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

When Flour Tastes Sweeter Than Sugar

This a story that took place a few years ago. I overheard a girl living in a shelter talking to her classmate.

Marianne wondered: “Agnes, how do you know all these things?” And her classmate answered: “It’s simple: every year I make gingerbread with my mum. You just roll the dough, beforehand having sprinkled some flour on the counter, of course, and then you cut gingerbread men with a cutter, into the oven they go and then you just decorate them with some icing!” Indeed, it seems very simple to those who have someone to teach them. But if you have lived your whole life without anyone ever having the time to talk to you, let alone spend time with you doing something together, then how could a child possibly know how to make gingerbread? They simply don’t.

It has become a nice tradition that each December the SEB Charity Fund organises an event called the Gingerbread Race, which pays a visit to our partner shelters all over Estonia. Equipped with gingerbread dough, cutters and lots of enthusiasm, we visit all of the centres and bake gingerbread with the children. This year we visited the Pärnu and Tartu shelters, the Kopli and Lilleküla shelters and the Mustamäe infants shelter in Tallinn, the big and little ones in Kiikla in Ida-Viru County and Haiba children’s home in Harju County.

This series of visits really lives up to its name – it is a true gingerbread race. The moment the volunteers set foot in the shelter, the children are eager to start baking. In the blink of an eye, the aprons are covered in flour, the children’s mouths are full of gingerbread, the shelter smells like a bakery and the children’s faces are beaming with joy. Around ten children roll the dough together, taking turns to dusting the counter with flour (and at the same time taste it, secretly stealing small pieces of dough to have a bite!), squabbling with friends over who gets to use the hedgehog-shaped cutter first and filling baking sheets with cookies of various shapes and sizes, and the ‘logistics department’ transports them to the kitchen to be baked. In the kitchen, the ovens are at high temperatures, so it is no surprise that some batches come out crispier than they need to be!
The cookies are then taken straight to the children, who decorate them with yellow and white and green and pink icing. While some of the children are busy in the kitchen, others learn from volunteer Viktoria how to make special items for holidays, such as gifts, cards, Christmas tree decorations and colourful keepsake stones which can be given as presents. By turns, the small children, covered in flour from head to toe, run to the volunteers for a hug and then back again. If you tell the children that their names could be Frank the Flour-Eater or Georgia the Gingerbread-Maker, they reply laughing: “No way! I’m Kelli! My name’s Taavi! Rolf, eight years old! I’m Raili. This is Nastja...”
After the baking race the shelter is filled with sweet holiday spirit and the children’s eyes shine with joy from the collective effort, which many experience for the first time.

Merry Christmas everyone! Triin Lumi

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