The Tartu Christian Adolescents’ Home was founded in 2000 to educate and rear children who are orphans, homeless, or lack a functional family. TCAH is located in Tartu, in a rented villa that predates WWI, at Era Street No, 2. It shelters 50 young people from age 6 to 23.
What sets TCAH apart from other institutions is that it offers a home also to those young people who have aged out. Mrs. Külli Kool, board chairman and a founder of the Home, explains that TCAH youths are interested in completing their education or vocational training. The idea is to enable young persons become responsible citizens as well as successful members of community. That’s in contrast to the experience of most other institutions where young people leave when they reach legal maturity at 18, and also drop their studies.
The program has proved itself, but it does not come cheap. Children with learning difficulties need tutors. Children with special needs who cannot attend public schools are enrolled in special private schools that charge tuition. And young people who pursue higher education also need financial assistance. Of the 50 adolescents in residence at the present ten are university students, eight are in high school, seven are in vocational schools, and the rest are in primary school. One alumnus, Mr. Kristjan Pallav, has come back to the Home. This time as its director.
TCAH also emphasizes socialization. Children are encouraged to expand their circle of friends beyond the Home. Participation in hobby clubs, music lessons and performances, sports, summer camps, and field trips are designed to let children discover their talents as well as to learn to cooperate and contribute to group activities. TCAH makes sure its wards also know how to cope with kitchen tasks, and how to handle basic tools to perform repairs and renovations.
The Tartu Christian Adolescents’ Home –Tartu Kristlik Noortekodu—enjoys support from many sources. The Estonian American Fund has transmitted donations for years. In January 2013, the Fund transferred $30,000 to the Home to defray educational expenses as well as to help pay for much-needed equipment replacements. Support by the Estonian American Fund surpasses the total donated by all others, said director Kristjan Pallav. For that, the credit goes to the generous donors to the Fund.
Estonian-American Fund Press Release
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