World Refugee Day

Three confident women posing at the fabrics department of an IKEA store in honor of World Refugee Day on June 20th.

World Refugee Day

Over 65 million people in the world today have been forced to leave their homes to find safety from war, violence or persecution.

On 20th June 2018, World Refugee Day honours the courage, strength and resilience of refugees. Because no matter what they leave behind, they all bring three things with them wherever they go: skills, talents and aspirations.

In many different ways we have been working to create new opportunities for refugees to rebuild their lives and earn a better income. We do this because it is part of our vision, to create a better everyday life for the many people.

A portrait of Yaser Alwili and Mohammad Al Heswani, who helped spearhead the IKEA refugee inclusion programme.

Removing barriers to employment

People arriving in a new country can find it challenging to access work, and to build a new life for themselves and their families. We want to play a role in removing such barriers. At stores in eight countries we have refugee inclusion programmes that support refugees to gain work experience, develop language skills and integrate into their new communities.

A portrait of Amneh Al Gawanmeh, an artisan at the Jordan River Foundation to collaborate on the TILLTALANDE collection.

Designed to create jobs

TILLTALANDE collection sprung from the urgent need to get refugee women, the majority from Syria, into work and into society in collaboration with Jordan women and non-profit organisation Jordan River Foundation. Today, more than 100 artisans are part of the initiative, a number that will double during 2019 and that is expected to reach 400 by the end of 2020.

Two women sewing leftover IKEA fabrics at Open Arms, an entrepreneur base in Texas that offers refugee women employment.

Good ethics is good business

Thang Zuali is one of six Burmese refugees sewing their lives back together by turning leftover IKEA fabric into new products. Open Arms in Austin, Texas is a USA-Made sustainable apparel and sewn goods manufacturer that’s in the business of empowering refugee women through fair-wage employment.

Neire Kerimovska and Karin Wingren, talking about a cushion cover as part of a Yalla Trappan initiative in Malmo, Sweden.

Yalla Trappan is a local initiative providing sewing service in the IKEA Malmö store, Sweden. Neire Kerimovska and Karin Wingren, Customer Relations manager, are talking about cushion covers ordered by a customer.

A portrait of Patience, who participates in the International Rescue Committee with a €5 million grant for work training.

IKEA Foundation supports training and business grants for refugees

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. 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.

*The philanthropic arm of IKEA Group