Education transforms lives! Education made my father into a diplomat, and it has given me incredible opportunities – including the ability to write this blog. We are very fortunate to live in the United States where everyone has access to free public school. Even if there are significant differences in how that education is delivered in different neighborhoods across the country, children everywhere in the United States are given some opportunities to learn basic reading and math skills. If you are lucky enough to have access to the internet, there are countless free educational resources online!
Education is a very effective way to help children develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to escape poverty. Children who begin and stay in school transform their own lives, as well as the lives of future generations! I know that my father’s decision to work hard in school so that he could become a diplomat had a huge impact on the educational opportunities I received – and, by extension, those being offered to my own children. The same holds true for children living in developing countries.
Sending all of the children in low-income countries to school would require $16 billion in aid. That is a lot of money, but it’s only about half the money spent every year on ice cream in Europe and North America.
From November 9 2014 until January 3 2015, you can help raise money for education while getting your holiday shopping done! During this time, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1.00 to Save the Children and UNICEF for each soft toy or children’s book purchased at IKEA – even if you purchase the $0.99 soft toys! This IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign has been running since 2003, and the funds raised have helped to increase school enrollment rates in Ethiopia, improved access to high-quality education for children with disabilities in Indonesia, facilitated a participatory sports program for all girls and boys including those with disabilities in South Africa, and much, much more.
The IKEA Foundation is the largest global corporate donor to Save the Children and UNICEF! Donations this year will help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, improve child protection systems, supply educational materials to schools, help rebuild schools, provide better water and toilet facilities, and increase school attendance rates. You can learn more about the ways in which these donations are used by visiting the IKEA Foundation site.
So drop by IKEA to shop for toy donations, gifts to set under the tree, and stocking stuffers. This is an easy way to make a difference!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.