I’ve always loved children and felt that all children are born into this world innocent, regardless of the circumstances. However, since I became a mother myself, this is something I have felt even more strongly about, so whenever I hear about children being hurt or misused, my heart breaks.
When I heard about the efforts IKEA Foundation has been making to help end child labor, I knew immediately it was a cause and organization I could support. The IKEA Foundation Child Labor initiative‘s goal is to help improve opportunities for children and youth in the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create lasting change. Here are a few things the foundation has already accomplished:
- Helped more than 10,000 migrant children move back into their home communities
- Improved school enrollment for children and helped train over 2,000 teachers
- 1,866 Anganwadi workers trained in teaching practices
Child labor in India is a real problem, and I can’t believe it when I hear about it. I can’t even imagine what these children have to go through, when they should be able to just have a normal childhood, where they can play outside, go to school, and just be kids. Here is a IKEA Foundation video on the topic, as well as an infographic with more information about this very sad reality for so many children:
I loved this quote from the IKEA Foundation’s CEO, Per Heggenes:
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.
Learning more about these children, and the efforts the IKEA Foundation is making, really has made me feel grateful for not only the childhood I had, but the opportunities I’m able to give my own son. It can sometimes be tempting to think about all that we don’t have, when in reality, we have so much more than many around the world have. The story of one child, a 10-year-old Tejas, really touched me. He was forced to leave school and work in the cotton fields in India alongside his parents to help supplement their family’s $1.67 a day earnings. It really makes me grateful for the life we have, and really makes me want to reach out to these families and children as well in whatever way I can.