Fundraising campaign supports work of UN refugee agency UNHCR
BURLINGTON, ON, Jan. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - IKEA Canada announced today the launch of a new good cause campaign, 'Brighter Lives for Refugees', that will run in IKEA stores globally from February 3 to March 29, 2014. For every LEDARE (LED light bulb) sold during the campaign, the IKEA Foundation will donate Є1 (approximately $1.50 CAD) to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). Funds raised by the campaign will help to provide much needed solar street lights, indoor solar lanterns, other renewable energy technologies and fuel efficient cooking stoves in UNHCR refugee camps in various countries including Ethiopia, Chad, Bangladesh and Jordan.
"Today, there are nearly 10.5 million refugees globally, around half of which are children. Some refugees have no choice but to live in refugee camps, where a lack of light after sunset can have a devastating effect on safety and security," says Kerri Molinaro, President of IKEA Canada. "There is no denying the overwhelming need for responsible members of the global community to step forward and do something to improve the lives of these vulnerable people."
Simple activities such as visiting the toilet, collecting water or returning to the shelter from elsewhere can become difficult and dangerous, particularly for women and girls. The improvements funded by the campaign will make each refugee camp a safer and more suitable home for refugee children and their families. In addition, the campaign will also fund improved primary education.
"In 2013, over 2 million people became refugees - a near twenty-year record. With each new humanitarian emergency, the support of the private sector becomes more vital and more urgent. This campaign represents a new, unique chapter in our relationship with the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR's largest private sector partner. Together, we hope to be able to transform the lives of many refugees," said Furio De Angelis, UNHCR Representative in Canada.
The IKEA Foundation believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home. Since 2010 the IKEA Foundation has partnered with UNHCR, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and children within refugee camps and surrounding communities.
"Life in a refugee camp can be very hard, particularly for children. The absence of powered light limits everyday activities we take for granted such as sharing a meal or doing your homework. It impacts safety and security and the ability for families to generate an income. The 'Brighter Lives for Refugees' campaign will help bring lights and renewable energy into the streets and homes of refugees camps, so UNHCR can help build a better everyday life for refugee children and families" explains Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.
About IKEA Canada
IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 342 stores in 42 countries worldwide, which are visited by 776 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 12 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year. Last year the IKEA.com websites attracted 1.1 billion 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 Foundation
The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in the world's poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change. The Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child's life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and sustainable family income. Currently-funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children by 2015. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org and www.facebook/IKEAfoundation
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also known as the UN refugee agency, was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. UNHCR safeguards the rights and well-being of refugees. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. It also has a mandate to help people who have become forcibly displaced inside their own countries, and stateless people. UNHCR is on the front lines of the world's major humanitarian crises, including Syria, Mali, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and countless other emergencies. UNHCR works in 126 countries and has had an office in Canada since 1976. Read more at www.unhcr.ca
SOURCE: IKEA Canada
For further information or to schedule an interview with Brendan Seale, IKEA Canada Sustainability Manager, please contact:
Corporate Communications Manager
For further information on UNHCR, or to schedule an interview with Furio De Angelis, UNHCR Representative in Canada, please contact:
Public Information Associate