Children in Estonia

Family life in Estonia is often precarious, with poverty affecting 10% of children. Despite government efforts to improve living standards, many deprived families lack the support they need, and help has dwindled over recent years. Some impoverished children are simply taken from their family and placed in children’s homes. These institutions are often underfunded and lack qualified staff. Children growing up here do not get the care or support they need, and many are suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives.

Estonia achieved independence when the USSR collapsed in 1991, and has since undergone vast political and social change. Although it has experienced significant economic growth, many people continue to live in poverty, and unemployment levels have recently begun to rise. To compound matters, life expectancy remains low and the HIV/AIDS rate is among the highest in the EU, with 10,000 people suffering from the disease.

Our Children's Villages in Estonia

SOS Children’s Villages began working in Estonia in 1992, shortly after independence. We moved quickly to support struggling families and offer them the guidance and resources which were lacking in the existing welfare state. Today, we continue to offer training and support to fragile families at risk of breaking up, and provide a loving home to children who can no longer live with their own families.

Keila, Tallinn

Keila is a small town near the capital, Tallinn. We work to provide families with the support they need to become independent and self-sufficient, enabling them to provide better care to their children.
We provide care for children who cannot live with their own families, offering a loving home as part of an SOS family at our Children's Village. Our children attend nearby schools, and, as they near independence, work with SOS staff to prepare for adult life on our SOS Youth Programme either here in Keila, or in Tallinn.


Pöltsamaa is located in central Estonia, where loss of parental care is common. For many of these children, we provide a new family in our Children's Village, where each child is nurtured by a loving SOS Mother. Pöltsamaa's SOS families live as part of the Narva-Jõesuu
community, so that our children can grow up with young people from the neighbourhood.


We help families cope with the strains of Narva-Jõesuu's hard conditions. Through ongoing support, we are helping families provide a good upbringing for their children.
For those who cannot live with their families, we offer a place at our Children's Village. As part of an SOS family, our children enjoy from the best upbringing. Each child benefits from a care plan carefully tailored to their individual needs, while attending community schools with local children, helping them prepare for adult life in Narva-Jõesuu and beyond.

Local contact

SOS Lasteküla Eesti Ühing

Pärnu mnt. 130-30

11317 Tallinn


Tel: +372/656 6958

Fax: +372/656 6600



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You can help children who have lost their parents. They may have been orphaned by AIDS, natural disaster or conflict. Poverty may have forced their parents to give them up, or they may have been separated from their family by war.