For the last 17 years, Lek, a Sandoz company, has been providing free holidays for children from socially deprived families through the Wink at the Sun initiative

9. 7. 2015

Summer is commonly associated with carefree leisure time, joy and fun. This is especially true for children. In order to enable this for as many children as possible, the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (SAFY) has organized, with the support of Lek, a Sandoz company, the humanitarian campaign Wink at the Sun for the 17th year in a row. This year, more than 115,830 EUR was collected through this campaign to enable free holidays for children from disadvantaged family backgrounds. This amount also includes funds contributed by FIHO. This means that 351 children from deprived family backgrounds will enjoy free holidays this year. Since the start of the Wink at the Sun campaign, free holidays have been made made possible for over 10,600 children. This year, FIHO funds will also allow 72 children with special needs to take part in free holidays.

“Why do we feel that the Wink at the Sun initiative is so important? Because this is not merely a carefree holiday for children where they play and swim. It is very important that they learn how to be independent, spend some time away from their parents, be with friends, take responsibility for what they do, keep track of schedules, respect rules, respect carers, make their beds and tidy their rooms. Children acquire skills that are needed at every step. Therefore, the funds dedicated for holidays are really aimed directly at children, their development and future,” said Darja Groznik, president of SAFY, summarizing the importance of the campaign. She also stressed that companies that are in a position where they have to first and foremost ensure their existence reduce donation amounts. Individuals contribute about half of the funds raised and legal entities the other half. “Therefore, all company donations are even more valuable. We are very pleased that since its very beginning, the campaign has been supported by Lek, a Sandoz company. Huge and sincere thanks also goes to each and every individual who has contributed to providing free holidays for children,” concluded Groznik.

Associations and societies within Friends of Youth manage 16 holiday homes. One of the most popular places for holiday-making is the Pacug Resort, managed by AFY Ljubljana Vič – Rudnik. Children have been spending holidays in this resort since 1964, which means that more than 93,000 children have vacationed at Pacug so far. They are looked after by educators who have to undergo special training, and by some volunteers. “Educators play a major role in making holidays in Pacug each year an unforgettable experience and are a big reason children keep coming back. For many children this is their first time away from home, and the youngest are only 5 years old. We do our best to make sure their first holiday remains a fond memory. That we are successful in doing this is proven by the fact that some of the children who spent their holidays in this resort have later returned as educators,” describes Urška Vrtačnik, secretary of AFY Ljubljana Vič – Rudnik.

Because facility maintenance requires labour and resources, a lot of emphasis is placed on corporate volunteerism. In the spring, volunteers from Lek, a Sandoz company, offered a helping hand. “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. Today, we can witness the sincere joy of children who are on holiday, many of them for the first time. Many friendships will be forged and this is what enriches our company,” said Mojca Pavlin from Lek, a Sandoz company.

Children are currently also enjoying free holidays through associations and societies within Friends of Youth in Poreč, Piran and Savudrija, organized by the Institute for Vacation and Recreation of Children. Through Friends of Youth Ljubljana Moste Polje, another group of children are going to commence holidays in Zambratija. In Kranjska Gora, the Dynamic English Holidays program is currently running. Kids from Maribor are commencing their holidays in VIRC Poreč, and in the middle of July, some children are going to Pohorje. Children from Krško are setting off on Wednesday, 8 July, to Nerezine, where some children from abroad are also spending free holidays. The Friends of Youth DPM Mojca from Novo Mesto is today launching the second round of Funny English Holidays.

The Wink at the Sun initiative has been given a new look that aims to embrace the joy, carefree attitude and curiosity that accompany kids on their holidays. The author of the image is the illustrator Alenka Vuk Trotovšek.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of key pillars of the second-largest generic pharmaceutical company globally. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a leading global development center for technologically demanding products and technologies; a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines; a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products; a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biosimilar products; and, a supply center for the markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South East Europe (SEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and it is responsible for sales on the Slovenian market. For further information please visit

Sandoz, a division of Novartis, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals, driving sustainable access to high-quality healthcare. Sandoz employs more than 26,000 people worldwide and supplies a broad range of affordable products to patients and customers around the globe.
The Sandoz global portfolio comprises approximately 1,100 molecules, which accounted for 2014 sales of USD 9.6 billion. Sandoz holds the global #1 position in biosimilars as well as in generic anti-infectives, ophthalmics and transplantation medicines. Sandoz also holds leading global positions in key therapeutic areas ranging from generic injectables, dermatology and respiratory to cardiovascular, metabolism, central nervous system, pain and gastrointestinal.
Sandoz develops, produces and markets finished dosage form (FDF) medicines as well as intermediary products including active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and biotechnological substances. Nearly half of the Sandoz portfolio is in differentiated products – medicines that are scientifically more difficult to develop and manufacture than standard generics.
In addition to strong organic growth since consolidating its generics businesses under the Sandoz brand name in 2003, Sandoz has consistently driven growth in selected geographies and differentiated product areas through a series of targeted acquisitions, including Hexal (Germany), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US).
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Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and over-the-counter products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2014, the Group achieved net sales of USD 58.0 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 130,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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This press release contains statements and conclusions based on projections of Lek’s future business operations. These estimates are derived from the best information currently available. In case these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results could prove different from those projected.

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For additional information contact:
Katarina Klemenc
Corporate Communications
Lek Pharmaceuticals d. d.
Phone: +386 1 580 22 43
Fax: +386 1 580 24 32