The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELC) Family Center Foundation has opened a center in Jõhvi, Ida-Viru County to help families in difficult circumstances and to teach conflict prevention.
The pastorate of the Jõhvi church is the fourth place after Tallinn, Tartu and Haapsalu, where the EELC Family Center Foundation has opened a center.
The provost said: "In my opinion, the EELC family center is one of the greatest successes of our church in the last 20 years. It is just something that the church must do - reach out to the community, listen to people's needs, and go and help them."
Just as the doors of Lutheran churches are open to all who wish to receive help from the family center during the worship, regardless of their religion. One does not have to be a Christian to ask for help from the center.
Velda Veia, a member of the board of the EELC Family Center Foundation said: "We are primarily focused on children's welfare. But one way or another, it is the child who brings the message of the family. And when the child comes, we also start working with the family, be it family therapy or individual counseling or group work. All this is done in the family center."
Jana Võrk, a member of the board of the EELC Family Center Foundation said: "Families come to our centers who have family problems that they can't solve on their own. Then they come for counseling, hoping they can help, and they get an interpreter, so to speak. Really, the word 'interpreter' is an adequate word because if the mutual communication is interrupted, then a third party is needed to help with the communication again."
In order to prevent conflicts, it is important to pay attention to prevention work, said Merike Kütt, the chairman of Jõhvi Family Center: "We have training here for couples, parents, even grandparents. However, with the training, it should be possible to prevent all kinds of conflicts."
The founder of the EELC Family Center Foundation is the Finnish missionary Pia Ruotsala, who has been working in Cambodia since August with the help of her 11 years of experience in Estonia.
Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein