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Growing together: Inclusive safe spaces to play for vulnerable children

With support from the Ikea Foundation, HI’s 'Growing Together' project is giving displaced children in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand the right to be a child.

A child with an umbrella in Mae La refugee camp.

© Wendy Huyghe/HI

Through the Let’s Play for Change campaign, the IKEA Foundation is supporting our Growing Together project that gives displaced children in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand the right to be a child.

We create inclusive, educational playgrounds where vulnerable children, including children with disabilities, can feel safe to play and develop. Play is a fundamental right and essential for a child’s physical and mental health.

Growing Together is a 4-year project and aims to empower 13,000 vulnerable boys and girls.

Find out more about IKEA Foundation and the Let’s Play campaign.

Videos from the project

Helping refugee children to play

Cheryl Shin-Hua Yeam explains why play for vulnerable children is supremely important: "Child friendly spaces give refugee children the opportunity to share traumatizing experiences."

"Drawing helps me forget my sorrows"

Thanks to our drawing activities, children can relax in an environment where much of what they live day to day is unsafe. It gives children the chance to express themselves creatively where words are not available.

Find out about the hopes and dreams of Sanda, Eh Tha and Misbah through animations of their drawings:

'My little duckling'

'If I were tall'

'The house with a beating heart'

First-ever inclusive playground in Bangladesh

We’ve constructed the first-ever inclusive playground in Teknaf, a very poor district of Bangladesh, where child-friendly spaces don't exist. Since opening day, the playground has become a place filled with children, with and without disabilities, playing and laughing together.

IKEA co-workers visit the Growing Together project in Thailand

IKEA co-workers from Japan and Indonesia travelled to meet the beneficiaries of 'Growing Together' and were moved by the strength of the children and the impact of the project.

You can read more about the experiences of the Ikea workers on the IWitness blog.

Find out more about the Growing Together project

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