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EERO Canada in the Community


Thanks to a donation from the estate of Hedvig Korp, the Estonian Ecumenical Relief Organization (EERO) sent $19,500 (13,800 euros) to women’s shelters in (Rakvere) Virumaa, Järvamaa, Pärnu, Saaremaa, Läänemaa ja Hiiumaa. These funds are for individual, group and family therapy for mothers and children–who have experienced physical and mental abuse–as well as related transportation expenses. These donations will also help with all the expenses needed for these mothers with children to begin a new life of independence and safety.

Almost one out of every five Estonian children (about 63,000 children) lives in poverty, which has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and resulting energy and economic crisis. The cost of all goods and services has increased drastically, which has created even more financial difficulty for these single mothers and their children.

Donations to the EERO Children’s Fund continue to help improve the quality of life for children of mothers who have lived in abusive situations, through the specialized individual and group therapy provided by the women’s shelters. As one survivor describes: “It’s difficult for others to understand the impact that domestic abuse has on a woman's life, how every aspect of life is controlled. I was forced to move away to the countryside, far from other people. I wasn’t allowed to drive a car or go to community events or parties with my children. But I had to work, because my husband refused to. I was so isolated that I often thought of ending my life”.

When the mental health of mothers improves, they can better attend to the needs and well-being of their children. Increased self-esteem helps them to find and hold down a job and cope with the demands of everyday life. Similarly, donations to EERO have funded creative therapy sessions for children who have survived domestic abuse, to help them with coping strategies to maintain their emotional health.

Creative children at the Pärnu Women’s Shelter

The goals of the EERO funded women’s shelter projects are in keeping with the goals of the EERO Children’s Fund: to support children of families living in challenging circumstances; to provide them and their mothers with support in the areas of physical and mental health and education; to work in collaboration with Estonian women’s shelters to best identify critical needs. We understand how important it is to provide maximum support during the transition period, as these women and children leave an abusive situation to start a new, independent life.

During this winter and holiday season, we hope that our Canadian and American Estonian community remembers these brave mothers and children who need our support and understanding now more than ever.

EERO established the Children's Fund in January 2020 to improve the living conditions, physical and emotional development of children facing difficult circumstances. Together with the Estonian Relief Committee in the USA, we are continuing to solicit donations to assist women and children who are survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence in Lääne-, Hiiu-, Saare-, Pärnu-, Järva- ja Virumaa, Estonia. With your help, they too can begin to live a peaceful, independent and fulfilling life.

If your company runs a United Way employee giving campaign, you may be able to make an online gift to the Estonian Ecumenical Relief Organization! Let your employer know that you would like your United Way contribution to be directed to EERO.

Where does the money go? You can ask EERO to direct your donation to causes in Estonia such as cancer treatment, shelters for women and children, two children's hospitals (Tallinn and Tartu), TalTech University, aid for Ukrainian refugees, and more.

EERO's info for United Way:

Estonian Ecumenical Relief Organization

Registration number 89233 8369 RR0001

Thank You <3

Ukrainian refugee children at summer camp

Ukrainian refugees in Estonia will face difficult challenges as winter approaches. Daily necessities such as food, heating and electricity costs continue to increase. Many of the refugees have jobs and long-term accommodation, but they worry about both the war in Ukraine and their need to cover expenses. The number of refugees in Estonia has increased by 50% from 40,000 in the spring to about 60,000 in September.

Thanks to the generosity of Canadian Estonians and their friends, to date EERO has sent MTÜ Pagulasabi 260,000 euros to assist Ukrainian refugees in Estonia. The money has been used as follows:

1. Year to date, EERO has provided 136,600 funding for education support of 2,732 children. There are currently 600 new applications under review.

2. During the summer months, children who were identified in schools and by social workers as needing additional help dealing with trauma attended overnight camps staffed with crisis workers and counsellors. EERO provided 36,400 euros to support these camps, as well as a day camp in Tallinn.

3. Mental wellbeing support groups continue to expand their services in Estonia outside of Tallinn. EERO supports these groups at a cost of 56,339 euros. This includes training of additional staff for future sessions.

Unfortunately, the war continues and the number of Ukrainian refugees in Estonia continues to grow. The balance remaining for mental wellbeing support is 53,000 (226,000 euros donated by EERO less 173,000 euros for education and camp support). In order to continue to cover the current mental wellbeing initiatives and our education support, EERO estimates we will need additional donations from the community. We are asking for $50,000 CAD to continue the work that has helped so many.

Thank you for your continued support.

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