The beloved Swedish furniture company plans to start selling textiles made by refugees, providing over 200 jobs for displaced individuals by 2019.
The workers will mostly be Syrian refugee women currently sheltered in Jordan. IKEA is working with local women’s organizations to ensure flexible working hours to accommodate employees supporting their families.
This is not the first time that the corporation has offered aid to asylum-seekers; IKEA has donated $33.3 million to lighting projects in afflicted regions, as well as upgraded 10,000 refugee tents into modular solar shelters.
In a letter addressed to the American IKEA workforce, USA Country Manager Lars Petersson explained why lending a hand to their displaced neighbors has never been more important.
“Over the past 35 years, I have lived in many countries where I have been an immigrant,” says Petersson. “As the Country Manager of IKEA in Italy, Japan, and now the US, I have witnessed firsthand the power of people working together: people from different backgrounds, nationalities, and religions uniting to achieve our vision of creating a better everyday life. This is why any proposal that would discriminate against a certain group of our customers or co-workers, or limit our ability to attract and retain diverse talent is so troubling.”
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Reprint (Photo by Gerard Stolk)