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IKEA helps fight child labour in Pakistan
14
Feb '13
The IKEA Foundation is proud to announce that its partnership with Save the Children and UNICEF has given over 176,000 children direct access to projects aimed at preventing child labour. By focusing on Pakistan’s cotton-growing areas, the partnership helps fight the root causes of child labour in Pakistan’s cotton industry. By the end of 2017, these projects should help over 4 million children.

Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has donated nearly €8 million and has committed a further €9 million to support innovative projects run by Save the Children and UNICEF in Pakistan. This is part of the IKEA Foundation’s wider commitment of €60 million to fight the root causes of child labour and promote children’s rights in India and Pakistan, where many of IKEA’s textile products are sourced from.

The IKEA Foundation funds projects that:

• Provide access to education for children

• Reach out to families, farmers and local communities to change attitudes towards child labour

• Help families find other ways to support themselves economically, providing a better future for themselves and their children.

Changing children’s lives for the better

Because of this partnership, children like Palwasha now have a chance to get the education they deserve.

Palwasha is a thirteen-year-old girl whose life has been changed by one of the programmes the IKEA Foundation funds. The oldest of five siblings, Palwasha and her family used to be wandering beggars living in extreme squalor in Pakistan. Save the Children used funding from the IKEA Foundation to develop community organizations and child clubs in Palwasha's village, which helped convince Palwasha’s parents to send her to school.

According to Palwasha's mother, “I was under the misconception that education would spoil my child, filling her head with negative ideas. The sessions, however, cleared that false impression and I now fully encourage her to get an education. I am grateful to the team for saving my daughter's future.”

Elisabeth Dahlin, Save the Children’s Secretary General Sweden, said: “The strategic, long-term programs funded by the IKEA Foundation are a unique example of how different sectors can work together to obtain lasting and sustainable positive change for children, their families and whole communities."Leila Pakkala, Director, Private Fundraising and Partnerships, UNICEF said: “Child labour is too often seen as an economic necessity by parents living below the poverty line. In Pakistan, IKEA Foundation has joined UNICEF to prevent child labour through a program in eight of the largest cotton producing districts that gets children into school and holistically improves their healthy development and well-being.”

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