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National Partnerships

Co-workers from IKEA France won a trip to Romania to see projects
In May, IKEA France organised a quiz on sustainability for all co-workers and four of them were the lucky winners of a five-day trip to Romania to visit projects run by UNICEF and WWF.

“We all learned a lot, and I am sure that these fortunate IKEA co-workers will be great ambassadors for the forests, certification and of course Romania,” says Nathalie Solvet, Partnerships Corporate Officer, WWF France.

Co-workers were encouraged to read the IKEA book ‘A Never Ending Job’ and answer a quiz on facts from IKEA’s work with sustainability issues for a chance to win the desirable prize. At the end of May, it was time for the four winners to pack their bags.

After spending a couple of days with UNICEF visiting projects that support underprivileged Romanian children, the group travelled to Baraolt to learn more about IKEA manufactured wood products and FSC certification and forest preservation. The partnership’s project in the Carpathian’s started already 2002 and works with issues related to Responsible Forest Management, like for example Forest Certification, HCVF-mapping, Combating illegal logging and Forest Policy development.

They visited the great Baraolt Forest, and in Sercaia, the group had an opportunity to see a protected old growth forest as well as a trout farm. But the real highlight of the program for most participants was probably an evening of bear watching.

To begin with, there were a few female bears with cute little cubs, but soon the bigger males arrived. All of a sudden there were 16 bears not far from the group and it was time to leave silently and quickly to avoid danger.

“I will never forget the moments shared with the children in the UNICEF centre nor the adrenaline rush when we saw the bears in the forest of Sercaia”, says IKEA Franconville  co-worker Valériane.

“I learned interesting things about the forest and the use of wood, and about people’s humanity. Even with small means, one can do a lot to help those are in need,” says Laura , a co-worker from the Franconville store.