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People & communities

a group of female textile workers

Putting people first

We want to create a better life for people. That includes people and communities all over the world.


Building a bright future €1 at a time

Soft Toys for Education is a global campaign that runs for around two months at the end of each year. It’s a collaborative effort between IKEA and the IKEA Foundation to raise money and awareness of how childhood education can break the cycle of poverty. And it’s all made possible by IKEA customers: for every soft toy or children’s book they buy at IKEA during the campaign, the IKEA Foundation donates €1.

8 million children

40 countries
A group portrait of some of IKEA's soft toys

47.5 million euros donated

Portrait of Leila Pakkala from UNICEF

As IKEA co-workers and customers support Soft Toys for Education this holiday season, they can be sure they are contributing to making a lasting difference in the lives of children and their families. UNICEF would like to thank all IKEA customers and staff members around the world for their support.”

Leila Pakkala, Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships, UNICEF
Source: Save the Children press release
Photo: © UNICEF/NYHQ10 -1985/Markisz
Portait of Elisabeth Dahlin from Save the Children, Sweden

"The support of the IKEA Foundation has allowed Save the Children to help some of the most vulnerable and excluded children who would otherwise miss out on an education. Thank you.”

Elisabeth Dahlin, Secretary General, Save the Children, Sweden
Photo credits: Johan Jeppson

€1 is all it takes to provide five children in the developing world with books and pencils.

Some of the children we met on a recent trip to Madagascar

Project in focus:

UNICEF are using the money from last year’s Soft Toys for Education in their Schools for Africa programme, working in seven countries on the continent including Madagascar. A number of issues, ranging from insufficient number of schools and resources through to the recent political unrest, contribute to a high drop out rates. Currently, the average Malagasy adult has only completed 4.4 years of school and only 60% of children who start school complete the full primary cycle.

UNICEF is working to provide schools in communities where none exist nearby, and to help existing schools to offer the complete cycle of primary education.

Co-workers from IKEA and IKEA Foundation recently joined UNICEF on an IWitness visit to some of the schools and villages in Madagascar to see first hand how Soft Toys for Education makes a difference.

Find out more at the IWitness blog

100 million…the estimated number of children to benefit from programmes currently funded by the IKEA Foundation.

Want to know more?

Save the Children

The IKEA Foundation


soft toy campaign

Gift twice

For every soft toy you buy, IKEA Foundation donates €1 to help educate kids.

In Malaysia, you can give twice when you donate the purchased soft toys by dropping them into the bin located at Exchange & Returns counter, Ground Floor. The soft toys collected will be donated to selected home.

småles Soft Toy Campaign

From 4 Nov-29 Dec 2012, use your Smålish dållars to redeem for a soft toy at the Bug House. For every soft toy redeemed, Sara will donate RM2 from the Småland Treasury .


“Soft toys mean many things to children. This holiday season you can make it mean even more.”

IKEA Foundation's annual soft toy campaign funds programmes that send children to school

small IKEA soft toy teddy bear

During the holiday season at the end of each year, one euro for every soft toy sold in IKEA stores worldwide is donated by the IKEA Foundation. The money is split between Save the Children and UNICEF projects aimed at improving education for children in Africa, Asia and Central and
Eastern Europe.

Since it started in 2003, the campaign has generated 47.5 million euro in donations to help over eight million children have a quality education in almost 40 countries. In 2011 alone, it raised 12.4 million euro.

Some of our co-workers have been able to visit projects that the campaign funds. You can read their stories here.

To learn more visit the IKEA Foundation website:

IKEA Foundation

€1 is all it takes to provide five children in the developing world with books and pencils.



Kids in school in India thanks to IKEA Foundation and UNICEF.
IKEA Foundation and UNICEF mark 10 years helping the children of India

Ten years ago the IKEA Foundation began funding UNICEF projects in India. By the end of 2012 more than 74 million children will have been reached with programmes that promote education, fight child labour and protect the rights of the child.

“IKEA believes children are the most important people in the world, so it was natural for us to partner with UNICEF.”

Per Heggenes, CEO IKEA Foundation
Anas Mohammed goes to school thanks to IKEA Foundation and UNICEF.
“Please promise us that you will let your children study.”

A plea from 11-year-old Anas Mohammed to the adults of his community.

Anas used to work in a metalware factory to help support his family. Now, thanks to IKEA Foundation funded UNICEF programmes, Anas goes to school and proudly promotes education in his community.

Find out more about Anas

UNICEF logo and IKEA Foundation logo

As part of a relationship that’s lasted 20 years (and counting), the IKEA foundation has funded UNICEF projects in India for a decade. You can read the stories of a few of the millions of children whose lives have been transformed by these projects at IKEA Foundation. Or, find out more at UNICEF.

By the end of 2012, the IKEA Foundation will have helped more than 74 million children by donating €108 million to UNICEF in India.