WINK AT THE SUN - making holidays available to all children
Ljubljana, May 8, 2007 – For the ninth year in a row, through the “Wink at the Sun – making holidays available to all children” initiative, the Friends of Youth Association of Slovenia (FYAS) is encouraging well-meaning people to contribute what they can for holidays for children who due to the difficult social status of their families would otherwise have to stay home, left to their own resources and the streets. This year once again they hope to take around 700 children on holidays who would otherwise perhaps never get to see the sea. Lek, a Sandoz company, has participated in the initiative since its inception, contributing to more pleasant holidays for children through financial assistance and the organization of the Sunshine Games.
“The holidays are the children’s favorite time of year, and they are the most important time for their development, since at that time they can allow their creativity to flourish if they have the opportunity to do so. Therefore it would be right for all children to have the opportunity to take a relaxing, creative and safe holiday,” said FYAS Chairman Franc Hočevar, who added that the citizens of Slovenia as individuals and as representatives of companies, organizations and foundations have responded exceptionally well to the initiative. “With their help and with the excellent support of the media we have collected 1,037,930 euros to date, thus making free-of-charge holidays available for 5403 children. Thus we are becoming an increasingly large family of good people who care about the quality of life of children, the weakest link in society’s chain,” stated Mr. Hočevar.
Lek, a Sandoz company, has been a major sponsor and partner of the Wink at the Sun initiative from the very beginning. With this, Lek has joined the effort to create a healthy, happy and pleasant childhood for all children. For the last four years, Lek has prepared a special day for the children who have vacationed with Wink at the Sun – the Sunshine Games, where children can show their knowledge and abilities, and above all have a great time. Lek also provides special gifts for the children. “Very often it is the children themselves who bear all of the burden of family problems and are deprived of their basic rights. So while some children look at seaside holidays as something as normal as sunrises and sunsets, others think of going to the coast or the mountains for holidays as about as likely as going to the Moon. Unlimited pleasure, playfulness and gratitude shines through the children’s eyes when we visit them during the Wink at the Sun campaign and put on the Sunshine Games. The day we spend together with games, singers and dancers or a visit from Olympic rower Luka Špik proves to us that our participation with the FYAS is achieving its objectives,” said Lek representative Katarina Klemenc Dinjaški, who added: “Lek’s mission is to provide health and a better quality of life. We are convinced that in cooperation with the Friends of Youth Association of Slovenia we are accomplishing that mission, since we are helping precisely those people who need the help the most.”
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to the enjoyment of appropriate leisure activities, to holidays which are intended for resting and relaxing and also improving health. The organization of holidays gives the children the possibility and opportunity for additional personal growth, the pursuit of numerous interests and abilities, the acquiring of new knowledge, development of social skills, creating contacts with their peers and last but not least to improve the health of children and young people. It is for precisely this reason that the FYAS’s strategic objectives include a continuous endeavor to provide equal opportunities for the participation of all children – including children from socially marginalized families – in organized leisure time activities, and continually encouraging all well-meaning people to eliminate the social exclusion of children.
In its more than 50-year history, the Friends of Youth Association of Slovenia has organized child-friendly holidays with a full and varied program and friendly teachers, tutors and healthcare workers, who make sure that the children’s holidays are as pleasant as possible. In a friendly spirit they improve the health and lift the spirits of the children. Every year the FYAS sends around 30 thousand children on holidays. The holidays are held in different places, in 14 modern-furnished holiday homes belonging to the Friends of Youth Association of Slovenia by the seaside and in the mountains.
Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the pillars of leading world generics company Sandoz. It operates as a global development center for products and technologies, as a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines, as a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products, as a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products and as a supply center for the markets of CEE, SEE and CIS, sales Slovenia and sales services for Sandoz’s global markets. Lek d.d. employs about 2,820 people and achieved total sales of USD 904 million in 2006. For further information please consult http://www.lek.si
Sandoz, a Division of the Novartis group, is a global leader in the field of generic pharmaceuticals, offering a wide array of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. Sandoz has a portfolio of more than 840 active substances in over 5 000 forms worldwide. Key product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medicines, cardiovascular treatments and hormone therapies. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these drugs along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances and anti-infectives. In addition to the strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany) and EonLabs (U.S.) and sells its products in more than 110 countries. In 2006, Sandoz employed around 21,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 6 billion.
Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, cure disease and improve well-being. Our goal is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering and enhance the quality of life. Novartis is the only company with leadership positions in both patented and generic pharmaceuticals. We are strengthening our medicine-based portfolio, which is focused on strategic growth platforms in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics and leading self-medication OTC brands. In 2006, the Group’s businesses achieved net sales of USD 37.0 billion and net income of USD 7.2 billion. Approximately USD 5.4 billion was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 101,000 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
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.
For further information contact:
Katarina Klemenc Dinjaški
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Phone: + 386 1 580 22 43
Fax: + 386 1 580 24 32