Humanitarian campaign Wink at the Sun

The first holiday for many children

Lek Sunshine Games visited also by a human rights ombudsman

17. 7. 2013

Today, the Vila holiday facility in Kranjska Gora became a happy Lek Sunshine Games arena. This is a special day of events with which the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (SAFY) and Lek, a Sandoz company, want to brighten the summer break for children who are enjoying holidays organised as part of the SAFY program. Lek Sunshine Games were also visited by Vlasta Nussdorfer, a human rights ombudsman.

Lek Sunshine Games are a part of the humanitarian campaign Wink at the Sun, which has been organised by SAFY and its long-term partner Lek, a Sandoz company, this year for already the fifteenth time in a row. For over 15 years, the Wink at the Sun has been enabling carefree holidays to more than 10,000 children from all over Slovenia and Lek allocated for this charity campaign in total more than 215,000 Euros, of which 17,000 Euros was allocated for this year.

A Wink at the Sun this year enabled free holidays to 312 children from socially deprived families. The majority of children come from the Central Slovenian region, followed by the Drava, Carinthia and Savinja regions.

»Life can quickly turn upside down. This can be especially hard for a child when it happens. Four children living close to Ljubljana had such an experience when they lost their father. Later on, their mother developed cancer. The children took over the care for their mother and the household. Holidays, seaside or mountains became something distant and unreachable for them until this year when we took them on holidays to Zambratija,« said Darja Groznik, President of the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth. »There are many holiday programmes for children on offer. However, we must not forget the fact, that according to surveys, one quarter of Slovenians will be cutting their holidays which will particularly affect children. SAFY has therefore prepared several free programs in several towns throughout Slovenia. Particularly with regard to ensuring free holidays for those who would otherwise not go to the seaside, Lek is our irreplaceable partner. At Lek they know that active holidays are important for children.«

Vlasta Nussdorfer, a human rights ombudsman, said: »Poverty at every step that I face also in my role as an ombudsman spares no one. Sadly, not even children. I welcome such initiatives which, for at least a short period of time, lift the children out of the cruel reality and make them realise that life can be different. For the children receiving such a positive send-off from this initiative, despite their family hardships, it is easier for them to see the opportunities and realize their ambitions later in life. Children without a ray of hope from early childhood unfortunately often adopt the fate of their parents. The state must ensure that not only parents but also the most vulnerable members of the society, their children, can lead a decent life and that – if we lived in an ideal country – such initiatives would become only a nice memory.«

Mojca Pavlin from Lek, a Sandoz company, said on this occasion: »It is nice to see children enjoy free holidays. Especially when we think that with free holidays we made as many as 10,000 children happy. For many of them this was the first time to be on holidays at all. And this is why we are here and what makes us feel richly rewarded. The collaboration of Lek, a Sandoz company, with SAFY is not only represented in numbers. It is proof of the good work and dedication of all those involved from SAFY who with their warmth and humanitarian approach create a carefree and playful world for all the children, even if for only a few days. On behalf of Lek I am today thanking all of the volunteers and employees of SAFY who have been for many years striving for a better life and a better tomorrow of our children.«

For additional information contact:
Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth
Miklošičeva 16
1000 Ljubljana
tel.: +386 1 2396 720
fax.: +386 1 2396 722