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UNICEF Welcomes Ikea Donation

UNICEF Welcomes Ikea Donation For Children's Play Programmes In Africa

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is hailing the Swedish furniture retail chain Ikea for donating more than $800,000 to sponsor its "Children's Right to Play" programmes in Angola and Uganda.

Since July last year, Ikea has donated 2 euros to UNICEF from every sale of a teddy bear known as 'Brum' - leading to a total contribution so far of 666,566 euros (or about $829,000). This scheme will continue for another five months.

"This is not about sending boxes of toys for children," stressed Rudolf Deutekom, Director of UNICEF's Private Sector Division. Instead, the project will use "creative, play-oriented ways" to divert street children or children caught up in civil conflict "into constructive, healthy activities."

UNICEF and the Angolan Government's Education Ministry have set up an outreach scheme for the estimated 1.3 million children who do not attend school, as well as another programme directed at helping 80,000 street children.

In Uganda's north, Ikea's donation will help pay for youth peer educators to teach at-risk adolescents about the dangers posed by HIV/AIDS, which has ravaged sub-Saharan Africa.

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