The Santa Claus Foundation makes yearly charitable donations by giving “Santa’s Gift” to the children of the world. After all, it is children who actually believe in Santa the most.
The Santa Claus Foundation has partner companies – Santa’s Official Suppliers – that offer the products and services included in Santa’s product family. The Foundation gets a small license fee from these products. This means that each partner company of the Foundation contributes to the collection of Santa’s Gift. By buying a product or a service with Santa’s Sign you can also make a gift to the children of the world.
The Santa Claus Foundation has given Santa’s Gift to the Paediatric Psychiatry Ward of the Helsinki University Hospital three times, in 2007, 2008, and 2012. Each time the funds were used to support the children’s recreational activities.
Paediatric psychiatry is the medical speciality devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders in children. A child can be examined to establish whether they suffer from any abnormalities in mental development, and, if necessary, a decision is made on the form of treatment required.
At a polyclinic examination a child’s status is usually assessed by a team consisting of a physician, a psychologist, a social worker and/or a nurse, which arranges a joint meeting to interview the whole family or just the parents.
The child is examined based on their individual needs, which may include a physician’s interview arranged in a setting based on the child’s age and development level (for example, observation at play), a somatic and neurological examination, a psychological examination as well as any other special examination necessary, such as, for example, a paediatric neurologist’s examination. Sometimes a clinical examination is necessary in order to assess a child’s psychological status which typically takes from six to eight weeks.
The most common reasons for bringing a child to an examination are restlessness, disruptive behaviour, difficulties in social relations and depression occurring at nursery, or other, school.
Aasoli, a Village in Central India
In 2012, the overseas recipient of Santa’s Gift was the village of Aasoli in Central India. The gift itself was delivered by World Vision Finland. Santa donated construction materials through the Donate a Cow shop to build a nursery school in Aasoli, and bought a cow to give milk to a poor family in India. Next year Santa will be travelling to India to see how his gifts benefit their recipients.
World Vision Finland is a Christian humanitarian development cooperative organisation promoting children’s living conditions and rights. It is an independent member of the world’s largest child sponsoring organisation. World Vision provides support to about 100 million people worldwide. World Vision Finland has donation projects in Kenya, Uganda, Peru, Columbia, India, and Sri Lanka. The ethical gift shop Donate a Cow is one of the organisation’s long-term fundraising projects.
worldvision.fi / lahjaksilehma.fi
Children of East Africa, World Vision Finland
The first Santa’s Gift to an overseas beneficiary in 2011 was raised by arranging a collection for the benefit of the children of East Africa.
‘Help Santa’ is a joint Christmas gift campaign carried out by World Vision Finland, Upcode, MiniMoi, and the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. It is targeted at helping the children of East Africa. The campaign was created by the production team of a YLE programme called The National Treasure.
The collector and supplier of funds in the Help Santa campaign is World Vision. The proceeds from the collection go to East Africa; one half of it is allocated as emergency help to the crisis areas in the horn of Africa while the other is being used for long-term development programmes carried out by World Vision Finland in Kenya and Uganda. The money is spent, for example, on child education, promotion of health and well-being as well as strengthening of families and communities. Emergency help comes primarily in the form of clean water and refurbishment of the existing sources and artesian wells. Food and extra nutrients are also supplied to the drought areas. For example, peanut paste, high in energy and nutrients, is delivered to little children suffering from severe undernourishment. In Kenya and Uganda the health, safety, education and nutrition of children and young people are improved by a joint development cooperative project. In Eldoret in Kenya, funding is arranged for the children’s help phone activity and in the slums of Nairobi young people are provided with vocational training. In Kirewa, Uganda, the small children receive extra supplements and nutrients to balance their diet and children and young people are provided with health education e.g. for the prevention of HIV and AIDS.
Non-Profit Organisation TATU
In 2010 and 2011, Santa’s Gift was shared between several beneficiaries of which one was the Finnish non-profit organisation TATU. The gift was given to support children with disabilities due to traffic injuries.
