Foundation Perekodu (SA Perekodu) is an institution with different departments and services for children and young people in Viljandi County. It may also provide the same services for clients outside the county if necessary and if it has the capacity. Regular activities in Perekodu are aimed to provide everyday care and counselling, helping to raise children’s and young people awareness of themselves. It is run in cooperation with the specialists such as therapists, psychiatrists, social workers and youth-police. There are around 80 staff members all together in the institution. Provided services: childcare, (child) support, rehabilitation, substitution and aftercare.
In the main building is a nursey and a school for about 36 children with severe mental or physical disabilities from the age of 1.5 to 18.5. Childcare service is offered to about 20 disabled children after schooltime. Support service is for disabled children who need personal service to support them in their everyday activities.
Rehabilitation centre serves about 115 children in a year. The rehabilitation team has a psychologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, creative therapist, social workers, special educator and speech therapist.
For substitution service there are 6 family homes and an apartment for orphans and kids with special needs. In substitute families there are 45 children (among them 33 disabled children) from babies to the age of 19. In one family there are up to 6 children. Each family has their own educators. Most of the children go to school and kindergarten during the daytime. In free time many children go to hobby schools. The organisation wants to give them a possibility to experience similar lifestyle as their contemporaries in biological families.
Aftercare service is for studying youngsters up to the age of 25.
Foundation Perekodu has hosted international volunteers since 2005 from many different countries. It has a long-time experience in accepting long-term volunteers and it appreciates these experiences.
All the buildings are located within 3-7 km from the Viljandi city centre and are easily reached by free public transport.
Viljandi is the sixth largest city in Estonia and is in the southern Estonia. It is 161 km from Viljandi to Tallinn and 81 km to Tartu. There is very good bus and train connection with the capital and other cities.
There are many cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, a library, a theatre, the university and alternative places – a bowling centre, an ice-skating hall, a cinema, fitness clubs and other entertainment opportunities in Viljandi. Also, the nature is beautiful.
The rural atmosphere of the town is balanced by Cultural Academy of Viljandi which organizes many events in town – concerts, dance performances, plays etc. There is Estonian Traditional Music Centre which organizes in 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 festival visitors.
The main tasks of the volunteer are looking after the children, helping the educators in their daily needs and organizing 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 organize different events, games, do handicraft, sport or to do some music. Volunteer can also participate in study visits and help to organize different outings and excursions. Volunteer is expected to be a friend and role model for these children and help them to understand delight of the life. It is important to teach these children to evaluate surrounding and to find their way in it.
Depending on the volunteers and children’s interests/abilities, following tasks can be adapted in each department (main house, family houses):
- looking after children and helping teachers/educators in managing their daily needs
- arranging children´s leisure time (different games, etc)
- playing with children
- planning and running creative workshops (dance, music, theatre, handicraft, etc)
- presenting his/her own country and culture as a part of the intercultural learning
- assisting to arrange outings and excursions and taking part in those.
Volunteer´s tutor and supervisor/coordinator will support to fulfil his/her ideas.
Benefits of volunteering
- Learn to work with disadvantaged children.
- Offer your ideas for leisure time activities to fulfil children’s days with happiness.
- Share your culture with foreigners.
Requirements for the volunteer
- Motivated to work with the target group.
- Active, creative, taking initiative, adaptable, open-minded, sociable, positive, responsible and reliable.