FEBRUARY 09, 2017
A drawing of a fluffy lion by seven-year old Shane Mathew, who lives in the UAE with his parents, is among 10 designs selected by IKEA from thousands of global submissions. These designs will be transformed into soft toys as part of IKEA’s “Let’s Play for Change Campaign”. The initiative supports children’s right to play and develop across the globe.
This is the third year that IKEA invited children from around the world to draw their own imaginary creatures that are turned into actual soft toys which go on sale in IKEA stores across the globe.
The winners were chosen from more than 70,000 drawings submitted globally by children aged 12 or under. In the UAE, the Swedish home furniture retailer, part of Al-Futtaim, received over 905 submissions.
Shane’s winning drawing was inspired by the Cowardly Lion from the “Wizard of Oz”, one of his favorite bedtime stories. The seven-year old who is enrolled in grade two at Gems Founders School, Dubai, loves science but he is also passionate about drama, arts and craft. Shane, who has been described by his parents as a “very active child who makes friends easily” dreams to become a scientist when he grows up and to create his own inventions.
“We would like to congratulate Shane, and thank all the young participants for their unique and creative ideas. We are proud to have a winner selected from the UAE and are grateful to have contributed towards this global initiative.” said John Kersten, Managing Director – IKEA UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Oman.
The announcement of the Dubai winner has been received with great enthusiasm by IKEA representatives in the UAE who are planning a small celebration for Shane in the IKEA store in Dubai Festival City to recognise his achievement.
Bodil Fritjofsson, Product Developer in Children’s IKEA, commented on the success of the campaign: “The amount of drawings we received is overwhelming! The world will not lack potential future artists and designers, some of the drawings are real pieces of art. The event creates opportunities for children to be creative and get to draw their dream toy and that opens up their fantasy, which really shows in the art. They really draw from their own head and don’t copy from something.”
Shane’s Fluffy Lion was described by Bodil Fritjofsson as: “A fluffy, happy cartoonlike lion, looking like he’s saying “I’m on fire”, ready for any adventure, but he won’t eat you. Big soft nice feet.”
The chosen drawings, including the one designed by Shane, will become a special limited soft toy collection, to be launched in IKEA stores worldwide as part of their “Let’s Play for Change Campaign”. For each soft toy sold globally, the IKEA Foundation will donate EUR 1 to organisations that support children in need such as Save the Children and UNICEF. Since 2003, the Soft Toys for Education campaign, coordinated by the IKEA Foundation, has raised EUR 88 million and has helped more than 12 million children from 46 countries to get access to a better education.