IKEA co-workers attend the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award ceremony

Nine IKEA co-workers from across Europe attended a special award ceremony in Geneva last night to honour someone who has helped improve the lives of refugees.

The co-workers were invited to attend the Nansen Refugee Award ceremony by the United Nations’ Refugee Agency (UNHCR), one of the IKEA Foundation’s biggest partners, so they can get an inside look at the partnership and share what they learn with other co-workers.

Commitment to helping refugees

Every year, UNHCR gives the Nansen award to an individual, group or organisation in recognition of outstanding service to the cause of refugees, displaced or stateless people. This year’s recipient is Sister Angélique Namaika, a Congolese nun who has shown exceptional courage and unwavering support for survivors of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Today the co-workers will have the opportunity to meet the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, and the award winner, as well as touring the United Nations building. Through speaking with UNHCR staff members who work in refugee camps, they will see how the IKEA Foundation is making life better for children and families who live in the camps.

Transforming refugees’ lives

T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees at UNHCR, said: “The work that UNHCR undertakes for tens of millions of uprooted people in over 125 countries would not be possible without the support of our partners, and we are proud to have the IKEA Foundation as one of our closest supporters.

“The support of the Foundation not only is transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Ethiopia, Sudan, Bangladesh and other locations, making refugee camps a better and safer home for the many children, and their families, who live their lives in them; this support is also important for the Nansen Refugee Award programme, enabling us to honour those who deserve it.”

The IKEA Foundation supports many projects to make life better for refugee children by:

  •     improving education in refugee camps
  •     reconnecting displaced families
  •     improving emergency shelters.


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency


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