Visits in the Youth Center: What is it Like?

Visits in the Youth Center: What is it Like?

It has been a month since I became PACE’s first international volunteer. Even though a month is not a long time, there have already been some interesting visits within and outside Tallinn. In this blog I will tell you about the visits in one of youth centers in Tallinn, which is located in Kopli.

I visited the center for only one day first time in the very begging of my stay in Tallinn and as it was my first ever visit at the youth center, it was interesting to see how this type of organization works. The age of youth who go to the youth center is somewhat like 9-17. Youth workers organize activities for the children, but at the same time children have a chance to go to the youth center and ask for the available entertainment materials from the center to use them, or just spend time together there – speak or play board games. During my first visit I met different children from different age groups, both younger ones and those already in their late teens. It was visible that the youth was still present in the city and not gone to holidays.

In July I spent additional 3 days in the center and on the third day I had a chance to help them in preparation for the two-week event which includes games and drawing sessions for children, bicycle competitions for older youth and many other entertaining activities. When you do not know much about the youth centers and their environment, the situation there might be strange for you in the beginning because it is noisy (Once you get used to the situation a little bit, then it is more strange if this children noise is not there) and different kids have different interests and ways to entertain themselves. This time the older youth was not present in the center as most of them were on vacations. There were mostly younger ones. As kids did not speak in English, it was difficult to communicate with them (even though still managed to play some games), however, even looking at them and see how they were spending the time, communicating with each other was interesting.

On the third day, the center was participating in the event. I helped in the preparation procedures and also created stickers with some children, with different types of paints. I have never thought about doing these kind of activities with children before in a different way, that it helps their development and also probably partially reflects to their characters, mood and so on.  Now I think that being a youth worker is a difficult task as it requires patience and also knowledge of how to behave and treat young people to help them in different ways and also benefit their development.

Overall, I already know that my stay in Estonia will be full of different knowledge and experiences.

By Nino Chanadiri