Creating a better everyday life for refugees
Guided by our values, we believe that IKEA Group can play an important role in providing opportunities to people from all backgrounds — including refugees.
We have been active in supporting refugees through a variety of local community efforts, such as the donation of products, education projects and co-worker volunteering.
Today eight IKEA Group markets (Austria, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK) have started programmes that help refugees gain work experience, develop new skills and integrate into their new communities. And other markets run a variety of programmes in local communities to support migrants, refugees and other vulnerable groups.
We do all this because it is part of our vision, to create a better everyday life for the many people.
Opening doors to employment
Over 90 stores in eight IKEA Group markets have started refugee inclusion programmes that support refugees to gain work experience, develop language skills and integrate into their new communities. Find out more by reading some of their stories:
“Entering IKEA felt like entering a home. I wake up with a smile on my face because I know I’m going somewhere fun where I can help people find what they are looking for. IKEA has allowed me to face the past but also to build my future.”
Alagie Darboe, Self-service co-worker, IKEA Padua store
“We hope that this programme will continue to support people to grow, advance and create opportunities for a better future.”
Miriam Egio, HR Manager, IKEA Ensanche de Vallecas store
“I started the internship programme in September 2016. For me it was a good opportunity to integrate into an international company. I’m now employed long term and am financially independent.”
Mohamed Abdullahi, Logistics co-worker, IKEA Aubonne store
“I’m very proud to be part of a project that gives refugees and immigrants their important first step of gaining work experience and learning Norwegian. The participants’ level of engagement and desire to learn has been inspiring.”
Dan Sandmoen, Team Leader, IKEA Furuset store
“Since starting the programme, I’ve witnessed a renewed energy among our co-workers for the IKEA values and appreciation of IKEA as a great place to work – not to mention some fabulous new co-workers joining us. It’s been a win-win experience!”
Hiliary Jenkins, People & Communities Leader, IKEA Retail UK & IE
Refugees and their new communities thriving together
Patience, 21, is an aspiring journalist doing vocational training through the International Rescue Committee with support from the IKEA Foundation
When people are forced to leave their homes, they have to leave most things behind. But no matter what they leave behind, they all bring three things with them wherever they go: skills, talents, aspirations.
The IKEA Foundation* is supporting the International Rescue Committee (IRC) with a €5 million grant to help improve the lives of both refugees and young Kenyans living in Nairobi’s informal settlements.
The partnership promotes refugees’ self-reliance and financial independence through a flexible training and employment programme, tailored to each individual’s needs. By offering business-skills training, start-up grants, apprenticeships, and connections to local employers, the IRC is helping thousands of vulnerable people improve their chances for a better future.
Refugees and their new communities can thrive together when refugees are able to develop their skills, embrace their talents and fulfil their aspirations. Because when refugees are able to work, they create businesses and employ others. They have more money to spend in the local economy and need fewer benefits. They experience less frustration and feel more connected to their new community.
*The philanthropic arm of IKEA Group
Read more about the IKEA Foundation and its partnerships at IKEAfoundation.org