In order to mark International Children’s Day on the 1st of June 2018, Save the Children China joined hands with its long-term global partner, IKEA, to organise a public event in Chengdu Store to raise awareness for Inclusive Education. Student reporters, including two with disabilities, took part in a flash mob in an IKEA store with staff from Save the Children and the local IKEA CSR team present to cheer them on.

Customers were also amazed by the excellent interview skills and confidence displayed by these student reporters. Our fun photo sessions turned out to be extremely popular with children, as well as adults! At the same time, there was a photo exhibition in the IKEA store, where the wall of their dining space was decorated with photos displaying how IKEA and Save the Children are promoting the need for inclusive education in China. The event gained popularity in media as well as in social media.

Empowering children

A group of child journalists, including those with disabilities, were actively promoting and sharing information about inclusive education in the IKEA store. These children were trained during a summer camp last August, allowing them to put their journalism skills that they learnt into practice at the event, which included interviewing, photography, writing and more. On the event day, these child journalists interviewed nearly 100 customers, collected public views on Inclusive Education and shared their experiences of joining the flash mob and participating in the photo taking session.

One of the child journalists with a hearing impairment said that he loved the event and wished to join it again next time. His favourite task of the day was to take photos of interviewees, as he loves to capture his school and daily life in photos.

These child journalists also joined the staff from Ikea and Save the Children to perform a song titled Tong Xue Ni Hao (Hello schoolmates), accompanied with a dance to attract attention from members of the public in the store.  The message in the lyrics like “hello schoolmates, everyone is unique! Hello schoolmates, we are all the same!” helped the public to understand what Inclusive Education means and urged them to find out more about the programme after the performance.

Two flash mob sessions were planned and it was great that other children, as well as their parents, joined in to sing the song.

Snap and share

The public really loved the specially designed photo frames and unique slogans about inclusive education. They queued to take photos with them and then shared them on their on their social media channels. Participants who managed to collect 30 likes on their post even received a Save the Children tote bag as a gift! The public sharing on social media really supported us in promoting Inclusive Education and it created more awareness of the programme, as well as the rights of children with disabilities.

Witnessing the change

We also organised a photo corner, which featured inspiring photos of our inclusive education programme in action from an IKEA’s staff visit to Yunnan and Sichuan. This helped the public to see the positive change that is being made in their communities and project schools. 

Overall, we are pleased that the event was a great success! With a reach of over 20,000 on social media, good media coverage and the success of the photo exhibition engaging the public, the event was able to highlight the need for inclusive education.

Moreover, the exhibition will be available until September 2018 in IKEA store, for the 20,000 people who on average enter the store per day.