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EERO Canada in the Community


In the past two months, the Estonian Ecumenical Relief Organization in Canada (EERO) has received an unprecedented number of donations from many different organizations, whose members have stepped up to assist Ukrainian refugees sheltering in Estonia.

Congratulations to the Vancouver Estonian community for raising over $4000 for the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund on Sunday, April 10th! A live lecture event was organised jointly by the sorority Filiae Patriae (C!FP) and the Society for Advancement for Estonian Studies in Canada (SAESC/EKÜK). “Arvo Pärt - Modern Estonian Master” was presented by Thomas Kirves, beloved conductor of the Läänetuul (Western Wind) choir. 45 people attended in person, while other community members participated virtually. Our heartfelt thanks go to Ingrid Solde, Lilian Oljum, Kati Nõmme and Viive Alexander for their hard work. In addition, several generous donations came from Vancouver directly to EERO for which we are very grateful.

Many Estonians have grown up hearing the harrowing stories of parents or grandparents, who arrived in Canada as war refugees from 1944 onward. Some are choosing to donate in their memory. EERO has received in memoriam donations to the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund, honouring Mare Roomets, Lilli Pill and Irja Mägi.

“One the main objectives of ERC (the Estonian Relief Committee in Canada) has been to collaborate with other Estonian organizations like EERO to provide help wherever it’s needed in the Estonian community”, says Kristina Valter, Board Member. ERC is donating $10,000 to the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund, to help communities, towns and schools in Estonia cope with the critical needs of Ukrainian children fleeing daily across the border.”

In its 55th year of operation, Toronto’s Kotkajärve Metsaülikool or University of the Forest (MÜ), has also committed its support. MÜ has launched a newsletter campaign to encourage all past participants to donate to the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund. “ MÜ has always received assistance from the Estonian Republic for our summer camps and other cultural programs”, says Maimu Mölder, MÜ Director. “Now it’s our turn to support Estonia!”

Thanks to all the individuals and organizations, who continue to fundraise and donate to support Ukrainian refugees in Estonia, EERO will be able to transfer a further $30,000 to Estonia.

That brings our total to date to over $181,000 or 140,000 euros.

Estonians have offered their help and made donations to support Ukrainian war refugees. Many in Canada know what it means to be a refugee from war and military occupation. In 1944, over 80,000 Estonians fled the country, hoping to return. Shockingly, we now find Ukrainians in a similar situation.

Estonia has received between 25,000 to 30,000 Ukrainian war refugees to date, 40% of whom are children. About 20,000 of these refugees have decided to stay in Estonia for the foreseeable future. These refugees need safe, long-term housing, help in adjusting to life in Estonia and much more.

It is wonderful to see such overwhelming support for the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund from so many individuals and families, and from the following organizations:

  • The Toronto Estonian Baptist Church

  • Ööbik, the Academic Societies’ Choir in Toronto

  • Northern Birch Credit Union (which waived banking fees for transfers to Estonia)

Over 100,000 euros have been raised by EERO to date and delivered to the Estonian Refugee Council (Eesti pagulasabi) which is helping Ukrainian refugees in the following 5 areas:

  • Financial aid for children’s education: provided to families with children– to enable them to start school, without cutting into their subsistence allowance

  • Mental health support: always part of Eesti pagulasabi’s service and includes trauma therapy, provided to both adult and child refugees individually and in groups

  • Advice and counseling: via telephone and email, as well as in person, in its Tallinn office

  • Long-term housing: Eesti pagulasabi serves as the intermediary for offers of housing to the war refugees

  • Support groups: Eesti pagulasabi has developed information sessions on specific themes–work, children and school/daycare, adjustment, mental health and practical digital/e-skills, which are being delivered across Estonia

Funds from the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund are directed primarily towards children and mental health support, which includes trauma therapy. Your donation is tax deductible, greatly appreciated and goes to use within days, thanks to modern technology and dedicated staff. None of the money donated to EERO or the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund is used for salaries, either in Canada or Estonia.

We thank you for continuing to donate through our website, via e-transfer or by cheque: to EERO Ukrainian Refugees, 17 Tufton Crescent, Toronto, Ont. M4A 2E2

Donations by credit card or PayPal can be made on the EERO donation page at Canada Helps. These donations receive a tax receipt from Canada Helps, who transfers the donations to the EERO Ukrainian Refugee Fund weekly. Link:

Stay tuned for more news shortly.

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