Funny Olympics and fun-packed Lek Sunshine Games in Maribor
On the last day of the summer holidays, the centre of Maribor was filled with children, children participating at the Lek Sunshine Games and Funny Olympics to mark the end of the holidays. As part of the so-called Holidays with Friends, as the Maribor Association of Friends of Youth (FYA) named their summer activities, 130 children from the humanitarian initiative A Wink at the Sun®, enjoyed free holidays financed with a help of FIHO funds and other donation campaigns by SAFY and FYA Maribor. A Wink at the Sun initiative by the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (SAFY), enabling free holidays for children coming from socially disadvantaged families, has been supported by Lek for 19 years.
To make the last day of the holidays for the children in Maribor as cheerful and memorable as possible, Lek Sunshine Games accompanied the already traditional Funny Olympics. Lek Sunshine Games are part of the humanitarian campaign A Wink at the Sun with which SAFY and the pharmaceutical company Lek enable holidays for children from socially disadvantaged families. »Lek is closely connected with the Wink at the Sun initiative. Already back in 1998, we started discussing with the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth to jointly do something to enable a free holiday break without worries for children from disadvantaged family backgrounds. The result was the Wink at the Sun initiative, which Lek has been supporting from the very beginning. Moreover, this cooperation has evolved into a true partnership as a growing number of our associates volunteer every year to help maintain and landscape SAFY holiday resorts. This year, for example, more than 100 associates took part in maintaining the ground of the holiday resort and its surroundings in Pacug and thereby enhancing and beautifying the holiday experience for the children,« said Katarina Klemenc, Head Corporate Communications at Lek.
Breda Krašna, SAFY Secretary General, presented this year’s data for the whole country: »This year, SAFY raised within the humanitarian initiative Wink at the Sun® with the help of the Slovenian Foundation for Financing the Organization for the Disabled and Humanitarian Organizations of (FIHO) funds as well as donations by individuals and companies, more than 200,000€. Together with 25 organisers and accompanied by 33 carers, educators and animators, more than 600 children from socially disadvantaged families and 86 children with special needs had free holidays. As part of the initiative, from Styria alone, 104 children enjoyed their free holidays. In times when an increasing number of parents struggle to offer their children holidays or active, creative leisure time activities, is this invaluable.«
With SAFY, holidays in Maribor are always fun
During the long summer holidays, there were plenty of activities going on as part of the Holidays with Friends to keep the children entertained in Maribor. The activities started already during the Lent Festival at the end of June, with the natural science and sensory workshops at the Art camp in the city park. Later on, the activities continued in the Centre for Creativity of Youth in Maribor (DUM) until the end of August. The children were taken on more than 40 trips around Maribor and the surroundings and participated in a number of art workshops, including dance, film and theatre workshops, summer school of photography, modelling workshops, handmade cosmetics workshops, lego robotics, sewing, crocheting and knot bracelet making, bridge, cookery classes, little school of basketball, yoga, relaxation sessions… enough space to play and chat was also available in the playroom and hangout area, while the Flying Bus - a mobile youth center – made it possible for the children to hang out also in two locations outside the city center.
»In total, more than 7,300 children attended activities during the holiday period in Maribor (Lent and DUM), the DUM activities were attended by 650 children from Maribor and the surroundings. All activities, with the exception of two workshops and the Wednesday trips for which a small charge was required, were free«, explained Saša Mikić, president of FYA Maribor and added that these holidays programs serve as a real life prep school encouraging children’s creativity, curiosity and motor development, independence, social skills, tolerance, patience and perseverance.