IKEA customers help to shine a light on education at refugee camps

Customers at IKEA furniture stores have helped to raise more than $10.5million to help children and their families living in refugee camps.

The money will be used to buy solar lanterns and to fund improved primary education at camps in Ethiopia, Chad, Bangladesh and Jordan.

One solar lantern can help a child do their homework when it's dark or let a family have a meal together.

The Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign ran in IKEA stores in February and March. For every LED light bulb bought, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1 to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

That will help to bring sustainable lighting and energy to more than 350,000 children and families.

UNHCR will provide camps with solar street lights, indoor solar lanterns and fuel-efficient cooking stoves. Some of the money will also go towards primary schooling.

The lack of light in refugee camps can make simple tasks such as collecting water difficult or even dangerous, particularly for girls and women.

Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said: “The lack of access to lighting and energy has a serious impact on the safety, security and education of millions of refugees worldwide, especially women and children.

“We thank IKEA customers and employees for making such a useful contribution to bringing light and energy to the most vulnerable people on Earth.”

The IKEA Foundation has partnered with UNHRC since 2010, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and chidlre in refugee camps.