02/02/2014 11:00 PM | Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign supports camps in Asia, Africa and Middle East with Sustainable Lighting and Improved Access to Renewable Energy and Primary Education
(Conshohocken, PA- February 3, 2013) It’s a bright idea for a good cause with the introduction of the new IKEA Foundation campaign, ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees.’ Running February 3 – March 29, 2014, the global IKEA store initiative includes a donation of one euro ($1.35)* to the UN refugee agency UNHCR for every IKEA LEDARE – LED light bulb sold. Raised campaign funds will help to provide solar street lights, indoor solar lanterns, and other renewable energy technologies such as fuel efficient cooking stoves in UNHCR refugee camps in countries including Ethiopia, Chad, Bangladesh and Jordan.In addition the campaign will also fund improved primary education.
Today, there are nearly 10.5 million refugees globally, around half of which are children. Some refugees have no choice but to live in refugee camps where an absence or lack of light after sunset can have a devastating effect on safety and security. Simple activities such as visiting the toilet, collecting water or returning to the shelter from elsewhere can become difficult and dangerous, particularly for women and girls. The improvements funded by the campaign will make each refugee camp a safer and more suitable home for refugee children and their families.
“In 2013, over 2 million people became refugees – a near twenty-year record. With each new humanitarian emergency the support of the private sector becomes more vital and more urgent. This campaign represents a new, unique chapter in our relationship with the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR’s largest private sector partner. Together, we hope to be able to transform the lives of many refugees,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
The IKEA Foundation believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home. Since 2010 the IKEA Foundation has partnered with UNHCR, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and children within refugee camps and surrounding communities.
“Life in a refugee camp can be very hard, particularly for children. The absence of powered light limits everyday activities we take for granted such as sharing a meal or doing your homework. It impacts safety and security and the ability for families to generate an income. The ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’ campaign will help bring lights and renewable energy into the streets and homes of refugees camps, so UNHCR can help build a better everyday life for refugee children and families,” explains Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.
IKEA continues to lead in sustainable business practices. In October 2012, IKEA US announced it would make a bold move to sell only LED lights in all its US stores by 2016. Already well on its way, the IKEA sale of only LED lights and lamps will and has enabled millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home, and save on their energy bills. IKEA also phased out all plastic bags in its stores in 2007 and incandescent bulbs in 2010.
*One euro is equivalent to approximately $1.35