Knowledge is the best way to beat ignorance, said First Lady of Estonia Evelin Ilves at the birthday party when handing over encyclopaedias hinting on the ominous age of the village.
Gifts and flowers for SOS mothers and children, a show by gymnasts and village youngsters with a cordial song were followed by a picnic and amusements for the children. The evening ended with a disco.
A few weeks before the birthday party, the children had a sporty day full of football when Nõmme Kalju, a team from the Estonian premier league, dropped by for a visit. Smiling children welcomed the players at the village's soccer pitch.
Aire Nurm, deputy national director of SOS Children's Villages Estonia, says that football is an important part in the village's life. "SOS Children's Villages have a good co-operation with FIFA, and we are no exception - we have a long-time co-operation with the Estonian football federation who has helped us build the soccer pitch; the members of the national team also visit our village," she says.
Even little kids got excited about football (Photo: Marko Mägi)
At the pitch, the children split into two groups and the training started - the Brazilian footballers taught children different techniques: how to pass the ball, how to control the ball, what to consider when running with the ball.
The coach, checking the training, said that he noticed several children who could train football regularly. He especially praised 17-year-old Erik who made spectacular saves in the goal. "He could play in our youth team already," he said. After the event, Erik joined the club and is training with them now.
Little boy kicking the ball (Photo: Marko Mägi)
Liivo Leetma, one of the football players and initiators of the training day idea, said that it's good to see that football is so popular at the village and the conditions for playing are tremendous.
"We thought that an interesting training could be useful for the children, and besides we had a chance to get more familiar with the children and vice versa. I'm sure this day was useful for the kids."
Aire Nurm said that the professional footballers give good examples. "These kinds of visits produce tangible results - several youngsters already joined training groups."