Since its foundation in 2001, the association operates nationwide with the objective of providing support to children, young people and entire families who suffer from severe trauma due to accidents or long-term illnesses of their children. It arranges rehabilitation courses for groups, peer support, training and development. In addition, the families are supported by maintaining web pages where they can find information on the services available.
The accidents threatening children are typically traffic accidents and various kinds of accidents happening at home and in spare-time activities. Children may also suffer from trauma due to drowning accidents or as a result of accidents in the process of medical treatment. Most of the trauma and injuries caused by accidents are treatable, but sometimes children have permanent injuries. An accident that happens to a child concerns the whole family and always takes up a lot of resources. For further information see www.tatury.fi
Children in need of surgical treatment for epilepsy
In 2008, Santa’s Gift was shared between three recipients. Among them were families with children suffering from severe cases of epilepsy who were offered an opportunity to enjoy a joint recreation occasion.
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease the characteristic symptoms of which are sudden, unpredictable, seizures of unconsciousness, blackouts and convulsions. An epileptic seizure is a momentary disorder in brain functions caused by abnormal signals which in the worst case spread over the whole brain.
According to the World Health Organisation, epilepsy is one of the severest brain conditions and responsible for one per cent of the worldwide overall disease burden.
In Finland about half a percent of the population suffers from epilepsy, including children. About a quarter of cases are difficult to treat. Taking care of an epileptic child is usually a full-time job which leaves little, if any, time for the family to relax and enjoy spare-time activities. A child with epilepsy usually requires special attention during outings and travel.
Children with epilepsy are treated by paediatric neurologists at central hospitals. The Helsinki University Central Hospital has a specialised unit for examining and treating children with epileptic symptoms which serves the entire country. The surgical treatment of epilepsy in children is focused in this unit. The other unit specialising in epilepsy in Finland is focused on treating adults and is located at the Kuopio University Hospital.
Non Fighting Generation
“The purpose of teaching is to bring out qualities in children rather than putting more and more into them.”
– Friedrich Fröbel
Santa’s Gift of 2007 and 2008 was shared between two beneficiaries. The Finnish non-profit association Non Fighting Generation (NFG) which provides young people with education in life skills was one of them.
NFG focuses on methodical youth education
“We are not strong believers in educational campaigns aimed at a broad public. We base our approach on the notion that the reasons behind problem behaviour are deeper and have to do with life skills that are insufficient in many ways. Young people who are struggling tend to have all kinds of shortcomings and distortions in their world view and self-image. Such inadequacies cannot be efficiently addressed just by means of instruction, since nobody can control another person’s mind and change it from the outside.
The most effective influence an educator can have is showing young people how to see things differently and open new horizons in their minds. This calls for educational consultation considering the young person’s overall situation, showing them empathy and encouraging them to see the bigger picture and improve their life skills. They must be engaged in an interactive way, listening and empathising with what they have to say. A youth educator must also be able to exercise authority, since the young are not yet entirely able to control their own lives. Therefore, the interactive support that is provided must also involve giving instructions, advice, sometimes even orders.”
World Vision Finland
World Vision Finland and the Santa Claus Foundation signed a partnership agreement in autumn 2011. The agreement is based on the parties’ joint mission to support the well-being of children throughout the world.
World Vision Finland is a development cooperative organisation promoting proper living conditions and rights for children. It is an independent member of World Vision, the world’s largest child sponsorship organisation. World Vision operates in nearly 100 countries and has 40,000 employees. It makes donations to approximately 100 million people of which nearly four million are children.
World Vision Finland engages in long-term development cooperation in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The target is to accomplish a permanent change which will be reflected as a substantial improvement in the overall well-being of children, families and communities. World Vision Finland is a non-political organisation not committed to any particular religious subdivision. Its operations are based on Christian humanitarian values and absolute respect for other people’s beliefs. The organisation is a partnership organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and a member of the Finnish Fundraising Association.