IKEA kicks off its Good Cause campaign, Lets Play for Change, supporting childrens right to play Proudly introduces The Red Monster, a new soft toy designed by a Thai child

Business Press Releases Friday November 18, 2016 14:09
Bangkok--18 Nov--Aziam Burson-Marsteller

IKEA, the home furnishing retailer from Sweden, has launched its latest Good Cause campaign, "Let's Play for Change," with an aim to support the right of all children to learn, develop, and have fun by highlighting the benefits of play. For every soft toy, children's toy, or book, as well as selected play furniture sold at IKEA stores worldwide from November 20 to December 24, 2016, the IKEA Foundation will donate €1 to projects in some of the world's poorest communities, supporting children's development and learning, equal participation, sports, and activity programs that encourage children to learn through play. The company's goal for donations is 15 million Euros (600 million baht). IKEA also introduced its annual soft toy collection called "SAGOSKATT" with 10 adorable designs created by children during IKEA's global soft toy drawing competition. A Thai child was one of the 10 winners of the competition, and all winners' drawings are being produced as soft toys that will be available at IKEA stores worldwide from November 20, 2016 onward.

Mr. Supharoek Wichianchot, Sustainability Manager, IKEA Thailand, said, "This year, IKEA has a new direction to raise awareness about some of the most urgent issues across the world. Building on the successful 'Soft Toys for Education' campaign that IKEA has run for 13 years, the new direction focuses on children's right to play, giving them opportunities through the Let's Play for Change campaign. We believe that playing with quality toys can help children to feel happy and grow up with greater physical and mental strength. IKEA invites everyone to share happiness with children and has partnered with Handicap International, War Child, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF, and Room to Read. In Thailand, IKEA supports two organizations, which are Handicap International and the Special Olympics."

Mr. Alexey Kruk, co-ordinator of Growing Together, a Handicap International project, said, "Handicap International gives refugee children in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Thailand the opportunity to grow up safely. With support from the IKEA Foundation, we will give these refugee children an opportunity to play in a safe environment. Since play makes children happy and healthy, it allows them to learn, teaches them empathy, and improves their self-esteem. Play is a basic need. That's why we create toys and safe, inclusive playgrounds where all children can develop and grow up together as socially- and emotionally-healthy kids. The idea is to fully integrate children with disabilities, because they are the most vulnerable to being excluded not only from basic services, but also from play and education. Refugee or not, or with a disability or not, every child has the right to play and to grow up safely."

"From November 20 to December 24, 2016, IKEA Bangna also extends the idea of supporting children to play by launching the 'Give Twice Campaign,' in which IKEA Bangna will offer one item to Friend International Thailand for each item sold from the soft toy, toy, and storybook product categories, as well as selected play furniture. In addition, IKEA will run a Toy Buffet activity, inviting children from Friend International Thailand to enjoy Swedish food and play games with IKEA co-workers at IKEA Bangna, where they will also receive soft toys as souvenirs," added Mr. Supharoek.

This year's soft toy collection is particularly special, since a Thai child is one of the 10 winners of IKEA's global "SAGOSKATT" soft toy collection contest. Chutirada Sujareerat, a 6-year-old girl, designed "The Red Monster," a monster with massive teeth and a belly button. He tries to look scary but actually ends up looking cute instead. IKEA's SAGOSKATT soft toy collection features 10 items, all of which will be available at IKEA stores worldwide from November 20, 2016.

Miss Chutirada Sujareerat, who designed "The Red Monster," revealed that, "Last year, my mother asked me to participate in the IKEA soft toy drawing competition. At that time, I liked hearing stories about the human body, bacteria, and cavities that affected teeth. This inspired me to draw a monster with outstandingly massive teeth and a belly button. I'm so glad to see my drawing become a real soft toy. I changed my Red Monster to be an alien friend in a red color since he comes from the sun. I would like to ask everybody for their support to buy many soft toys in order to raise funds for toys to donate to children, so they will also have fun."

Those who are interested in the new collection of soft toys and want to support great CSR initiatives for children can visit IKEA Bangna or see more information atwww.IKEA.co.th.

Photo shows (from right to left) Mr. Supharoek Wichianchot, Sustainability Manager at IKEA Thailand; Mr. Alexey Kruk, co-ordinator of Growing Together at a Handicap International project; Ms. Vuthaya Charoenpol, Country Program Director at Friends International and Miss Chutirada Sujareerat (front), The Red Monster's designer

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