WHAT IS MEIELA?
Meiela is a home for intellectually challenged youths from the Estonian southwest. The majority of them received their elementary education at the Järve School in Võru and underwent further training at the Vocational School in Vana-Antsla. Years of schooling have prepared these young people to cope with the tasks of normal daily life. Intellectually challenged youths also have a need to live an independent life, feel wanted, engage in work.
In Meiela the youths along with their counselors will live in a village-like community. Four people with special needs and at least one counselor-trainer will form one family unit. Work and home maintenance chores are handled jointly, following common management principles.
A building under construction in 2008
WHAT WE HAVE
The Meiela Support Center owns a 40-hectare site in Nõnova village, Lasva township, some 12 kilometers from the town of Võru (see history). The unfinished main building is located next to the Nõnova bus station. It was designed in 1999 as an environmentally-friendly project. Due to financial constraints the building is temporarily mothballed. In 2008 a cooperation agreement regarding design and construction was concluded with the Estonian University of Life Sciences/Eesti Maaülikool (see sponsors). The center is to become a laboratory for environmentally friendly and energy efficient planning and construction.
HERE’S WHAT WE NEED
Construction should continue as soon as possible, otherwise the existing, mothballed structure will be irreversibly damaged. Most of the needed lumber is on hand.
First stage plans include completion of the main building with residential rooms and workshops. The main building will also house a library, various offices, an assembly hall, a kitchen, and a basement pool. Further, plans call for rehabilitation facilities, an athletic field, parking lot, garden plots, and general landscaping.
Plans for the completion of the village include construction of family units; the necessary surveys have been done.
Completion of the first stage requires a minimum investment of 15 million kroons.
And all this is to to be done in an environmentally friendly manner, using local materials wherever possible. We are assisted by friends including the Järve School (www.jarvekool.ee), Võru Day Center and parents, all willing to lend a helping hand and to share their experiences.