SOS Childrens village opened in Estonia
On the International Children’s Day, June 1st, SOS Children’s Village Association in Estonia celebrated the opening of their second children’s village. With support from the Norway Grants, three new family houses have been built. Each house will become a home for a mother, a father and six children who have been deprived of parental care.
The internationally successful model of SOS Children’s Villages was introduced to Estonia in 1995 with Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, Princess Lilian of Sweden and the Estonian First Lady as patrons. Fifteen years later, the first SOS village situated southwest of Tallinn had reached its maximum limit of 12 houses, and thus a new village was launched in the town of Põltsamaa in Central Estonia.
The SOS Children’s Village in Põltsamaa is unique in several ways. While SOS families in Estonia so far have consisted of a mother and 6-7 children, the families in Põltsamaa will also have a father. In addition, the newly built houses are located within a normal residential area and not forming an entire village of only SOS houses. The SOS Children’s Village in Põltsamaa is also the first one in Estonia that can take in children with disabilities, since all 200 m2 of rooms in the house are on one floor.
The opening of the houses was attended by First Lady Evelyn Ilves of Estonia, the Chancellor of the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Mayor of Põltsamaa, the County Governor, the Norwegian Ambassador Stein Vegard Hagen and the Austrian Consul, in addition to representatives of SOS Children’s Villages International and the organisations in Latvia and Lithuania.
Read more about the project here.
Photo credit : Piret Marvet, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Tallinn