IKEA Social Initiative breaks fundraising record for UNICEF and Save the Children



    Over $8.6 million CAD raised in 2008 campaign

    BURLINGTON, ON, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Since 2003 IKEA has been raising funds
annually for UNICEF and Save the Children through sales of IKEA soft toys. The
project supporting 40 projects in 20 countries is designed to fight for
children's rights to a healthy and secure childhood with access to quality
education. This year, a new record has been broken for the campaign. A total
of $8,604,391.54 million CAD will be donated to UNICEF and Save the Children.
Since its start in 2003, the proceeds from this campaign have now reached over
$26.5 million CAD.
    "IKEA believes that showing responsibility for people and the environment
is a condition for doing good business. This means that IKEA's low prices must
not be at the expense of people or the environment - low price but not at any
price." Says Kerri Molinaro, President, IKEA Canada. "In cooperation with
UNICEF and Save the Children, we support children's rights. The IKEA Social
Initiative supports holistic, long-term projects focusing on health, education
and the elimination of child labour."
    "Together we can rewrite the future for children all over the world.
Thousands of children with disabilities, from poor rural areas or ethnic
minorities have been given access to education thanks to the donations from
IKEA Social Initiative. By providing education to children, we reduce their
vulnerability and empower them to build better lives and realize their
dreams", says Charlotte Petri Gornitzka Secretary General, International Save
the Children Alliance.
    The over $8.5 million CAD raised in the recent Soft Toys campaign will
benefit eight Save the Children projects in Albania, Bangladesh, China, India,
Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Russia and Vietnam and eight UNICEF projects in
Macedonia, Moldova, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and
Vietnam.
    "Thanks to the generosity of IKEA, its co-workers and customers thousands
of children living in poverty around the world have access to education. It
would be hard to overestimate the positive impact of education for these
children and their communities. It is the gift of a better future," says Nigel
Fisher, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada.

    About IKEA

    IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 286 stores in 36
countries worldwide, which are visited by 565 million people every year. IKEA
Canada has 11 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year.
Last year the ikea.com websites attracted 450 million visitors. Founded in
1943, IKEA's business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good
design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them.
For more information on IKEA, please visit: www.ikea.ca.

    About IKEA Social Initiative

    IKEA Social Initiative manages social involvements on a global level. The
mission of IKEA Social Initiative is to improve the rights and life
opportunities of the many children - fighting for children's rights to a
healthy and secure childhood with access to quality education. UNICEF and Save
the Children being the main partners, the range of projects take a holistic
approach for creating a substantial and lasting change: improving the health
of mothers and children, enabling access to a quality education for children,
and empowering women to create a better future for themselves and their
communities. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help
children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The
world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports
child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education
for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence,
exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary
contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For
more information, please visit www.unicef.org

    About Save the Children

    Save the Children is the world's largest independent organization for
children, working to secure children's rights and improve children's lives in
over 125 countries worldwide. From emergency relief to long-term development,
Save the Children helps children achieve a happy, healthy and secure childhood
by securing and protecting children's rights to food, shelter, health care,
education and to freedom from violence, abuse and exploitation. Save the
Children listens to children, involves children and ensures their views are
taken into account.

    For more information, please visit www.savethechildren.net





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick,
Public Relations Manager, IKEA Canada, (905) 637-9440 x6378


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