Swedish mega-retailer IKEA is taking action to combat the destitute living conditions faced by Syrian refugees. Partnering with the Norwegian Red Cross and advertising agency POL, IKEA has installed a replica of a refugee house in Damascus, Syria at their store in Slependen, Norway. Just 25 square meters in area, the structure represents the actual home of a woman named Rana and her nine family members. Presented in stark contrast to the nearby IKEA room displays, the room’s concrete block walls and sparse furnishings highlight the everyday struggles of Syrian citizens. “When we had to flee to this area to find safety, we did not have enough money to rent a better place. We have no money to buy mattresses and blankets, or clothes for the children,” Rana told the Norwegian Red Cross. Items throughout the model home feature the iconic IKEA tags, but instead of price and dimensions, they list stories about the Syrian family’s daily life in the face of war and the crippling shortages of the basic needs like food, water, and medical supplies. Most importantly, each tag also provides information about how customers can help.
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