The Friends of the Youth Association of Slovenia and Lek for a Better Quality of Life for Our Children

10. 7. 2001

Ljubljana, 10 July – The Friends of the Youth Association of Slovenia is a non-governmental, voluntary, humanitarian and non-profit organization whose basic aim is to raise the quality of life of underprivileged children, adolescents and families, represent and assert their interests and needs and protect their rights. One of the initiatives fulfilling the organization’s mission is also the campaign “Wink at the Sun", in which the Slovene pharmaceutical company Lek has an active role as a long time partner.

“Wink at the Sun" is an initiative through which the Friends of the Youth Association of Slovenia endeavours to reduce the social exclusion of underprivileged children and secure the same opportunities for them to spend quality leisure time. The incentive for the campaign "Wink at the Sun – Holidays for all Children" was first given in 1999 when Slovene households and organizations contributed SIT 65 million for children’s holidays. Free holidays were available for 1,650 children. SIT 11 million was allocated for holidays in 2000, enabling 281 children to have free vacations. In 2001 our aim was to collect SIT 30 million, thus providing free holidays for 620 children throughout Slovenia. The results of this year’s campaign will be known in October during Children’s Week.

This year the Friends of the Youth Association and Lek – long-time partners in this and several other ventures – wanted to give children who spend their holidays at the children’s resorts established by the Friends of the Youth Association something extra in addition to financial support. For children who spend their holidays in two resorts in Pacug and Zambratija “Sunshine Entertainment" has been organized, which made their holidays a lot more fun. Children from all parts of Slovenia spend their summer holidays in these two resorts. These include children who spent their holidays there as a part of the campaign "Wink at the Sun".

More than 350 children in Pacug and Zambratija were present at the concert of Romana Kranjčan, which opened the “Sunshine Entertainment" festivities. The children (as well as their tutors) sang and danced to the music with great enthusiasm. Then Davo Karničar and Lek employee Franc Oderlap introduced them to the magnificent world of Mt. Everest, giving the children an interesting slide lecture from last year’s expedition. The children were also delighted to receive a small "Sunshine Entertainment" souvenir – a T-shirt and a cap with a charming illustration of the sun, which was a contribution by a well-known Slovene artist Jelka Reichman. At both resorts children’s frolicking and laughter were heard late into the night.

In 2000 Lek earmarked SIT 195.5 million for sponsorships and donations which represented 0.35 % of total sales value. Lek assigned the greater part of these resources for healthcare purposes and humanitarian campaigns. Lek is also a long time partner of the Red Cross of Slovenia, the Slovene Committee for UNICEF, Friends of the Youth Association of Slovenia, Slovene Philanthropy and the charity institution Robert which combats the spread of aids.

Thus Lek fulfils its mission of taking care of people’s health and ensuring a better quality of life for people because we believe it our duty to contribute to solving social issues concerning the environment in which we live and work.