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No. 29 • July - December 1999 • Page 279
 •  Initiatives

Tallin, Estonia (Alfa Klubi)

In its second year of operation, Alfa Klubi in Estonia’s capital has forty active members. Almost a hundred boys, between the ages of ten and sixteen, have taken part in its regular and special activities.

Pluralism is a special characteristic of this initiative aimed at the formation of young boys. The club’s programs have attracted a mixture of Estonian, Russian, Ukrainian and Latvian students despite the fact that in Tallin, where only half of the population enjoys Estonian citizenship, it is unusual for young people to take part in joint activities with different linguistic and ethnic groups. The parents of club members are happy to see their sons enjoying friendships with boys of other ethnic backgrounds.

The regular activities of the club are classes in languages and computers. Weekends have been used for soccer training, which is done indoors given the harsh climate and the scarcity of daylight during the winter. At the same time each member has a tutor with whom he develops a systematic plan of academic counseling and personal development.

Thanks to the generous participation of parents, it was possible to organize a cross-country ski camp using the Mõedaku trails, a winter sport center near the city of Rakvere. In addition, a plan for the integration of ethnic minorities was developed.

Last summer, club members participated with the Finnish Club Kuunarikerho in an ecological camp. The meeting in the city of Vitasaari, only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle, allowed the members from Estonia to get a feel for the natural beauty of Finland and to take guided excursions to the national parks in the area. At the same time a plan of formation in human virtues was carried out.

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