CONSHOHOCKEN, PA - It's a bright idea for a good cause with the introduction of the new IKEA Foundation campaign, 'Brighter Lives for Refugees.' Running February 3 - March 29, 2014, the global IKEA store initiative includes a donation of one euro ($1.35)* to the UN refugee agency UNHCR for every IKEA LEDARE -- LED light bulb sold. Raised campaign funds will help to provide solar street lights, indoor solar lanterns, and other renewable energy technologies such as fuel efficient cooking stoves in UNHCR refugee camps in countries including Ethiopia, Chad, Bangladesh and Jordan.
In addition the campaign will also fund improved primary education.
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 an absence or lack of light after sunset can have a devastating effect on safety and security. 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 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 UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
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.
IKEA continues to lead in sustainable business practices. In October 2012, IKEA US announced it would make a bold move to sell only LED lights in all its US stores by 2016. Already well on its way, the IKEA sale of only LED lights and lamps will and has enabled millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home, and save on their energy bills. IKEA also phased out all plastic bags in its stores in 2007 and incandescent bulbs in 2010.
*One euro is equivalent to approximately $1.35
The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 305 IKEA Group stores in 26 countries. There are 38 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 13, the IKEA Group had 135,000 co-workers, 684 million visitors to the stores and 1.3 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.
The Yearly Summary FY13 and the IKEA Group Sustainability Report FY13 are available on IKEA-USA.com. Visit facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, and http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/.
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 programs 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.com/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.
Read more at www.unhcr.org
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