Our mission is “Food with a purpose”. We bring a little extra joy, well-being and love to people. This is implemented in our work with SOS Children’s Village, for example. We strongly believe the family is an important asset in the process of an individual growing up as a well-adjusted adult. “Fazer has traditionally taken responsibility for the well-being of local communities,” says Liisa Eerola, Head of Communications responsible for partnership programmes. “Through the partnership, we want to support SOS Children’s Village’s work in creating a safe family environment for children and young people.”
In Finland, our financial aid has been allocated to Developing SOS Children’s Village’s family rehabilitation and building children’s villages in Vuores, Vantaa and Niittykumpu in Espoo, as well as Kivistö in Vantaa. The newest children’s villages have been acquired in blocks of flats, where the children in care live with their foster parents. SOS Children’s Village is actively developing services for families with children in the area, and working on increasing the well-being of children and families. The support of the community forms a strong foundation for the operations.
There are approximately 19,000 children who cannot live safely with their own parents in Finland. A tenth of all children grow up in unsafe conditions. Currently, Fazer’s aid is allocated to SOS Children’s Village’s general, preventive and early support work, and its development. The general services support the supply of services in SOS Children’s Village and the need-based service journeys targeted at children, young people and families in a disadvantaged position. The aim of the work is to defend children’s rights, and ensure children’s inclusion and sustainable future. For example, Unelmista totta (Dreams come true) is preventive work that improves a child’s self-esteem through a hobby and moments of joy and success. The Lähellä (Near) project aims to prevent loneliness and exclusion. In the hearty Mummun ja vaarin tupa (Grandma and grandad’s house) in Vantaa and Espoo, volunteer step-grandparents and families with children can meet up. Ylitse MentorApp offers peer support for a young person who is learning to become independent.
“Fazer’s long-term and committed support for SOS Children’s Village’s work in building a safer family environment is impressive and extremely important. Fazer has a special place in the hearts of people at SOS Children’s Villages; it’s like we’re all members of one big family! Food is one of the basic pillars of well-being for children and young people, and shared mealtimes have enduring effects on children’s lives. In the work of SOS Children’s Villages, food has great significance as an instrument of care,” Communication and Fundraising Director for SOS Children’s Villages Finland Leena Poutanen explains.
The aid has developed from the early supply aid into diversified cooperation
The cooperation began one Midsummer in the 1960s, when Fazer’s bakery manager contacted the Children’s village that had recently opened in Tapiola to ask if Fazer could deliver Midsummer treats to the families. The director of the village said they had expected to receive a few boxes, and to their astonishment they received a whole truckload of bread and sweets.
Fazer has been SOS Children’s Village’s official partner since 2010. Karl Fazer Milk Chocolate used to be an important part of Theraplay interaction therapy. Fazer Experience Visitor Centre has organised cooking courses for the children and young people involved with SOS Children’s Village. Other projects include ”Unelmista totta” hobby support, SOSdinner and Apuu chat emergency chat service.
The cooperation with SOS Children’s Villages is also important for Fazer’s employees. In 2015, the Fazer employees chose SOS Children’s Village as the recipient for a Christmas gift of EUR 50,000. This was used to support the family work of SOS Children’s Village in Vantaa. Fazer employees have also participated in various types of voluntary work in the children’s villages. The employees have been involved in sponsoring SOS Children’s Village and volunteering at Grandma and Grandad’s house.
In Russia, we support the Pushkin SOS Children’s Village in the southern St Petersburg area, in which sixty children live in ten foster homes. Fazer’s donations cover the annual costs of two of these families.
Find out how Fazer’s corporate responsibility is implemented in practice by listening to SOScast!