Orion stays in the pink for girls’ education and freedom
Press Release | Orion Corporation
JULY 31, 2015
Espoo, Finland: – Leading pharmaceutical company Orion Corporation is moving for girls again by stepping up the ‘In the Pink’ campaign of dancing and exercise.
For a second year, Orion has joined forces with not-for-profit campaigners Plan International to support girls’ education and human rights in Africa and Asia, which includes rescuing young girls from slavery (see Esther’s Story below).
‘Orionees’ at the company’s sites in Finland have again participated in a series of wellness and recreation exercises, but now with the aid of mobile technology.
This year, the ‘Orionees’ have been using the Plan International ‘HeiaHeia’ smartphone app to log their activities such as elevator-free days, active commutes and healthy lunches. HeiaHeia also allows colleagues to track each other’s progress.
The 2015 Pink campaign began on June 1 and will continue to mid-October. Orion organisers are confident of exceeding last year’s achievements, when more than 43 000 hours of exercise were logged. The 2014 activities raised around €45,000, enough to send 200 girls to school in Africa and Asia.
Orion has been a corporate partner for Plan International since 2011, supporting projects that promote the well-being of children in developing countries. Plan’s ‘Because I am a girl ‘ campaign improves girls’ access to education and protects them from violence and harmful traditions such as child marriages and female genital mutilation (FGM).
“Every third girl in the world is left without proper education because of poverty, violence and discrimination,” commented Orion’s President and CEO, Timo Lappalainen.
“Girls’ education is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and improve communities’ overall well-being,” said Mr. Lappalainen.
One of the girls that Plan has helped is 14-year-old Esther from Togo in West Africa. Thanks to Plan, Esther is now safely home in her village after she became one of the thousand of girls who have been trafficked into near-slavery as domestic servants.
Esther’s ordeal began last year when her sister took her to the capital Lomé on holiday, left her in a house “to help some people”.
“I looked after the baby, I washed the clothes and the dishes. I started at five in the morning. My boss was unkind. She hit me because I didn’t wash the plates or the clothes well. I was afraid of her,” said Esther.
“I was in Lomé for four months. I wasn’t paid. I was 13. I wanted to leave, but my aunt said I had to stay. I said no, but she said it was better for her and she refused to let me go.”
“I don’t know why she refused. The boss didn’t let me go out and I cried for someone to take me home. I asked the woman if I could go home but she said no. I dreamt of returning to the village. Yes I thought about school and going to school. It hurts me when I remember all that,” Esther remembers.
“Eventually, people from Plan came to see my parents here in the village, and talked to them. They said I had left for Lomé. My father said he needed to bring me back. Someone came to the boss’ house and told her that they were taking me. I was so happy when I knew they’d take me home.”
“I was so happy to see my family, I cried. Afterwards, I was put back in school. Yes it was great! I saw my friends again. I felt at home, at ease.
In the future I want to be a midwife. When I have children I will not let them leave for Lomé, because I went there, and the things they do there didn’t make me happy. In Lomé I saw other girls who were domestic servants,” says Esther.
About Orion Corporation
Orion is a globally operating developer of pharmaceuticals and diagnostic tests. The company has been innovatively building wellbeing since 1917; initially in its native Finland and now has a direct presence in 21 European countries.
Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and diagnostic tests. It is continuously developing new drugs and treatment methods.
Orion and Fermion product and service offerings involve APIs and finished dosage forms. Service offerings include high value pharmaceutical contract manufacturing services as well as a capable marketing and sales network made available for partner licensing opportunities across global markets.
Orion is a clear market leader in its main market Finland and also markets its products in more than 100 countries worldwide. The Group’s human pharmaceuticals sales organisation covers almost all key European markets. Several collaboration partners distribute Orion products in overseas markets.
All Orion manufacturing and most of its R&D operations are in Finland, with the group headquarters in Espoo, a short distance west of Helsinki. Orion employs some 3,500 people and in 2014 reported total worldwide sales of EUR 1,015 million. Orion A and B shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
About Plan International
Founded over 75 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world. It works in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. During 2013, Plan worked with 78 million children in 90,229 communities.
Headquartered in Woking, southern England, the independent not for profit organization has fundraising organizations in 17 countries in Europe and the Americas, as well as in China, Japan, India and South Korea.
Plan’s vision is of a world in which all children realize their full potential and it aims to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of deprived children in developing countries, through processes that include:
- Enabling deprived children, their families and communities to meet their basic needs and increase their participation in society
- Building relationships to increase unity among different cultures and between nations
- Promoting the rights and interests of the world’s children
More information at: http://plan-international.org/
Tel: +35 810 4261