Tartu Christian Adolescent Home was established as a private orphanage in 2000. Our objective is to help kids and young people who have lost their homes and families or their parents are not able look after them.
Today we take care of 47 children and young people. Our base-house is located close to the centre of Tartu, in Era street, what is home for 16 younger kids. The rest of mentees are living in different appartments located in town. All our children attend school, therefore, their age is between 7 and 23.
The Tartu Christian Adolescents’ Home emphasizes education and learning: Close contact and cooperation with teachers makes for good relations between the Home’s children and schools, the Home also provides tutors for children who need help. The Home strives to match children with special needs with appropriate schools. The Home provides leisure time activities that help develop the childrens’ talents, creative as well as practical. Hobby circles and musical instruction are provided in-house, employing special teachers and instructors as needed. The urban setting of the Home makes for ample opportunities to take advantage of the cultural enrichment available from the university town’s theaters, libraries, museums, and institutions of higher education. The diversity of the Home’s young residents makes development of interpersonal relations, social and coping skills of paramount importance. Young people respond with alacrity to learning and performing daily tasks needed in life as adults. Spiritual needs are not neglected, time is set aside for philosophical exploration and discussions of ethics.
We also try to provide pretty widespread opportunities of music and folkdance studies. Practise of music and dance is not only just a way to spend your free time, but these activities unite our kids and teachers into one big family. Concerts and performances have taken us to almost all bigger stages of Estonia, but we have also given concerts in Germany (Lüneburg), Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Czech Republic. Our bands have been rewarded with several awards.
During these 13 years of existence we have seen one truth for sure: this is the most expensive way to grow the children. Elementary schools are not for free, we have to pay university fees for some of our students. Participation in cultural life is pretty costly - the musical instruments, specific equipment for band, transport and travelling is really expensive.
To offer our mentees all these opportunities, described above, is not possible without the help and support of charity organizations like Lions Club Tartu Tamme. We have long term and good relations since foundation of our Adolescent Home.
LC has supported us every year paying the school fees, helping to carry through our musical programs, procuring us new instruments, sponsoring several trips and donating for many different other needs. Especially memorable for all of us was the journey to Lüneburg in Germany few years ago, organized by LC Tartu Tamme and LC Lüneburg. It is impossible to overestimate their support to us and we are happy and grateful for that.
Tartu Christian Adolescent Home has been visited by guests from Royal Family. In 2000 we were visited by Swedish Queen Silvia, and couple of years later by Princess Madeleine. We have hosted also some high guests from Estonia - members of Parliament and former First Lady Ingrid Rüütel.
Thanks to the efforts and dedication of our team and supporters, I can say today that most of our mentees, after leaving adolescent home and starting their independent life, became good, active and respectable members of local community.