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48 people staying at refugee centers in Estonia

Asylum-seekers' center in Vägeva, Jõgeva County, in 2017.
Asylum-seekers' center in Vägeva, Jõgeva County, in 2017. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

A total of 48 people were staying at the centers for asylum seekers in the villages of Vao and Vageva in Estonia at the beginning of January.

There were 33 people living in the Vao center, 24 asylum seekers and nine people who have been granted international protection, representatives of welfare services provider AS Hoolekandeteenused said.

Seven of the latter are so-called quota refugees who arrived in the country under the European Union migration plan. They are part of one family and arrived in Estonia in May last year, attempts to find them accommodation have not been successful so far.

Residents are from eight different countries, with the biggest numbers of people coming from Russia, Syria and Turkey.

There are 15 people staying at the center in Vageva and all of them are asylum seekers. They come from Russia, Nigeria, Uganda, Turkey and Iraq.

No new people arrived to stay at either center in December 2019.

Residents of the centers are offered the opportunity to learn the Estonian language three times a week. The Kohanemiskohvik (Acclimatization Cafe) event is held once a week in which people receive the necessary knowledge for adapting to life in Estonia. Topics covered include local traditions, culture, studying and climate. 

Activities at the two centers in December largely focused on Christmas and New Year celebrations, representatives of AS Hoolekandeteenused said. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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