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“No child or young person should be left to cope alone” – This is how Orion’s donation will support the work of Save the Children Finland

Global crises, including conflicts and the cost-of-living crisis have affected the lives of children worldwide. Orion is donating EUR 50,000 to the programmes of Save the Children Finland in Finland and East Africa. Find out how the cooperation will support the future of children and young people. 
4/18/2024 Author / Anne Ventelä Photographer / Pelastakaa Lapset ry

“The rising cost of living has exacerbated the challenges faced by low-income families with children who are already in a difficult situation. At the same time, more families now need help.”   
These are the words of Save the Children Finland’s Heidi Herranen, Coordinator of the Fuel for Life Programme. There is an even greater need for private donations right now.   
At 2024, Orion donates a total of EUR 50,000 to Save the Children Finland. The donation will be divided between the organisation’s programmes in Finland and in East Africa.  

Orion was impressed by Save the Children 

“Corporate social responsibility is at the core of all Orion’s operations. We make sure that people have access to affordable medicines that have been proven to be safe when needed. As part of our corporate social responsibility work, this year Orion wanted to donate money specifically to work with children and young people,” says Liisa Hurme, President and CEO of Orion.  
“The pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, as well as climate change, conflicts and hunger crises globally, are affecting children and young people in particular. No child or young person should be left to cope alone, as everyone should feel that they have a place in this world and that they are valued,” says Hurme.  
“After careful consideration Orion selected Save the Children Finland as its partner,” Hurme says.  
“We looked at different options, but were most impressed by Save the Children. The organisation carries out significant work in Finland and internationally.”

A hobby provides faith in the future   

Save the Children Finland distributes food aid and support for hobbies and educational materials to children, young people and families with children living in Finland through the Fuel for Life programme. In Finland, the majority of the support provided by the Fuel for Life programme goes into support for hobbies. The aim is to enable a child to start or continue a hobby that is important to them.   
“This kind of support can strengthen children’s and young people’s faith in the future and in their own potential. When a child experiences a sense of belonging and can participate in the same way as and with their peers, they feel they are an important part of the community. This has far-reaching effects in life,” says Heidi Herranen.  

Support provided by Fuel for Life programme in 2023  

  • Almost 11,000 children living in Finland received food aid. The organisation distributed grocery store gift cards worth between EUR 50–70 to more than 4,700 families.  
  • More than 2,700 children or young people received support from the organisation for their hobby expenses. On average, EUR 280 was distributed per child. 
  • Almost 140 young people were granted support to cover the costs of upper secondary education. 
  • Much of the funding for the programme comes from private donations – and, in 2024, also from Orion’s donation.   

Aid for children in Sudan

Part of the EUR 50,000 donated by Orion will be used to support Save the Children Finland’s international work in East Africa, where the organisation’s local partners provide health and nutrition services, among other things.  
In countries in East Africa, the organisation is setting up fixed and mobile health clinics and training local people to run them. It also provides food, water, vaccinations and treatment for malnutrition in crisis areas. It also offers opportunities to attend school and support and advice for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.  
“The future for children and young people in Sudan looks bleak right now,” says Kristina Lírová, Programme Manager for Sudan at Save the Children Finland.  
“Just a year ago, we launched a long-term development cooperation in Sudan. The civil war that broke out in April 2023 completely changed the situation, as we are now doing work to save lives. We may lose an entire generation of children to the conflict,” Lírová continues.

Crisis in Sudan  

  • Half of Sudan’s population – around 25 million people – are currently in need of humanitarian assistance and welfare services.  
  • There are 14 million children in need in the country. More than 3.5 million of them are suffering from acute malnutrition.  
  • In Sudan, 700,000 children under the age of five are severely malnourished. Severe malnutrition can lead to death if left untreated.  

“The well-being of children is at the heart of everything we do. We actively seek out children who have experienced violence and refer them to child protection services. If a malnourished child comes to a health centre, they are put on a nutrition programme.”  
The war has also created an education and learning crisis in Sudan.   
“When children are at school, they can feel safe. When they are out of school, as they are now, they are recruited into armed groups. In addition, child marriages and especially gender-based violence are on the rise.  
“Money from Orion’s donation will be used specifically to provide vaccinations for children under five and provide therapeutic food to treat malnutrition,” says Lírová.  
“It is possible to recover from even severe malnutrition if treatment is available.”