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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Keila, Estonia

Child from Keila, Estonia
Child from Keila, Estonia

A child sponsorship report from Keila, Estonia. Written in Summer 2010.

Please note: This report may have been written by someone whose first language is not English.  We have left it largely unedited, as this is how a sponsor would receive it.

Dear Sponsor,

Finally, after the long winter with lots of snow and long and cold spring, warm weather has arrived. The school is about to finish, smaller school children are having already excursions and other outdoor events. Those, who have to take exams, will be free just before Midsummer Day, i.e. before the summer solstice.

The beginning of this year's summer is in many ways special. Namely, on 1 June, three new SOS family houses will be opened in Põltsamaa. These family houses will be occupied by married couples, which is a new experience in Estonia. One of those houses will be occupied by a 5-member family with their SOS mother from Keila Children's Village. They go there because both the mother and the children come from that area.

Secondly, Keila SOS Children's Village is celebrating its 15th anniversary on 16 June. All the present and former children with their children (there are already about ten young people with children), lots of children's village's friends, supporters and former employees have been invited to participate in the event. Children have been doing handicraft already for about a month in order to prepare presents for mothers with long experience, for volunteers and for local helpers.

Girl scouts and young eagles have activated their activity in the children's village this winter and spring thanks to their active young leader Katriin. In winter, they built together a snow town, went to a winter camp to get the scouts knowledge, made clay masks, celebrated 91st anniversary of the Republic of Estonia on 23 February together with Harju Malev. At the end of the school, they are going to a summer camp for a week.

A young man Andres joined our group last summer. He is having 1.5-year alternative service of the Defence Forces. He is our third teacher. Due to his enthusiasm, some groups of young people have visited us at the weekends all the year round. These groups have performed to the children and children have sung, danced or played together with them. Andres also organised dance lessons once a week when young people come and teach hip-hop to the children.

Although we had lots of snow in winter and the children could go skiing, build a snow town and play snowballs, spring was a long-expected time when more and more activities went outside. Thanks to a proper football field, football is very popular in the children's village. Starting from the second half of May, Estonian football team is again going to have games in Tallinn, where our children are carrying the Fair Play flag. Both children from the Children's Village and Youth Homes go there.

Thanks to the Children's Village's patron Evelin Ilves, wife of the president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who presented sets of roller-skates and due to her active example, roller-skating and cycling are everyday sports among the young. On 22 May, both the young and employees of the Children's Village and Youth Home participated in Tallinn Maijooks (7km).

We have every year more and more local supporters, who come to the Children's Village and do something together with the children. All the year round, four volunteers have helped the children in the evening to do their homework. In the middle of May, ArcoVara employees came with tools, fir trees, flower plants, candies and cakes. Some of them repaired the roof of the playhouse, the others planted with children a fir hedge and flowers. Afterwards, they grilled sausages and ate cakes.

Certainly, winter and spring have been fuller of work, efforts and we have had some drawbacks but these vivid events and meetings with nice people give us strength to cope with the everyday routine.

As summer is approaching, children are more and more speaking about going to summer camps, family trips and visiting relatives. Summer is the time for realizing dreams also for the children of the children's village!

Thank you, dear friends, that you have supported us and provided us both with the security for coping with everyday life and with the possibility to develop and be part of the memorable events.


Raivo Ilmsalu

Village director