How we’re helping kids get their childhoods back
August 19, 2016
It’s World Humanitarian Day and we’re celebrating our partners’ amazing work to help children and families caught up in disasters and conflicts, often at their own personal risk.
Every parent wants to see their children grow up happy! The basic ingredients are simple: a chance to play, learn and spend time with friends and family. All children, everywhere, have the right to these things.
But during natural disasters and conflicts, children’s lives are turned upside down. Suddenly, even the simple things in life are threatened.
We want to make sure children have the chance to be children. That’s why we give grants and donate IKEA products to our partners who work in humanitarian and emergency situations. Thanks to their commitment, we can create circles of prosperity for children going through very tough times. By addressing their fundamental needs for home, health, education and a sustainable family income, we’re offering them the chance of a better future.
Mattresses, shelters and toys
To support refugee children and families living in Iraq, we’ve donated 400,000 mattresses, quilts and blankets to UNHCR over three years, to provide a comfortable place to sleep.
Working with social enterprise Better Shelter and UNHCR, we’ve also created a flat-pack shelter for refugees, which is safer and more durable than a tent. In 2015, UNHCR ordered 10,000 of these shelters to help refugee families in several countries, including Greece, Iraq and Chad.
A few toys can mean the world to children who have lost everything. Since 2013, we’ve been donating IKEA children’s products to UNICEF for their Early Childhood Development Kits. These treasure boxes of activities support the well-being of children, including those who are caught up in conflicts and emergencies.
Superheroes on the frontline
And when disaster strikes we act swiftly, releasing funds within 48 hours to partners like Save the Children and UNICEF. This money protects vulnerable children in the aftermath of the emergency, for example by getting schools up and running again so they don’t miss out on their education.
“We’re really proud of how we are able to support our partners in times of disasters and conflict,” says Jonathan Spampinato, Head of Communications at the IKEA Foundation.
“On World Humanitarian Day, we’d like to say a huge thank you to our humanitarian partners, especially to their staff and volunteers who work on the frontline in emergencies. They’re the real superheroes, for helping kids in very tough situations to get their childhoods back.