The Lighthouse Center, established in 2001 in Tallinn, supports the social and spiritual needs of at-risk elementary school aged children. Its primary mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps Estonian children cope with and overcome the ongoing challenges they face in their day-to-day life on the streets of Tallinn. The children are offered assistance in their school assignments and the opportunity to develop personal and social skills through various mentoring activities.
The Lighthouse kids have the opportunity to engage in a variety of hobby programs, drama and dance activities, and fine art classes. The center serves 60 children on average on an ongoing basis.
The Lighthouse is supported by individuals and organizations in Estonia, the Nordic countries, Holland and the United States. The operations of the center are also supported by the Northern Tallinn Administration, the Social Welfare and Health Care Board of Tallinn and city funds.
For many years I have been somewhat involved with
activities of Lighthouse and aware of problems, what little NGOs face and
with success that Lighthouse has reached. As experienced social work
developer I can say, that this in not usual or common in Estonia, that one
organization, which depends on donations, can work so many years. There is
only one explanation for why this has happened, because God is involved
and God has invited you to be friends of Children Center. This is how I
have understood this miracle.
Chair of Board Offers 2014 Assessment of Lighthouse Center’s Efforts
Submitted by Merle Tomberg, Chair of the Board
Lighthouse Children’s Center acts in the area of Tallinn where the poverty among families is highest. We do not know what the ultimate destiny of those children who attend Children Center every school-day will be. They are ”our customers”, because they all have experienced difficulties in their lives, some of them have experienced very difficult situations. I believe that in Children’s Center we not only provide them a happier childhood with a safe and supporting surrounding but we also can influence their future. We can influence their relations, job career, ethical and moral principles, health etc.
Every child, who visits and later leaves the Children Center, knows that God loves him/her and there is possibility to find a congregation to join, when they are ready for that. Providing Christian day-care center service, we protect children from criminal future, substance abuse, prostitution, hunger and poverty passed on from generation to generation. These negative possibilities are very realistic for children, whose parent(s) cannot take care of them because of different reasons. Support provided in the Children Center also protects children from separation from family and sending them to substitute care services.
In very critical situations substitute care is justified, but we believe, that preventing substitute care as much as possible is right thing to do.
New Board started to work three months ago. At the moment there are two persons, Mrs Regina Multram and me. I am really happy to work with Regina, who is energetic, objective and a smart woman. Regina has experiences from education, youth work and NGO management fields, which are all very useful knowledge for managing Children Center. My working experiences are from the field of development of social services, youth work and public health.
The Board is working in close cooperation with our managing director Marjana Luist, who is a lovely, caring and enterprising woman. We all are very interested in well-being of children, who visit Children Center now and in the future. This year we started to put into practice EQUASS quality system, which is specially designed for social service providers by European Platform for Rehabilitation. We believe this quality system provides for us a good frame for planning and developing our work. It has been a pleasure to join with you in supporting the Lighthouse. Let God guide us in our decisions.