Playing is the key to giving children the possibility of a better future

Rosalia Contraffatto

Only today I understood the true meaning of Let’s play for change, when I saw children sing and play around the workers of the Anganwadi Centre. They were using toys created with the little that is around, but rich in creativity and with the strong desire to be independent with the little they have.

Playing is a right – exactly like being fed properly, being protected and cared for, and having water available for drinking and washing. In other parts of the world what we take for granted requires the effort of the local community, of organisations like UNICEF ​​and of a company like IKEA that supports them. Playing is also the key to educate and emancipate less fortunate children, giving them the possibility of a better future because it is precisely in childhood that the foundations of adequate physical, cognitive and emotional development are laid.

Preschool programme for children from three to six years at Anganwadi Centre in Karmad village. Photo by Alessandro Merlotti.

For workers and mothers, training and supervision activities are planned on how to interact with children and play with them with a clear educational and development purpose. And for me, playing was also the key to getting in touch with children, mothers and educators during these days: not even for a minute did I perceive the barriers of language or culture because playing immediately created an empathic relationship. The smiles and hugs were the clear demonstration of that.

To play thinking about the future, in order to change and improve it: this is the meaning of Let’s play for change! Thinking that IKEA contributes to this goal makes me feel proud to be part of this great company. The IWitness adventure made me understand how important it is to never stop playing…even as an adult!


Rosalia Contraffatto

Rosalia Contraffatto

Everyone has called me Lia since I was a child and it has stuck with me until now, when I am 36 years old. For the last 10 years I have been working in IKEA Italy, currently at the Distribution Centre in Piacenza (Italy) as HR Generalist. My work at IKEA allows me to combine my passion since I have an attitude that makes me care for people and interested in human relationships, facilitating inclusion and enhancing diversity. I am very proud to be an IWitness ambassador this particular year (I will celebrate my tenth year in IKEA in the best possible way!) and I can’t wait to see first-hand IKEA's commitment to social initiatives that make people's lives better, especially children's, who represent our future. Something else about me? I like travelling and I go on new adventures every time I can. I am very curious about different cultures and people, I love cats (especially mine), music and food!

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