causes dedicated to improving lives and the environment for the many people around the world. In celebration of IKEA Foundation Week from 24-28 October, meet some of the children of families who, through the initiatives the Foundation supports, are changing the story of our planet.
Arthur is really passionate about stopping climate change. So is his mum. She works for an organisation called We Mean Business, a global nonprofit coalition that works with some of the world’s most influential businesses to take climate action.
Created in 2014, through funding primarily from the IKEA Foundation, the We Mean Business coalition mobilises major companies to cut their emissions. It also brings together business leaders to advocate for governments to adopt bold climate policies. The goal: to halve emissions by 2030 and accelerate the transition to a global net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
The coalition has even managed to bring competitive organisations together to work in cooperation. The more voices, the greater the impact, proving that there is indeed, strength in unity.
Arthur’s mum is an influencer
Fabiola was once one of the many children who arrive on the shores of Greece each year, unaccompanied, as refugees. She fled Cameroon when she was just 17 years old. Thanks to The HOME Project, an international humanitarian non-profit organisation with funding from the IKEA Foundation, Fabiola has been able to build a new life for herself and her young son.
Established in 2016, The HOME Project provides safety, support and shelter to the growing number of refugee children who arrive in Greece each year, alone and scared, escaping war and violence back home. With 14 homes throughout the country, The HOME Project has helped around 800 children and created 170 jobs since its launch.
Funding from the IKEA Foundation has enabled The HOME Project to operate 10 shelters and establish a Child Protection Unit, consisting of professional social workers, psychologists, lawyers and psychiatrists. Within the unit, specialists create an Individual Development Plan for each child. The aim is to support each child in four main areas, namely: mental health, education, legal support and life skills/socialisation. “Home refers to a place to live in but also stands for help, overcome, motivate, empower, which is what we want to do with everyone we work with,” says Sofia Kouvelaki, The HOME Project’s CEO.
Fabiola finds a place to call home
Sarisha lives in India. She’s worried about the changing weather conditions in her country. While she is at school, her mother helps small villages get access to renewable energy by installing solar panels. This is part of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet initiative. The IKEA Foundation is an anchor partner of the Alliance, providing funding and strategic support to ensure targets are met.
Launched in November 2021 at COP26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference – the Alliance aims to accelerate investment in the transition to renewable energy solutions in emerging economies worldwide. By tapping into public and private financing, the alliance hopes to deliver reliable, renewable power to 1 billion people in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which in turn could avoid a potential 4 billion tons of carbon emissions, and to drive economic growth by creating, enabling or improving 150 million jobs within the regions.
According to a report published by the Alliance, energy-poor countries are currently responsible for 25% of global CO2 emissions, with a potential increase to 75% by 2050. However, they only receive 13% of renewable energy financing, despite the fact that they represent nearly half of the world’s population. Earlier this year, the IKEA Foundation, along with other anchor partners, pledged a combined sum of US$ 1 billion in grant capital to the Alliance to fight climate change and energy poverty. Today 3.6 billion people don’t have a reliable electricity supply – 759 million of whom don’t have any access at all. This commitment to invest in renewable energy will improve people’s lives and power their livelihoods, while protecting the planet from harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Sarisha’s mum has the power of the sun
Sarah and her mother live in Meshenani, at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The area has a semi-arid climate and the land once flourished, thanks to two long rainy seasons. But as climate change impacts global temperatures and weather patterns, the area has been hit by droughts and high temperatures. The two women are part of a community of Maasai women regreening a ten-hectare plot as part of the Green Future Farming programme supported by the IKEA Foundation.
Sarah’s mother works for Justdiggit, an organisation that empowers farmers in drought hit areas of Africa to bring dry land back to life through traditional farming techniques. Using modern technology and social media, Justdiggit has created an online tool to help farmers find and learn the right regreening techniques for their land. They then share their learnings with other local farmers in the area, enabling them to make the dry land green again – together. Not only does it help lower temperatures in the local area, it also restores water and food availability, not to mention livelihoods.
Through the mobilisation of farming communities, Justdiggit has restored 300,000 hectares of land and regenerated 9.7 million trees. As part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 program, Justdiggit’s goal is to empower 350 million farmers to regreen the entire African continent. Together with Justdiggit, the IKEA Foundation is empowering women, families and communities to dig in and make Africa green again.
The Maasai women bringing life to the land
Nyhed hopes to follow in the footsteps of her aunt Maroa and join Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), an international medical humanitarian organisation that provides vital medical care in some of the world’s poorest communities. The IKEA Foundation has been supporting the work of Médecins Sans Frontières since 2013, providing grants and funds to deliver life-saving care to the many people affected by some of the worst humanitarian disasters around the globe.
From providing water and nutrition to communities hit by drought to administering life-saving antidotes against deadly diseases like malaria, ebola and cholera, Médecins Sans Frontières is there when disaster strikes.
Hope in the face of disaster
Curious to know more? Listen in on these three episodes with our colleagues, partners and IKEA co-workers to learn more about how we work with our focus areas: climate and livelihoods.