CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The IKEA 'Let's Play for Change' campaign, which runs November 20th - December 24th, is a new IKEA good cause campaign to support children's development and learning, through participation in sports and play. During this campaign, for every children's soft toy, book and or small play furniture item sold, the IKEA Foundation will make a donation of $1.10* (€1 EUR) to support children's right to play and develop in some of the world's most vulnerable communities. The IKEA Foundation's partners in this campaign are Handicap International Federation, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF and War Child. The programs supported by the campaign focus on children affected by disabilities, the Syrian conflict, unsafe migration, and poverty.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Children states that every child should have the right to play. Sadly not every child enjoys this right. Millions of children are on the move, making them vulnerable to discrimination, violence, abuse and exploitation, according to a play insights document released by IKEA Foundation today. The insights also revealed that children with disabilities are often the most likely to be excluded from play and learning activities. "Many children around the world lack safe spaces to play. War and disasters are forcing more children than ever before to flee their homes and make difficult and dangerous journeys. Many more miss out on the chance to play because of poverty and prejudice. Children suffer the most in a crisis situation, and we are committed to upholding and raising awareness of their rights," commented Per Heggenes, CEO of IKEA Foundation. "We believe every child has the right to a safe environment where their development through play is part of their everyday lives. Play sparks creativity and helps us learn and develop. The new IKEA 'Let's Play for Change' campaign was established to support opportunities for children's play, especially those in the most vulnerable communities. In partnership with the IKEA Foundation, Let's Play for Change has the potential to change the lives of thousands of children around the world," commented Lars Petersson, IKEA US President. Let's Play for Change builds on the success of previous IKEA good cause campaigns, which have raised $142.6 million (€118.8 million)**, since 2003. This is the biggest IKEA good cause campaign yet - with more products and more partners than ever before.*Based on the current market value of One Euro = $1.10 US dollar**Based on average of One Euro = $1.12 approximately (during the course of the 13-year campaign) Words from the IKEA Foundation's partners:Handicap International Federation—in Pakistan, Thailand and BangladeshProvides Early Childhood Development opportunities to children with disabilities and other vulnerable children in displacement settings. Cheryl Shin-Hua Yeam, Handicap International regional technical coordinator said: "Children in refugee camps come from difficult backgrounds, having fled war and violence, facing poverty and poor health conditions. Play is an important tool for them to work through these issues and to be a child. Therefore we want to create inclusive communal spaces where vulnerable children feel safe and can develop through play."Room to Read—in Bangladesh and IndonesiaTransforms the lives of children through a high quality of education that includes teacher training, provision of learning materials and developing children in both literacy and reading. "Room to Read will bring the joy of reading and a love of learning to tens of thousands of children in government schools in Bangladesh and Indonesia," said Erin Ganju, CEO and co-founder of Room to Read. "Our innovative, data-driven, and cost-effective Literacy Program will affect systemic change in hundreds of communities through the establishment of libraries, training of teachers, and the capacity development of local authors and illustrators to publish locally-relevant and engaging children's books."Save the Children—in Bangladesh and EthiopiaPrevents unsafe migration of children by promoting protection, education and play for children on the move. Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children US, stated, "Save the Children is giving children on the move a chance of a better future. The IKEA Foundation, with support from IKEA employees and customers worldwide, helps us give children the opportunity to play, receive an education and be protected from harm. Children on the move are highly vulnerable and our program intends to deliver lasting improvements to their lives."Special Olympics—in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and ThailandPromotes, through sports and play, inclusion and development of children with intellectual disabilities. Mary Davis, Chief Executive Officer, Special Olympics said. "It is shocking and disheartening to note that the majority of children with intellectual disabilities have little to no access to valuable services and educational opportunities, which often entrenches them and their families in a cycle of poverty and social isolation, which ultimately, hinders their human development. The Special Olympics Young Athletes program, a sports-play program designed to promote motor, social and cognitive development and inclusion for children with intellectual disabilities, offers children the opportunity to learn inclusive play in a safe environment. Thanks to our partners at the IKEA Foundation, we are able to grow our Young Athletes program and reach more children, impact more families and further break down the perceptions that exist for children with intellectual disabilities."UNICEF—in China, India, Indonesia and KenyaProvides safe spaces, education and health support for children aged 0-8 to ensure early childhood development in some of the poorest communities. " When the brains and bodies of young children are protected, nurtured and stimulated they have the best possible chance of developing fully, learning effectively, and contributing to their economies and societies when they reach adulthood. Thanks to the Let's Play for Change campaign, we can reach even more children in China, India, Indonesia and Kenya with nurturing care programmes and help young children grow up in the enriching environments they need for optimal development." said UNICEF Chief of Early Childhood Development Pia Rebello Britto. War Child—in Jordan and LebanonProvides a safe environment to play, learn and develop for children in Jordan and Lebanon who have been affected by the Syrian conflict. Dr. Samantha Nutt, Founder, War Child USA, added "Play is important to children everywhere but for children overcoming the brutality of war it is vital. Creating a safe space to play is the first step in allowing them to reclaim their childhood and begin to rebuild their future after the years of violence and trauma. It is wonderful that the IKEA Foundation has chosen to support these children." For a film about the Great Cause 'Let's Play for Change' campaign, click here: https://www.ikeafoundation.org/campaigns/lets-play-for-change/ For playing HOPP, a mobile game which allows the gamer to create spaces to play in the virtual world, and move forward and avoid obstacles that get in the way of play, for free, download at ikea.com/HOPP.