Media for a more rewarding childhood

The theme of this year’s Children’s Week is Media for a More Rewarding Childhood – More than one hundred different events throughout Slovenia – Status of children worse due to social situation within families

5. 10. 2010

“The theme of this year’s Children’s Week was chosen by the children at the National Children’s Parliament. They know that the media are a window to many worlds. They also know that unpleasant messages can also come through that window, and sometimes even hateful ones. It is harder for them to understand that the media not only reflect the world but also create it. Children do not yet know how to evaluate this. They are becoming dependent on modern information technology, particularly on the Internet. They spend hours in front of their screens, through which they make friends, enjoy themselves and learn things. But real life is escaping them, without their being a part of it,” reported Human Rights Ombudsman Dr. Zdenka Čebašek-Travnik and President of the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth Franc Hočevar in their missive for this year’s Children’s Week.

This year’s Children’s Week begins today, under the theme “Media for a More Rewarding Childhood”. Children’s Week is a program put on by the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (SAFY), which has become generally accepted throughout Slovenian society. It is intended for both children and adults to scrutinize more closely and discuss more intensively all of the issues associated with the status of children in society, and the exercising of the rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, other international documents and the Slovenian constitution and laws.

To mark Children’s Week, Lek, a Sandoz company, donated a check for EUR 15,000 to the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth, in order to support SAFY activities in 2010, including the funding of activities during Children’s Week. Member of the Lek Board of Management Samo Roš stated: “At Lek we realize part of our mission in the field of providing help for children through collaborating with the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth, whom we have been working together with for 12 years and carrying out the Wink at the Sun initiative. Over these years as part of this initiative we have allocated more than 175,000 euros for free holidays for children, through which we do our part to provide equal opportunities for all children. We are particularly satisfied that this year, despite the difficult economic times, with the help of donations by individuals and organizations the campaign was once again successful, and that we were able to combine our strengths and help the people who need it most. Going on holiday is one of those activities in which there is an especially large gap between socially marginalized families and those which are not encountering such difficulties.” Roš also invited the audience to visit an exhibition of children’s art entitled “The Media and Children” at the Lek Gallery, which was created for Children’s Week for the fifth year in a row by children and teachers at the Lek Kindergarten.

Wink at the Sun and other children’s assistance campaigns successful again this year

Today’s press conference, in addition to the presentation of the missive and the extensive program of events throughout Slovenia, included a presentation of the results for Wink at the Sun – Holidays for All Children for 2010, which the SAFY in partnership with Lek, a Sandoz company has been putting on for 2 years, and a presentation of the SAFY’s charity activities in general.

“It is a cause for concern that the material circumstances in which the majority of children live are worsening; social differences between families are increasing, and this is felt most acutely by the children. For this reason we are very pleased to have made free holidays possible for 1400 children, and to have subsidized holidays for another few thousand children. After the initial results of this year’s campaign started looking bad, in addition to our partner of many years Lek we were joined by individual donators, including Mobitel, OMV Slovenija, Banka Slovenije, Bauhaus, Marko Potrč and Radio 1, Slovenian football players and many others. The total amount of the donations which we use to assist families did not decrease; the individual amounts are lower, but there are many more donators, which shows that even those who themselves do not have a lot are prepared to help,” said Franc Hočevar, President of the SAFY.

Additional information:
Majda Struc, SAFY, tel.: (01) 239 6720