Jõulutunnel charity holiday telethon raises record nearly €400,000 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Jõulutunnel hosts Kristjan and Anna Pihl.
Jõulutunnel hosts Kristjan and Anna Pihl. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

This Christmas season, ETV holiday charity telethon Jõulutunnel drew viewers' attention to children and youth who have experienced psychological traumas and called on them to support the construction of a youth milieu therapy home. Between support from major donors and phone and direct donations from viewers, a record €393,131 was raised for the construction of the planned therapy home.

The telethon teamed up with the nonprofit Oskar Alliku kodu to show viewers why preventive and rehabilitative milieu therapy is necessary for youth who have experienced psychological trauma.

Jõulutunnel's call to donate in support of the construction of a dedicated milieu therapy home was warmly received, and as of midnight on January 1, a total of €277,390 had been donated by phone and another €20,441 via bank transfer directly to the nonprofit Oskar Alliku kodu. Another €100,000 worth of preliminary contracts have likewise been concluded with leading Estonian timber companies which will make the construction of the home's first building possible.

Thanks to Jõulutunnel's fundraising efforts, the nonprofit will have the opportunity to fulfill its dream of bringing comprehensive milieu therapy services, already popular elsewhere in Northern Europe, to Estonia.

"We are so deeply grateful to the people of Estonia who, with their donations, showed that they care and that their heart aches for our children and youth who had lost faith that anyone would want to help them in their seemingly hopeless situation," said Oskar Alliku kodu representatives Dr. Anne Daniel-Karlsen and Ants Johanson. "This is a marvelous gift to us, but first and foremost to Estonia's children."

20 years of helping others

Over the past two decades, Jõulutunnel has helped raise money and awareness to support thousands of people in Estonia. Producer Ene-Maris Tali said that she welcomed the fact that people were so receptive to such a crucial issue.

"A public broadcaster's role is to broach subjects that are important to society and that need addressing," Tali said. "This year's Jõulutunnel took it upon itself to talk about children who have been abused, bullied, and abandoned, and who have been caught in the middle of or been the victims of adults' disputes. These children are there among us, but we don't notice what state they're in, or don't know how to recognize it. I very much hope that, going forward, this problem is taken seriously and that, together with this first therapy home, help will become more accessible to these children and their families."

Videos and performances from the December 2019 Jõulutunnel can be watched here (link in Estonian).

Click here (link in Estonian) for more information about the planned therapy home.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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