AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah visited IKEA Jordan on Tuesday to view the multinational furniture group’s first Jordanian collection, developed in partnership with the Jordan River Foundation (JRF). The collection, titled ‘TILLTALANDE,’ was handcrafted by a group of 110 local artisans consisting of Jordanian women and Syrian refugees.
Launched in an effort to provide sustainable livelihoods to underprivileged women in Jordan, the IKEA-JRF collaboration taps into artisans’ unique handicraft skills to provide affordable, locally-inspired items. The number of women employed by the project is set to double in 2018, and is projected to reach 400 by the end of 2020.
Her Majesty was welcomed by Partner Development Leader at IKEA of Sweden, Ann-Sofie Gunnarsson; CEO of IKEA’s franchise owner in Kuwait, Morocco, and Jordan, IKEA Al-Homaizi, Marino Maganto; and IKEA Jordan Store Manager, Carsten Ebel.
Accompanied by local and international IKEA representatives, as well as JRF Director General, Enaam Barishi, Queen Rania viewed the range of locally-produced handcrafted textile items on display, which includes cushion covers, floor cushions, and rugs.
Her Majesty met also with several of the female artisans who produced the collection to discuss the impact the partnership has had on their lives and families.
The Queen noted that this collaboration has helped overcome barriers faced in introducing JRF products to new international markets. She also commended the craftswomen’s hard work, creativity, and determination to overcome social barriers, which has increased their products’ competitiveness on the global stage.
In turn, the women thanked Queen Rania for supporting their efforts, making it possible for items representing Jordan’s heritage and identity to be sold alongside international products. They also expressed their gratitude for the IKEA-JRF partnership, which is helping them attain financial independence and is motivating them to continue to work even harder.
The launch of the collection from IKEA’s store in Jordan marks the first phase of a special partnership between IKEA and JRF. During the first half of 2018, the collection will be rolled out at several Middle Eastern IKEA stores, as well as a number of high profile stores in Europe and the United States, paving the way for a wider release in the near future.
Last February, JRF and IKEA teamed up to explore joint opportunities to empower Jordanian women and Syrian refugees in the country, collaborating on identifying employment opportunities that can integrate women into the workforce and society as a whole.
JRF is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established in 1995 and Chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. The foundation operates the Jordan River Child Safety and Jordan River Community Empowerment programs, and aims to engage Jordanians to realize their full economic potential and overcome social challenges.
Since its establishment, JRF has launched numerous socio-economic projects for women, providing employment opportunities to enhance their livelihoods.