Lastega ja lastele

Auhinnaga „Lastega ja lastele“ täname ja tunnustame inimesi ja organisatsioone, kelle uued algatused või pikemaajaline tegevus on positiivselt mõjutanud laste ja perede käekäiku.
Tunnustusauhinna taotluste voor on avatud 15. aprillini.

Esita taotlus

Meeting a graceful bear from Finland

On Thursday, 25 August, the SEB Heategevusfond (SEB Charity Fund) organised a day trip to the Helsinki Zoo for children living in shelters. This was the fifth consecutive end of summer trip co-organised with the Tallink Group.

Although we started early and the children from Tartu, Pärnu and Ida-Virumaa had to set out around six o’clock in the morning, everyone was excited and lively when we got on board. Big, grand ships always make an impression on the initial and subsequent visits of people. 10-year-olds Albina and Natalya were particularly impressed, and as soon as we reached the port, they wanted to know whether we were going to take this huge ship.

The sea voyage was cool – activities in the playroom, live music, disco stage and dancing, big shops, restaurants and what not. The ferry itself was like a large playground – there was so much to discover! The children took every chance to run all over, there was no place they could not go to as all the forbidden places were out of their reach. In the playroom children could get their face painted – they showed them proudly off for the rest of the day and next morning. For many of them this was their first experience of a sea voyage. Eight-year-old Robert, who had never been onboard the ship before, stood on the deck and bubbled: “It’s so great to be on the ship and ride the sea and so we can get closer to Finland with every minute!”

The city of Helsinki made an impression on the children through the bus window – tall buildings, many sailboats and crowds on the streets. Big girls compared this to movies they had seen: “Helsinki reminds us of metropolitan clamour - traffic jams, a lot of vehicles and many different buildings - low ones and high ones...”

In the zoo children were divided into small groups and they could freely walk around, from one animal to the other and so on. Children love animals and it was very interesting for them to watch and study them. The children experienced many new emotions - the zoo in Tallinn was compared to the Helsinki Zoo. Some were convinced that the Tallinn Zoo was much better as you could see more animals there; some thought the opposite, because in their opinion the animals in Korkeasaari had much more space and freedom.

Their favourite animals in the zoo were a tiger and a lion. The bear was very kind and understood what it was expected to do – so it took some graceful poses. Younger girls believed that a visit to a zoo without seeing a bear was not a proper visit. The boys were particularly fascinated by the reptiles and insects; some of them had hidden themselves and it was really difficult to see them. It seemed like some of the animals had taken a siesta after lunch: they hid themselves under the trees so well that only their tales hung like ropes.

Children were truly attracted to a red panda, but all they could see was its rear. Hindrek loved the big parrots – he had never seen such big ones before. Riin took pictures of animals and birds with her mobile phone to show them to her sister at home, because she had no travel documents and could not join us on this trip. 16-year-old Elina found something worth seeing in the zoo too – she said that there were some cute guys walking around.


Back on board the ship, there was an abundant dinner table waiting to soothe our hunger. Children behaved like children and ran from one dish to another, using a lot of clean plates and the buffet staff encouraged them to try everything new and interesting. The children were especially happy that they could have as much food as they wanted, and anything they wanted. Their favourites turned out to be fries and ice-cream though.

Eating at a buffet was one of the most memorable experiences from this trip for the children and they knowingly pointed out good places to eat and good dishes. This is obviously a very painful issue for many of them at home and even those children who have lived in a shelter for a long time have not forgotten the feeling of fear and hunger. Their tummies full, children still had energy to talk about what they would like to do. They dreamed of visiting museums and unknown cities, made plans for their future and talked about the chances of meeting interesting people.

The trip was full of excitement and many children can now say that they have been to Finland, too. This was a very pleasant, sunny, joyful and easy day – it was good to watch children going around with excitement and a smile on their faces. Our end of summer trip was not just another great day – it was so much more, a day full of new impressions and experiences.

Triin Lumi

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