On 29 November the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign returns to IKEA stores worldwide to raise millions of euros for refugees.
Between November 29 and December 19, for every lamp or bulb sold in all IKEA stores and online, the IKEA Foundation will donate Є1 to help UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, provide light and energy from renewable sources to refugee camps, making them a safer, more suitable place for the many families who live there.
The donation will help provide solar street lights, solar-powered lanterns and solar energy systems for refugees and host communities in and around UNHCR refugee camps in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The campaign will also fund improved access to primary education.
How customers and co-workers have helped so far
The Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign started in 2014, and this year sees its final phase. So far, thanks to the IKEA customers and co-workers who have taken part in the campaign:
- Over 284,000 refugees and members of host communities in Ethiopia and Jordan are able to live in greater safety at night, thanks to the provision of more than 56,000 solar lanterns and the installation of 720 solar street lights.
- Over 37,000 refugee children have been enrolled in primary school in Bangladesh, Chad and Ethiopia, allowing them to continue with their education. In addition, more than 740 teachers have been trained in those countries.
- Twenty-two biogas plants have been constructed in Bangladesh, allowing for 15% of human waste to be processed and generating green fuel for cooking.
Providing a safe place to call home
Today, there are 19.5 million refugees globally, half of whom are children. While war and persecution are the leading causes forcing people to flee, UNHCR is also increasingly concerned about climate change and related problems that cause displacement, including natural disasters such as droughts and floods, and the scarcity of natural resources.
“Sadly, the escalating refugee crisis caused by protracted conflict situations around the world does not seem likely to calm down any time soon,” explained Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation. “And lesser-known factors such as climate change-induced natural disasters could force even more people to flee for a safe place to call home.”
The IKEA Foundation, UNHCR’s largest private sector partner, believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home. Since 2010, it has partnered with UNHCR, helping provide shelter, care and education to families and children in refugee camps and surrounding communities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said: “Finding innovative ways to help refugees is enormously important. The clean energy we’re able to provide with the support from the IKEA Foundation is both a practical solution to an essential need and transforms the quality of life for many.”