“We know there is no quick-fix solution to ending child labor, but long-term approaches can yield impressive results. The IKEA Foundation, with our partners, has been tackling this issue in India for nearly a decade. This new phase reinforces our long-term commitment and our desire to help millions more children out of child labor and back into the classrooms.” ~IKEA Foundation’s CEO, Per Heggenes
One of the most obvious benefits of a growing global community, facilitated in no small part by the internet, is that we have a better understanding of the challenges and horrors that many people and communities in other countries face. It’s hard to ignore the realities of sex trafficking and child labor when you’re being reminded of them regularly.
The danger then becomes that we will somehow put up a wall to escape the reality of these experiences and that each new story will simply become a “story” without impacting us emotionally or leading to changes in the way we live.
With that in mind, I’d like to share a little bit with you about child labor in India and the work that the IKEA Foundation Child Labor initiative is doing. In an age when we’ve become accustomed to skimming blog posts and moving on to the next shiny thing, I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to read this information, let it sink in and learn more about how you can help (even if you don’t have money to give).
Let’s start here:
Meet Tejas. Tehas is a 10-year-old Indian boy who was forced to leave school to work in the cotton fields alongside his parents in order to supplement the family’s US $1.67 a day earnings.
But that’s not where his story ends. Today, thanks to a Child Protection Committee established in his village through Save the Children and the IKEA Foundation, Tejas goes to school regularly and aspires to become a police officer.
While Tejas’ story is one we should celebrate, he is not alone. India has the largest number of child laborers in the world, with 13 million boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 14 relegated to fields, farms and factories.
That’s where the IKEA Foundation Child Labor initiative comes in. Through a partnership with Save the Children, the IKEA Foundation is making a difference in the lives of these children, one by one:
A world where children living in poverty have more opportunities to create a better future for themselves and their families.
Create substantial and lasting change by funding holistic, long-term programs in some of the world’s poorest communities that address children’s fundamental needs: home, health, education and a sustainable family income.
Thanks to IKEA’s dedicated co-workers and customers, 100 million children will benefit from our currently funded programs by 2015.
Here’s a small sampling of what that looks like:
- More than 10,000 migrant children have moved back into their home communities.
- Improved school enrollment rates in participating villages with nearly 2,000 teachers trained.
- 1,866 Anganwadi workers trained to give each village in the program a skilled community worker
Through partnerships with the IKEA Foundation Partners, the IKEA Foundation funds holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home, a healthy start in life, a quality education, and sustainable family income.
So, what can you do to help? In addition to donating directly to the charities you support, you can share the work that the IKEA Foundation is doing in India. Share the infographic or video above with friends and family. Follow IKEA Foundation on Facebook and share the stories and pictures that tug at your heart. Simply raising awareness isn’t the end goal, but it’s a place to start!