Witness to how funds are spent

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A worker from the IKEA store in Birstall has seen first-hand the results of the company’s annual IWitness Global Citizens programme.

This week it was announced the IKEA Foundation has donated €21.5 million to six partner organisations – helping thousands of vulnerable children to enjoy their right to play.

Helen Denton, a co-worker from the Birstall-based store, has recently returned from a trip to Rwanda to see how projects funded by the annual Good Cause campaigns help children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Helen, who has worked with the company for 19 years, visited several projects run by UNICEF, including the Early Childhood Development and Family Centre in the Nyabihu District.

The centre provides childcare for 125 children aged three to six and also carries out home visits by trained staff to help educate parents on hygiene, health and sanitation.

Helen also visited a Teacher Training College in Bicumbi during her time in Rwanda.

She said: “I particularly enjoyed visiting the residential Teacher Training College, where we met young trainees aged 16-25. It struck me how mature and resourceful they were for people so young, and it was incredible to see the passion and positivity they had about their work and the future of Rwanda.”

The IKEA Foundation has partnered with Handicap International, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF and War Child to help vulnerable children. The €21.5 million funding was raised through the sales of toys and children’s books in the run-up to Christmas.