Last “Wink at the Sun” of the year, lively Lek Games and Silly Olympics
The SAFY and its longtime partner in the Wink at the Sun charity campaign, Lek, a Sandoz company, brought the Lek Games to the Silly Olympics in Maribor – Over 9,700 holidays for children in 13 years.
Although children and their parents are focusing the majority of their attention these days on preparing for the new school year, their thoughts are undoubtedly drifting back to their holidays. A pleasant memory of the holidays can be a reason to look forward to the new school year even more, as the first conversations among classmates most often revolve around their holiday experiences. And perhaps also for this reason all children should have the opportunity to enjoy relaxing, creative and interesting holidays. Unfortunately, come the end of the school year, increasing numbers of parents are worried about how to provide new school materials in the autumn for their promising youngsters, and can’t even begin to think about the cost of holidays for their children. At least for a few of them the Wink at the Sun charity campaign provides completely free holidays. This year was the 13th year of the campaign; at the national level we provided holidays through it for nearly 300 children, and another 400 at the local level. In addition, 1000 children with special needs enjoyed holidays with the help of the FIHO Foundation.
Lek, a Sandoz company, made sure that the last day of the holidays as fun and unforgettable as possible for the Maribor children. Lek has been a loyal partner to the Wink at the Sun charity campaign since its inception 13 years ago; they brought their now annual Lek Games to the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth’s Silly Olympics, as well as Grega the Clown, who provided added entertainment to the sporting events.
To date, Lek has allocated more than €195,000 to the Wink at the Sun campaign. “The financial assistance that we have earmarked for the Wink at the Sun campaign so far is more than just numbers to Lek. It is proof of the good work and sacrifices of all of our colleagues at the SAFY, whose warmth and humanitarian attitude enable children to live in a carefree and playful world for at least a few days. With the help of donations from individuals and organizations, this year’s charity drive was successful despite the difficult economic circumstances. At Lek we know that it is precisely in the most difficult times that we have to close ranks and help those who need our help the most. Therefore today we are calling on other companies to join the campaign in the future and make as many children as happy as possible with these wonderful holidays,” said Katarina Klemenc, Head of Corporate Communication at Lek.
A press conference was held on the occasion, at which the history of the Wink at the Sun charity campaign was presented together with programs for the new school year which are being organized by both the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth and the Maribor Friends of Youth Society.
Franc Hočevar, President of the SAFY: “The strategic goals of the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth are based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which calls on signatories to provide each child with the right to suitable enjoyment of leisure time, to restful and relaxing holidays which also improve their health. This role is all the more important during the present economic circumstances, since the social exclusion of children due to poverty is increasingly present. Our societies and associations are trying to develop more free volunteer programs in local environments which are designed for all children.”
The SAFY is already busy preparing for the new school year; they have already prepared courses for mentors for the Children’s Parliaments, mentors for junior researchers in history, for participants in the Europa competition in schools and for other volunteers. This year’s Children’s Week, which starts on the first Monday in October, will be dedicated to books. Since the coming European Year will be dedicated to solidarity between generations, this theme will also be the common thread of many programs of the societies and associations which are members of the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth.