I have been having nightmares lately. Pretty bad ones. All from an experience that I had last month. All about death. Me dying. My kids dying. Kind of like a bad movie on an...
IKEA Foundation Partners with Save the Children
Meet Tejas. Tejas is 10 and he was forced to leave school because his parents needed him to work in the cotton fields. He worked with them in order to supplement the family's US $1.67 a day earnings. But here is the scariest thing of all, Tejas is not alone. In fact, India has largest number of child laborers in the world, with 13 million boys and girls, ages 5-14, relegated to fields, farms and factories. Isn't that a scary statistic?
We often forget how lucky we are as Americans when it comes to education and many other things. My children, as with my husband and me, have gone through or are going through the educational system. My son is 11 and I cannot imagine him having to quit school to work to support our family. He needs time to be a kid.
I couldn't imagine living in a country where these smiling faces didn't learn something new every day or get to discover which subjects they liked best. My children love school and they definitely thrive in a school environment.
This past week, on June 12 the IKEA Foundation and its partner Save the Children unveiled a $7 million program to protect 790,000 children living in cotton communities in India as a tribute to World Day Against Child Labor. The effort with the IKEA Foundation Partners is the 2nd phase of a long-term program which aims to keep children out of cotton fields. The goal is to keep the kids in classrooms where they can learn, play, grow and develop and be children. Phase I of the program reached an impressive 600,000+ children in India.
IKEA Foundation’s CEO, Per Heggenes shares, “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.”
SUCCESS FOR TEJAS
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 he aspires to become a police officer. Tejas might not have had this chance had it not been for World Day Against Child Labor which draws attention to efforts that keep children like Tejas out of child labor. To further his success, Tejas’s mother joined a program-instituted self-help group in the village. She is now learning why it’s important for children to go to school and is further learning how to save money for Tejas’s schoolbooks.
The IKEA Foundation Child Labor initiative aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change. This much needed change is clearly making a difference in the lives of many, many children.
The IKEA Foundation devleops and then works with strong strategic partners to apply innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life:
* a place to call home
* a healthy start in life
* a quality education
* sustainable family income
IKEA FOUNDATION SUCCESSES
* More than 10,000 migrant children moved back into their home communities
* Improved school enrollment rates in participating villages nearly 2,000 teachers trained
* 1,866 Anganwadi (health, education) workers trained in teaching practices, giving each village in the program a skilled community worker
* To date, currently funded programs haved benefitted an estimated 100 million children
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