Following the conclusion of the current school year, a family of quota refugees from Syria to arrive in Estonia last May is moving to a new home in Tartu.
Originally from Syria, the refugee family consists of two parents and five children that arrived in Estonia from Turkey last May. Upon their arrival, the family was housed at a refugee center in the Lääne-Viru County village of Vao.
Jana Selesneva, manager of the Vao Refugee Center, told BNS that the family currently still resides at the center due to the emergency situation, which began in mid-March; however, a new home was found for them in Tartu in late March.
Selesneva noted that the family's children would have found it very difficult to start at a new school so late into the school year, let alone while schools were on remote learning. Once the children have completed their school year, however, the family will move into their new home.
36 people staying at refugee centers
As of the beginning of June, a total of 36 people are staying at refugee centers located in Vao and the Jõgeva County village of Vägeva.
According to Selesneva, there were 24 people living at the Vao center, including 17 asylum-seekers and seven people who have been granted international protection.
Among the Vao center residents are two families, and three women, 13 men and eight children. Current residents of the center are originally from five countries, with the highest numbers of people originally from Russia and Syria.
A total of 12 people are currently staying at the refugee center in Vägeva, all of whom are asylum-seekers. This includes two families, and five women, four men and three children. Residents of the Vägeva center are originally from Russia, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.
No new residents arrived to stay at either center in May.
No acclimatization cafe events were held at either center during the emergency situation; however, these events have since been relaunched, with the first such event focusing on changes and restrictions caused by the emergency situation, Selesneva said.
Language learning at the centers, however, was not interrupted by the emergency situation.
With the number of residents at the centers remaining low, residents' daily routines are currently similar to those of locals, the center manager said, noting that residents' activities include going for walks, using sports facilities and doing handicraft.
As of the beginning of May, a total of 40 people were staying at the Vao and Vägeva centers.
Editor: Aili Vahtla