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IKEA and UNICEF lighten up children’s lives in the developing world

2009-05-31

Burlington, Ontario – Here’s a real sunshine story! Starting June 1, 2009, for every SUNNAN solar-powered desk lamp sold in IKEA stores worldwide, one lamp will be given to UNICEF to light up the life of a child. The first shipments are destined for Pakistan, helping children in refugee camps and remote villages in Balochistan and the North West Frontier province.

IKEA has made an especially sturdy SUNNAN for the developing world, designed to resist the wear and tear of difficult living situations. This unit will enable children to play, read, write and study in the evenings, even if their homes have no electricity.

“Millions of children can’t draw, write or read after sunset, limiting their horizons and possibly their futures,” said Marianne Barner, head of IKEA Social Initiative. “We hope our lamps are a small but important contribution to improving the lives of children in developing countries. Girls in particular are often required to help out with household chores after school, and their only chance of doing their homework may be after sunset,” she said. “SUNNAN can make a huge difference to them. If they can keep up with the homework, their school attendance will likely increase and their achievements improve.”

 Priced at $19.99, SUNNAN comes in five bright colours and is available at all IKEA stores in Canada.

 About IKEA

IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 286 stores in 36 countries worldwide, which are visited by 565 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 11 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year. Last year the ikea.com websites attracted 450 million visitors. Founded in 1943, IKEA’s business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them. For more information on IKEA, please visit: www.ikea.ca or www.theIKEAway.ca

 About the IKEA Social Initiative

The IKEA Social Initiative, established in 2005, manages IKEA’s social involvement on a global level. The mission is to improve the rights and life opportunities of the many children. The main partners are the two leading global child right organizations; UNICEF and Save the Children. IKEA Social Initiative invests in a range of programs with a holistic approach, aiming to create substantial and lasting results.

 About UNICEF

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.