Sponsor a child in Estonia

Child from Keila, Estonia

Despite achieving rapid economic growth over the last two decades, the availability of healthcare and other services varies greatly from region to region, leading to areas of high unemployment and family instability. SOS Children supports families in need and provides security for vulnerable children.

Sponsor a child in Estonia and help provide a safe childhood and a promising future.

Sponsor a child in Estonia

Poverty and healthcare remain big problems

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 cases of HIV/AIDS are amongst the highest in the EU.

Children are placed in institutions where there is insufficient funding

Family life in Estonia is often precarious, and families in poverty or with alcohol problems are rarely given the support they need. Children growing up in these environments are vulnerable and are often placed in institutions where staff are under-qualified and funding inadequate.

Estonia mapOur Work in Estonia

SOS Children started work here in 1992, shortly after Estonia gained independence. We moved quickly to support struggling families and offer them the guidance and resources which were lacking in the current welfare state. Today, it continues to offer training and advice to families in danger of breaking up.


Keila is a small town near the capital city. Increased food prices have presented a big problem for families with irregular or badly-paid work, and malnourishment together with poor health has become commonplace. Often children's mental and physical development is delayed. For some families, the cost of a school uniform and books has meant that they cannot afford to send their children to school, particularly in winter when especially warm clothing is required. These families tend to be socially isolated which makes it even harder for them to improve their lives.

The work of SOS Children in Keila is crucial. While the state offers help to struggling families, SOS Children enables them to become independent and self-sufficient. By working closely with local government agencies, SOS Children ensures that children in Keila have all the support and guidance that they need.

For more information on the work SOS Children do in Estonia, see our page on Estonian Orphans.

Life in SOS Children's Villages Estonia: Tanel always wants to winBoy with football medals, Estonia

"I am so delighted to talk about Tanel. He is successful in his studies and also in football", says mother Sirje from SOS Children's Village Keila, Estonia.

Tanel, soon to be a 13-year-old, came to the village almost five years ago together with his two-month-old brother who was the youngest child ever taken into the village in Keila.

The brothers came to the village when Tanel had just finished the first grade of school and his mother was put into a nursing home because of her weak health. The only options for Tanel and his little brother were either an orphanage or the SOS Village. "Because of the age difference it was clear that they had no chance to be together in an orphanage," says mother Sirje.

SOS mother says that she is very happy with the boy's attitude and talents. "He has the best grades, maybe sometimes the singing is "four". I do not have to check if he has done his homework - he does it without being reminded. In this respect, he is an independent youngster."

Although he has only the best grades at school, there are some subjects he does not appreciate. "Nature and Estonian language are not among my favourites, but I have good grades because I remember everything from the lessons, so I don't have to learn much at home."

Tanel is an intelligent boy who can say "no" to his friends when he has homework to do, and unlike many modern youngsters, he loves to read.

His mother also praises the boy's habits at home. "He thinks that it's better to organise stuff at once than clean the mess later." The boys comment is plain and simple: "I hate cleaning!"

Local Contact

SOS Lasteküla Eesti Ühing    

Pärnu mnt. 130-30    

11317 Tallinn    


Tel: +372/656 6958    

Fax: +372/656 6600    

e-mail: office@sos-lastekyla.ee