IKEA has been hard at work since last year in order to launch its Soft Toys Education Campaign in the coming days. This meant coming up with a very unique soft toy collection, as they do every year. And for the design direction of these soft toys, IKEA turned to best soft toy experts they can think of: the children.
Last year, IKEA Family had invited all of their customer’s children to come in and design their dream soft toys. Thousands of designs were submitted, making it a challenge for the IKEA team to choose its top 10. But once the final top designs were chosen, the said submissions were submitted to the company’s production facility in Indonesia where the children’s dream creations transformed from paper to toy. And beginning November 1 until December 26, the IKEA Foundation will donate around $1.11 (€1) to the Save the Children and UNICEF for every soft toy or children’s book sold.
IKEA has been running its IKEA Soft Toys for Education program since 2003. It aims to provide quality education to vulnerable children living in poverty in various developing countries by partnering with Save the Children and UNICEF. To date, Save the Children and UNICEF have helped children in Madagascar, Myanmar, Cambodia, South Africa, Mozambique and Bangladesh. Their activities included educating teachers with child-friendly teaching techniques (as opposed to corporal punishment), putting up a library and developing sports education.
In 2014, IKEA says they had managed to donate €10.1 million and since the campaign started, the company has managed to raise almost €77 million ($102 million), allowing to support as much as 99 projects across 46 countries. Moreover, the Soft Toys for Education campaign has already reached over 11 million children around the world so far.
And the best part, IKEA Product Developer Bodil Fritjofsson says the campaign is pretty much ” like children helping children.”