Viljandi Social and Childcare Centre
EI Ref: pending!
Project environment :
Viljandi Social and Childcare Centre is an institution with different departments and services for children in Viljandi County. It has two departments: department for disabled kids and orphanage for small kids in Väikemõisa. Viljandi department has hosted international volunteers since 2005. The cooperation with foreign youth has been very fruitful.
Regular activities in Viljandi Social and Childcare Centre are aimed to provide everyday care and counselling, helping to raise children’s and youth awareness of themselves. It is run in cooperation with the specialists such as therapists, psychiatrists, social workers and youth-police.
Childcare Centre is an institution for disabled people in age 3 – 20. There are around 40 children with heavy or deep mental/physical disability. This institution combines a nursery, school, rehabilitation centre and an alternative home for those who need it.
Väikemõisa Children’s House is a home for orphans and children without parental care. There are 33 children aged 0-12 at the moment. Most of the children go to school during the daytime.
EVS volunteer could bring the international / European awareness, openness, new approaches, intercultural dimension to the life of children and the employees in Viljandi department. The centre already has been cooperated with Dalarna County in Sweden for a long time and is open to contacts from other cultures.
Both departments are located around 3 km from the Viljandi city centre and are easily reached by public transport.
Viljandi is the sixth largest town in Estonia. Population: 19 107 (according to the Population Register by 1st of January 2012). Area: 14,6 km² Location: South-Estonia, the uplands of Sakala. It is 161 km from Viljandi to Tallinn and 81 km to Tartu. There are many cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, a library, a theatre, the university and many entertainments in Viljandi. The rural atmosphere of the town is balanced by the Cultural Academy of Viljandi, which organises every July the all-Estonia-famous folk music festival Viljandi Folk. The festival brings together contemporary folk music from all over the world and ca 20 000 Estonians and visitors from abroad– a mix that creates not-to-be-missed event!
Viljandi has a good bus and train connection with the capital and other cities.
Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:
The main tasks of the volunteer in the Childcare Centre are looking after children, helping social workers in their daily needs and organising different activities for the kids. Volunteer’s tasks depend very much on his/her interests and skills. Most of the kids need a mentor in the class or in free time. (S)he can be hands or legs for the children in a wheelchair, helping to dress, with feeding or some other basic needs what it is needed. With some children it is possible to go further than just basic help. It is possible to organise different events, games, do handicraft, sport, go to the city, cinema or do some music.
In Väikemõisa Children’s House the volunteer is expected to support children in their everyday life, play with the kids and organise different activities / events. Depending on the volunteer’s skills, (s)he can do some sport, music, handicraft with the children. Volunteer can also participate in study visits but also help to organise different outings and excursions. Volunteer is expected to be a friend and role model for these children and help them to understand the delight of life. It is important to teach these children to evaluate surrounding and to find their way in it.
Depending on the volunteer’s and children’s interests / abilities, following tasks can be adapted in each institution.
• arranging children’s leisure time (sports, games, music etc);
• planning and running creative workshops (dance, music, theatre, handicraft, etc);
• looking after children and helping teachers in managing their daily needs;
• presenting his / her own country and culture as part of the intercultural learning;
• assisting to arrange outings and excursions and taking part in those;
• playing with children;
Hosting international volunteer will give new experience and more awareness of different cultures not only to the children but to all workers in Viljandi Social and Childcare Centre. Social workers in the Centre can share their skills and knowledge’s of working with children with disadvantaged background with the volunteer, to develop his / her skills which could be useful in his / her future and / or professional career. Teachers are also hoping to get new and fresh leisure time activity ideas from the volunteer to fulfil children’s days with happiness and versatile development. It is important to give a chance to the children to spend their childhood actively full of diverse activities and positive way of thinking towards life. It broadens youth’s outlook and gives more ideas of what they would like to do in the future.
In the very beginning of the project volunteers will have orientation and introduction to the workplace and in all institution to find the best activities for himself / herself. Volunteers has continues contact with the supervisor to prevent and solve possible crisis in the working environment and and with the mentor who will help at first with every-day knowledgne in the new environment and on cultural or language level.
The first priority is that the volunteer is motivated and interested in meeting and working with the target group. Previous experience of any kind of social work with young people is preferred but not necessary. The volunteer should be open-minded, sociable, positive, responsible, reliable, active, energetic, creative, taking initiatives, adaptable.