New Swedish donation supports paediatric research at the University of Helsinki

The Swedish Stiftelsen Frimurare Barnhuset i Stockholm foundation (SFBS) is making its first donation to paediatric research in Finland by endowing €135,000 to the University of Helsinki.

“Supporting paediatric research in a broad sense is one of the foundation’s primary goals,” says SFBS’s Inspector Sven-Åke Bergkvist.

The Swedish Order of Freemasons has been active in Sweden and Finland for a long time. The Stiftelsen Frimurare Barnhuset i Stockholm foundation was established in 1753 as a tribute Sophia Albertina, the younger sister of Gustav III. For roughly 200 years, the foundation focused on providing orphanages to children and adolescents. At its most, it accommodated more than 100 children, with approximately 20 children admitted to receive education every year.

“As society evolved, the need for orphanages decreased and this activity was discontinued in the 1940s, with the properties sold. The interest accrued by the capital released is now such that we are able to allocate annually a total of 13 million Swedish krona to research in addition to organising youth activities and projects. This year, the foundation’s board of directors also decided that 1.5 million krona can be allocated to paediatric research in Finland,” Bergkvist says.

Donation supports a broad spectrum of paediatric research

The donated 1.5 million Swedish krona, or approximately €135,000, will be distributed among three paediatric research projects at the University of Helsinki. These projects broadly represent paediatric research conducted at the University, which benefits children and adolescents both in Finland and abroad.

“Paediatric research is one of the key fields of research at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Medicine. One of the Faculty’s goals is to support junior researchers in their career paths. This is why I’m particularly pleased that the donation now received supports this goal, and I sincerely thank the SFBS foundation for its generosity,” says Dean Anne Remes of the Faculty of Medicine.

The supported projects investigate the onset of congenital heart diseases, utilise new genomic approaches to improving the treatment outcomes of children with tumours, and study molecular mechanisms for congenital deficiencies in immunity.