Finally We’re Going on Holiday!
The first group of children have set off for Poreč to spend a part of their summer holidays, when the school doors are locked, together with volunteers and carers of the Slovenian Friends of Youth Association. 300 children from Maribor and Velenje will spend the first day of their summer holidays at the seaside. Among them are also children for whom these holidays will be entirely free of charge as a part of the humanitarian program Wink at the Sun.
The young holiday makers made a short stop in front of Lek’s business and information centre in Ljubljana, where they were greeted by Darja Groznik, SAFY president, Breda Krašna, SAFY secretary general, and Mojca Pavlin from Lek, a Sandoz company, a long-term supporter of SAFY in providing free holidays.
For many children, the holidays through SAFY are their first ever
»Holidays are a period of time that children look forward to the most. This should be a carefree and relaxed time, but also a time for activities that contribute towards a child’s development, including motor skills, emotional and personal development, development of social skills, learning tolerance and establishing interpersonal relationships. This is particularly important in children who come from disadvantaged family backgrounds. For this reason, organised holiday making for children has been one of the main SAFY’s activities for more than 60 years,« said Darja Groznik, SAFY president.
Societies of the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth have in total 16 holiday resorts across Slovenia and in Croatia. Volunteers together with carers, teaching staff, swimming instructors, animators and healthcare professionals take care that children and youth can spend a carefree and quality time during the summer holidays.
»We make a special effort to ensure that all children can attend holiday programs, regardless of their social status. We note that social hardships are becoming more common among middle social class families and as a result of an increasing number of children spending their holidays in their backyards at home. At SAFY we organize a number of holiday activities over the summer– some of them are free – with which we enable children to occupy their leisure time,« added Groznik.
Through the Wink at the Sun campaign, 327 children will have free holidays this year, bringing the total to more than 10,300 children over the past 16 years.
The largest contribution towards free holidays for children from socially deprived families is derived from the humanitarian campaign Wink at the Sun. This is a joint initiative of SAFY and Lek, a Sandoz company, that has been organised for the sixteenth time in a row, including this year. 327 children will benefit from receiving free holidays at the seaside, in a spa or in the mountains. The majority of children (90) come from central Slovenia, followed by the Drava region (46 children) and the Gorenjska (34 children) region.
SAFY takes care that the children are not aware of who comes from a paid program and who does not. »We are all equal on our holidays,« stresses out Darja Groznik. »With the support of our partner, the pharmaceutical company Lek, this principle can also be implemented. Therefore I sincere thank Lek, a Sandoz company, for its long-term cooperation. So far, Lek has allocated more than 230,000 Euros for carefree holidays for children.«
»At Lek, a Sandoz company, we believe that the financial success of the company and corporate responsibility go hand in hand. Our corporate responsibility program mirrors our mission which is taking care for our health and striving for a better quality of life for all, especially children. As a part of the Wink at the Sun campaign we have made more than 10,300 children happy with free holidays. Today we can witness the sincere joy of children going on holiday, many of them for the first time ever. Many friendships will be established among them and this is what makes our society richer,« said Mojca Pavlin from Lek, a Sandoz company.