Angelina Jolie has worked with UNHCR since 2001 — you may read more about her Field Missions here. IKEA is well-known for the company’s sustainability practices and it currently has a campaign to provide solar lighting and fuel-efficient cooking stoves in UNHCR refugee camps.
It started on February 3 and is running through March 29, 2014, the global IKEA store initiative includes a donation of 1€, the equivalent of approximately $1.35, to the UNHCR for every IKEA LEDARE – LED light bulb sold, reports IKEA.
After years of dedicated service to UNHCR and the cause of refugees, Angelina Jolie in April 2012 was appointed as Special Envoy of UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, according to UNHCR. In her new and expanded role, she will be focusing on major crises resulting in mass population displacements; undertaking advocacy and representing UNHCR and Guterres at the diplomatic level; and engaging with decision-makers on global displacement issues. Through this work, she will help contribute to the vital process of finding solutions for people displaced by conflict. Here’s more, from IKEA:
The UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie speaks with newly arrived Syrian refugees at a Jordanian military camp at the border between Syria and Jordan. | Photo credit: UNHCR | © UNHCR/O.Laban Mattei | Photoshopped
“Brighter Lives for Refugees” campaign supports camps in Asia, Africa and Middle East with Sustainable Lighting and Improved Access to Renewable Energy and Primary Education
It’s a bright idea for a good cause with the introduction of the new IKEA Foundation campaign, ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees.’ Raised campaign funds will help to provide solar street lights, indoor solar lanterns, and other renewable energy technologies such as fuel efficient cooking stoves in UNHCR refugee camps in countries including Ethiopia, Chad, Bangladesh and Jordan. In addition the campaign will also fund improved primary education.
Today, there are nearly 10.5 million refugees globally, around half of which are children. Some refugees have no choice but to live in refugee camps where an absence or lack of light after sunset can have a devastating effect on safety and security. Simple activities such as visiting the toilet, collecting water or returning to the shelter from elsewhere can become difficult and dangerous, particularly for women and girls. The improvements funded by the campaign will make each refugee camp a safer and more suitable home for refugee children and their families.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres:
In 2013, over 2 million people became refugees – a near twenty-year record. With each new humanitarian emergency the support of the private sector becomes more vital and more urgent. This campaign represents a new, unique chapter in our relationship with the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR’s largest private sector partner. Together, we hope to be able to transform the lives of many refugees.
The IKEA Foundation believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home. Since 2010 the IKEA Foundation has partnered with UNHCR, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and children within refugee camps and surrounding communities.
Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation:
Life in a refugee camp can be very hard, particularly for children. The absence of powered light limits everyday activities we take for granted such as sharing a meal or doing your homework. It impacts safety and security and the ability for families to generate an income. The ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’ campaign will help bring lights and renewable energy into the streets and homes of refugees camps, so UNHCR can help build a better everyday life for refugee children and families.